Chili Garlic Ginger Shrimp
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Nam prik pao—a pantry staple in Thai cuisine—is a sweet, savory and lightly spicy chili paste. This recipe for chili garlic ginger shrimp (from Nagi Maehashi’s new cookbook, RecipeTin Eats Dinner: 150 Recipes for Fast Everyday Meals) is inspired by the ingredient, and let’s just say it hits all our favorite flavor notes.
“I just love the sweet, fragrant and deeply savory taste of Thai chili jam,” Maehashi writes. “The idea for this recipe comes from the stir-fries tossed through with chili jam that you often see at modern Thai restaurants. This is a faster version, but still has the same big, gutsy flavors with a chili tickle—just perfect with sweet, plump shrimp.”
Serve it with plenty of steamed white rice to soak up the glorious sauce, and a big green salad to complete the meal.
Excerpted from RecipeTin Eats Dinner: 150 Recipes for Fast Everyday Meals by Nagi Maehashi Copyright © 2023. Used with permission of the publisher, Countryman Press. All rights reserved.
1½ tablespoons canola oil
1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp, tails intact (2 pounds unpeeled shrimp)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 teaspoons finely minced ginger
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (see notes)
½ cup water
3 tablespoons sriracha (see notes)
2 teaspoons light soy sauce (see notes)
3 packed tablespoons brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
White sesame seeds
Red chili pepper, deseeded and finely sliced
Scallion, finely sliced
1. Sear the Shrimp: In a large, nonstick skillet over high heat, heat the oil. Add half the shrimp and sear each side until light golden, about 45 seconds, then transfer to a bowl—they will still be raw inside. Repeat with the remaining shrimp. Remove the pan from the stove to cool down slightly. Reduce the heat to medium.
2. Make the Sauce: Return the pan to the stove and heat the sesame oil. Add the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic turns golden, about 20 seconds. Add the water, then the sriracha, soy sauce and sugar. Stir, increase the heat to medium-high, then let the sauce simmer until it starts to thicken to a thin, syrupy consistency, about 3 minutes.
3. Return the shrimp to the pan and toss to coat in the sauce. Cook until the shrimp are fully cooked and the sauce has thickened and is coating the shrimp, about 1 minute more.
4. To serve, transfer the shrimp and all the sauce to a serving plate. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, red chili pepper, and green onion (if using). Serve with rice or fried rice to soak up the sauce. Pair with your favorite garden salad and a sesame dressing.
This dish has a decent amount of spiciness but is not blow-your-head-off spicy! Reduce the red pepper flakes and sriracha for less spice. You can always add a bit extra at the end if you think you can handle more.
Light soy sauce can be substituted with all-purpose soy sauce. Do not use dark soy sauce.
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 2 days, though the dish is best made fresh (and not suitable for freezing).