Grilled Shrimp with Tamarind Sauce

Photo by Robert P.

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

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servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2

    lb jumbo (8 to 12 per lb) shrimp

  • 3

    teaspoons sea salt dissolved in 11/2 cups water

  • For tamarind sauce

  • 1

    tablespoon tamarind from a pliable block

  • 1/3

    cup water

  • 1

    tablespoon peanut oil

  • 1

    tablespoon chopped cleaned fresh cilantro roots and/or stems, pounded to a paste

  • 1

    tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1

    tablespoon Sriracha or other Asian hot chile sauce

  • 1 1/2

    tablespoons palm sugar, or to taste

  • 1

    tablespoon Asian fish sauce (preferably Thai naam pla), or to taste

  • Garnish: 2 fresh serrano or jalapeño chiles, seeded, halved lengthwise, and finely julienned crosswise; and fresh cilantro sprigs

Directions

Prepare grill for cooking. Soak shrimp (still in shells) in salt water 5 minutes, then rinse well in a colander. Make sauce: Place tamarind in a bowl with water and rub with your fingers to dissolve pulp. Pour through a sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on solids, and discard solids. Heat oil in a small heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook cilantro paste and garlic, stirring, until fragrant. Stir in hot sauce, 3 tablespoons tamarind juice, palm sugar, and fish sauce. Simmer until thickened to consistency of light syrup, about 3 minutes. Grill shrimp: Snip shells of shrimp with scissors down center of back, from wide end to second-to-last tail section. Butterfly shrimp in their shells, making a deep incision along length of back where shells are cut, and devein. Grill shrimp on their sides on an oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals until shells are pink and slightly charred and shrimp are just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. (Alternatively, grill shrimp in a hot well-seasoned ridged grill pan over moderate heat.) Spoon tamarind sauce over shrimp (still in shells) in a serving dish.

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