Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chili Shrimp Stir-Fry

I have very little experience with Sri Lankan and Goan cuisine, but if the authors of Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent say that this dish is Sri Lankan or Goan, I believe them.  In my experience Sri Lankan food is much spicier than this dish was, but I could always amp it up in the future to make it a little more "chili-hot."  When I tasted the stir-fry I said that it was interesting and "not Indian, but similar."  Alex said that it reminded him of Singaporean food because every time he has had a dish labeled Singaporean in a Chinese restaurant, it tasted like this shrimp.  I sort of get what he is saying because the lime, garlic, onions and turmeric reminds me of Singapore Rice Noodles without the curry powder.  But for the record, I won because was closer geographically than he was.  But enough of that - back to the shrimp stir-fry!  The chilis we used were rather mild, but that was my only complaint.  I wanted the dish to be much spicier.  I thought that the flavor was really interesting - I loved the aromatics (cardamom, cinnamon and cloves), the lime, and the sweetness of the onions.  I kind of wished there was another vegetable in the stir-fry, just to mix things up a little, but in the future I will just saute some snow peas or something and serve it on the side along with some basmati rice.  If I had to give the dish a letter grade I would give it a B+.  If it had been spicier I think I would bump that up to an A-, but better luck next time.

Recipe after the jump!

Chili Shrimp Stir-Fry
Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent
By Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbsp peanut oil or coconut oil
4-6 fresh or frozen curry leaves
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
2-3 green cayenne chilis (or 1-2 jalapenos), finely chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1-inch piece cinnamon
1 clove
1 green cardamom pod
1 tsp lime juice
2 limes, cut into wedges

Rinse shrimp and set aside.

In a wok or heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Toss in the curry leaves, onion and garlic.  stir-fry until onion is soft and garlic has begun to brown, about 6-7 minutes.  Add chilis, turmeric, salt, cinnamon, clove, and cardamom.  Stir-fry for 30 seconds.  Add the shrimp and stir-fry until they are beautifully pink and just cooked through, 3-4 minutes.

Add the lime juice, stir, and serve hot, with the lime wedges on the side.

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