July and August in Japan (and really almost everywhere) can be incredibly hot and humid. So instead of steaming hot bowls of noodle soups, they turn to cold noodles, including this hiyashi chuka, a vibrantly colorful cold ramen noodle bowl. Hiyashi Chuka translates to “chilled Chinese”, read more
How do we love shrimp? Let us count the ways. There’s Green Curry, Salt Baked, Coconut, Spicy Salads, Noodles.…you get the drift. But when I want an easy appetizer that is sure to wow people, I reach for this Tamarind Shrimp. It’s super fast but has a sophisticated feel. The shrimp get nice and crispy, and the tamarind sauce is to die for. This is a Thai inspired dish, and the flavors will have you feeling the tropics.
Tamarind Shrimp Sauce
Tamarind concentrate, sometimes called tamarind pulp or paste, is a fundamental ingredient in Thai Cuisine. It has a complex sweet and sour flavor that is essential to foods like Pad Thai as well as countless soups, curries, beverages, and sweets. Here we mix it with fish sauce, sugar, and spices for an assertively fruity, funky sauce with just the right touch of sweetness.
Looking for ways to use up the rest of your tamarind concentrate? Check out:
The secret to shrimp that’s perfectly golden and crispy when lightly fried? Potato starch! A coating of potato starch limits the oil that the shrimp will absorb, helping them fry up to crispy perfection. It also keeps my Tamarind Shrimp gluten free. A little egg white helps the potato starch to adhere, and then they are ready to pan fry.
When the shrimp have absorbed all that amazing sauce, they are ready. Tamarind Shrimp makes a nice sized appetizer for 4, or a light supper for 2, especially served with Coconut Rice. Try them soon and let me know what you think by commenting and rating the recipe below, and by tagging us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen; we love hearing from you!
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 13/15 size)
- ⅓ cup potato starch
- 1 egg white
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 Tablespoons oil
- ¼ cup tamarind concentrate
- 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ ground coriander
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Combine the tamarind concentrate, fish sauce, sugar, crushed red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
- Place the shrimp in a bowl and add the egg white. Mix to coat the shrimp. Put the potato starch in a small bowl. Dip the shrimp, one at a time, into the potato starch so that it is well coated. Set aside.
- Heat a large pan over medium high heat for several minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl to coat. Place half of the shrimp in the pan in one layer and cook for 2 minutes. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a plate.
- Repeat with the other half of the shrimp.
- Return the pan to the stove. If the pan is dry, add 1 Tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic and cook for 10 seconds. Next add the sauce and bring to a simmer.
- Add the shrimp to the sauce and cook for 1 minute, stirring to coat the shrimp. The shrimp should have absorbed most of the sauce and the pan will be mostly dry.
- Serve immediately.
Keywords: tamarind, shrimp, seafood, appetizers, thai
Maybe you don’t live someplace where you can dine outside by the docks, enjoying the day’s freshest catch with maybe a fruity cocktail. Well, this Salt Baked Shrimp will help you bring that vibe home. Leaving the head and shells on adds so much flavor and also contributes to that dining al fresco by the ocean feeling. I serve these with a pungent garlicky dip, and it takes just 20 minutes to start devouring these beauties. (Bring some extra napkins to the table!)
One of the little known seasonal treats living in south Florida is having fresh shrimp in the winter. From late December until early February, these delicious briny shrimp are available in limited quantities. Mostly sold at local seafood markets or through commercial fishermen, these shrimp have a sweetness and amazing flavor that just cannot be matched by the frozen IQF shrimp that we all know and love. Thankfully, I’ve also seen fresh farm raised fresh shrimp at my local Costco. And if you live near a well stocked Asian market, they often sell live and fresh seafood as well. So be on the lookout, because these Salt Baked Shrimp are simple and amazing. Let’s get started.
Salt Baked Shrimp Dipping Sauce
This dipping sauce has a lot going for it, and I will be using it for more dishes. (would be great with Sriracha Honey Wings) It has the bright zing of fresh squeezed lime juice, slight richness from the mayo, a pop of umami funk from the fish sauce, a little Thai chili and minced garlic for heat and some sugar to round it out. It’s like a clingy Nuoc Cham; you’re gonna love it.
