Recipe Monday: Thai Shrimp with Zesty Sauce

I (M) get my foodie genes from my Mother, and for Mother’s Day she wanted my brothers and I to make a new recipe she picked out, courtesy of Cooking with Paula Deen. This one is a two-parter: Thai Shrimp “Lollipops” (marinated shrimp on skewers), with a creamy zesty sauce to dip them in.

Thai Shrimp Lollipops:
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon lime zest
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
2 pounds jumbo fresh shrimp, peeled and de-veined (leave on tails)
Zesty Thai Style Sauce (recipe follows)

-In a large bowl, whisk together coconut milk, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, honey, ginger, cilantro, fish sauce, and pepper flakes. Add shrimp, tossing gently to coat. Cover, and refrigerate for thirty minutes.
-Soak 3 dozen 5-inch wooden skewers in water to cover.
-Remove shrimp from marinade, discarding marinade. Thread 1 shrimp on the end of each skewer.
-Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350-400 degrees) for 2-3 minutes per side, or until shrimp are pink. Serve shrimp with zesty sauce.
NOTE: Do not marinate shrimp for more than thirty minutes, otherwise the acid in the lime juice will start to cook them. If you do, you may end up with ceviche, which wouldn’t be such a bad thing, but that’s another Recipe Monday.

Zesty Thai-Style Sauce:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon minced green onion
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Caribbean jerk seasoning
1/4 teaspoon sugar

-In a small bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, milk, onion, ginger, lime zest, red pepper flakes, jerk seasoning, and sugar. Cover and refrigerate.

One of the benefit’s of my Mom’s kitchen is that she has a veritable treasure trove of esoteric ingredients stored away in her pantry (like fish sauce, jerk seasoning, and fresh ginger), so while I’m there I get the chance to experiment with some recipes I couldn’t otherwise. With that, the recipe was low-effort, easy to make, and aesthetically pleasing – but the taste verdict? Just OK. The shrimp held up their end of the bargain, cooked well in a tasty marinade. But it is the “zesty sauce” that really should have made the dish, and it definitely could have used some more zest. Maybe it was our fault, but it was a little bland, even after taking a few liberties with the ingredients list. If we make it again, I would definitely increase the dosage of lime juice and zest in relation to the mayo and sour cream, and probably add some extra black pepper on top of the red pepper flakes. It was nice to try once, but we probably won’t make it again (especially given the ingredients list).

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