Monday, November 19, 2012

Nigel Slaters's Shrimp with Asian Greens

Look - another seafood dish!  Go us!  And this will officially be your last seafood post from us (and potentially your last post) until after Thanksgiving.  Turkey here I come!  I found this recipe during one of my various recipe hunting jaunts.  One day I pulled open my iPad and there it was.  I have no idea when I first found it, but it has been staring at me every time I opened up Safari on my iPad for the past few weeks.  So we finally gave it a go.  I don't have any idea who Nigel Slater is, but given how much we liked this recipe I might have to track down some more of his recipes.  I had this impression that he is the UK equivalent of Mark Bittman (lord only knows where I came up with that idea, but a brief Wiki session seems to substantiate it).  The recipe was simple and came together relatively quickly (once you finished prepping).  And it was more than the sum of its parts - the flavor of the basil and the aromatics (particularly the lemongrass and the ginger) came through really well and it had a lovely balance of sour, sweet, spicy and salty.  I was worried that the fish sauce and lime juice combo would lead to it being kind of one note, but it really worked.  And it was surprisingly spicy given that we only used one serrano chili for 3/4 pound each of baby bok choy and shrimp. I loved serving it with brown rice because I thought the nuttier flavor and chewier texture of the brown rice was a nice complement to the dish.  I know we made a good dish when Alex pours the rest of his shrimp juju over his rice and then cleans his rice bowl.  And he did it this time.  Even though he doesn't really like brown rice.  If my word that the dish was good isn't enough for you, I'm sure that you will find the Alex rice bowl test totally persuasive.  Now if only I had taken a picture of the empty rice bowl...

Recipe after the jump!

Nigel Slater's Shrimp with Asian Greens
Adapted from Serious Eats

2 tbsp vegetable oil
generous 2 tbsp minced ginger
1 stalk lemongrass, tough leaves peeled away, tender heart minced
1 serrano chile (or to taste), minced
2 scallions, roughly chopped
3/4 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tsp sugar
10 oz baby bok choy, halved if relatively small or leaves separated if large
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped1/2 cup basil, roughly chopped

In a wok (or a large skillet), warm the oil over medium heat. Add the ginger, lemongrass, chili, and scallions. Cook, stirring often, until they are soft and fragrant and the ginger has just begun to color, about 1-2 minutes.

Increase the heat to moderately high and add the shrimp. Cook until colored on both sides, about 1 minute, then add the lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally until the shrimp are just opaque, about 1 minute.  Remove shrimp with tongs and set aside.

Add the bok choy to the skillet and turn them over in the pan as they wilt. Cook until they are tender and the sauce is somewhat reduced.  Return the shrimp back to the pan and toss with the bok shoy.  Remove from heat, and add the cilantro and basil.  Toss to combine.  Season to taste with salt (if desired).

Serve immediately with (brown) rice.

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