Give everything a good whisk, and set aside until ready to use.
Use The Whole Shrimp!
Keeping the heads and shells on keeps the delicate meat tender and helps prevent it from overcooking. It also adds tons of flavor! It is essential however that you devein them. These are fairly large shrimp, and the vein can be really gritty. Don’t worry, it’s really simple to do. And by deveining them, we will also be making them super easy to peel when it’s time to eat.
I use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut through the back of the shrimp. Make a shallow snip down the center and follow it though to the tail. You could also use a knife to do the same. When it comes to deveining, I use a toothpick to help pull out the sandy intestine but then use my fingers to gently pull it out. You could also scrape it out with the tip of the knife or clean it out under running water.
Two Ways to Salt Bake Shrimp
The salt here serves a couple purposes-it provides a buffer for the delicate shrimp from the hot pan, and of course it seasons the shrimp as well. This is not the time for your fancy, expensive sea salts. We want really coarse salt here, like Diamond’s or Morton’s coarse kosher salt.
This recipe calls for a lot of salt but you don’t have to throw it out when you’re done. You can save it and use it where you think a little shrimpy flavor would be welcome-kind of like fish sauce. A soup, a stew, a seafood dish, or even stir fries would work. Just make sure to store the salt in the fridge between uses.
I have made this shrimp using both my stovetop and the oven, and I give you directions for both on the recipe card. Whichever method you choose, you will first preheat the salt.
And now the salt baked shrimp are ready to serve! I like to bring them to the table in the pan. They look so striking against the salt:
And as promised, they are very easy to peel. The shells slide right off. And now eat with gusto. We slurp the heads but that just might be my thing!
To really complete your seashore dining experience, serve these with:
Let me know what you think of these Salt Baked Shrimp. Leave a comment and rate the recipe below, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- 12 large head on shrimp (with the head on mine were 9/14 size)
- 1 ½ cups kosher salt or coarse sea salt
- 4 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice (from 2 limes)
- 2 Tablespoon Mayonnaise
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 thai bird chili, minced
Make the dipping sauce:
- Cut the limes in half and juice them.
- Combine the lime juice, mayonnaise, minced garlic, fish sauce, sugar, cilantro, and chili.
- Whisk to combine and set aside.
Prepare the shrimp:
- With a pair of kitchen scissors, right below the head, snip a shallow cut down the center of the shrimp, until you come to the tail. Set aside and continue cutting the rest of the shrimp.
- Use your fingers or a toothpick to pull out the intestines and grit from the back of the shrimp.
- Dry the shrimp off with some paper towels and set aside.
Stove Top Technique:
- Wrap a heavy shallow pan (mine is a staub 12” cast iron skillet that is 2.5 inches deep) with aluminum foil.
- Pour the salt in the pan. Cover with a lid and heat over medium high heat for 5 minutes until you hear the salt popping.
- Take the lid off and lay the shrimp flat in the pan.
- Again cover the pan with the lid and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the shrimp for 4-5 minutes. The bottom part should be a bright orange but the top will still look a little raw. Flip the shrimp over, cover with the lid, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Serve the shrimp in the pan or transfer to a plate and serve immediately with the dipping sauce on the side.
- Preheat the oven to 400 and move the oven shelf to the center rack. Pour the salt onto a foil wrapped baking sheet (Mine is a quarter size) and shake gently to spread the salt.
- Put the tray into the oven and heat it for 8-10 minutes. The salt will start to turn a light golden color.
- Carefully place the shrimp onto the salt in one layer. Put the tray back into the oven and roast for 7-9 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Serve the shrimp on the baking sheet or transfer to a plate with the dipping sauce on the side.
*The salt can be saved and used for cooking other dishes. I use it for things that have seafood in it or where it wouldn’t be weird to have a slight shrimp flavor. Store the salt in the fridge or freezer.
Keywords: shrimp, salt baked, seafood, shellfish, appetizers, small plates