Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Corn Som Tam with Rock Shrimp

Last June I saw this recipe on Serious Eats for Corn Som Tam and got all excited.  Then life got in the way and before I knew it corn season was over at the farmers' market so I never had the chance to make it.  It was very sad.  But as soon as I saw the fresh corn at the farmers' market this morning I knew we had to make this.  So I spent a little time on my iPhone figuring out exactly what ingredients we needed (the rock shrimp was an impulse buy yesterday afternoon) and we picked up cherry tomatoes, some beautiful haricots verts and corn.  Then I hit the grocery store for more limes and shredded carrots.  It has been a really long time since I have had the time to sit in the kitchen and take my time making a meal from scratch so this was something of a fun zen experience for me.  Most meals of late have been hurriedly thrown together (mostly by Alex, with some fly by assistance from yours truly) in brief breaks between doing work, but I had the whole afternoon to myself today to play in the kitchen.  I made a hell of a mess (and Brady helped by leaving green bean bits all over the floor), but I got to make lunch all by myself!  This might not sound exciting to most of you, but I really miss cooking when work becomes all-consuming.  Don't get me wrong, it's great when Alex cooks dinner because he is a pretty darn good cook, but I miss being able to cook and menu plan at my leisure.  

As far as som tams go, I might prefer the version with green papaya for the interplay of texture and sweetness, but this was a nice summery alternative.  I love Thai flavors, fresh corn salads and great summer produce so this recipe combined a number of things that I enjoy.  I think this would make a really nice component of a larger meal but it's pretty light to be the only dish.  If I had been cooking lunch or dinner for 4 (or more) people, I would have made a larb or maybe this Crying Tiger Grilled Steak to go with the som tam.

Recipe after the jump!

Corn Som Tam with Rock Shrimp
Adapted from Serious Eats

3/4 lb rock shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced
3/4 cup salted roasted peanuts
2 bird's eye chilies or 1 Serrano chili
2 tbsp dried shrimp (optional)
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 lb haricots verts, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup packed grated carrots (we bought the pre-shredded ones at the grocery store)
1 lime, zested 
juice of 1 lime (plus additional to taste)
1/2 tbsp granulated sugar (or more to taste)
1/2 tbsp fish sauce (or more to taste)
Poach shrimp in a pot of boiling salted water until opaque, about 30-35 seconds.  Drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water.  Set aside.
Slice the kernels off the cobs with a sharp, thin-bladed knife. Place the corn kernels in a large mixing bowl.  

Place the garlic, peanuts, chili(es), and dried shrimp (if using) in a heavy-duty zipper-lock bag. Squeeze air out and seal the bag, then crush everything with a hard object, such as a sturdy mason jar, a meat pounder, or a rolling pin. The peanuts and chili(es) should be finely crushed and the dried shrimp flattened and flaky.  Add tomatoes and green beans to the peanut bag; seal the bag. With your hands, lightly squeeze the contents of the bag until the tomatoes are somewhat bruised (and release some juice) and the green beans a bit softened. 

Add the contents of the bag to the corn kernels in the mixing bowl along with the carrots and poached shrimp.

Add the lime zest and juice of 1 lime to the mixing bowl. 

Add the sugar and fish sauce to the mixing bowl. Toss the salad and adjust the taste to your liking with additional lime juice, fish sauce, or sugar. Serve immediately or cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and keep it refrigerated for no more than one hour before serving.

No comments:

Post a Comment