Recipe of the week: Vietnamese glazed Royal Red Shrimp with spicy green apple slaw

Recipe of the week: Vietnamese glazed Royal Red Shrimp with spicy green apple slaw

Recipe of the week: Vietnamese glazed Royal Red Shrimp with spicy green apple slaw

This dish showcases the sweet flavors of royal red shrimp, contrasting it with the spicy frosting and coleslaw. The fish sauce, garlic and peppers make it particularly hot and round. This appetizer is the perfect combination of contrasting flavors and textures – crisp and crunchy, hot and cold, tangy and spicy go well together in this dish that can be prepared all year round. Royal Reds look like huge shrimp but rather taste like a combination of lobster and scallops. With a texture similar to that of shrimp, they are known for their rich, buttery flavor that has a hint of brine. Although larger than shrimp, they take a little less cooking time, so make sure you don’t overcook their delicate meat. While Royal Reds are a firm favorite, if they’re not available, you can substitute them with Gulf White Shrimp.

Seafood in general lends itself well to the flavors and textures of Southeast Asian preparations and this Vietnamese frozen shrimp appetizer is a prime example.
And this particular dish is the perfect appetizer for any dinner, as you can make the frosting and salad dressing ahead of time. In fact, frosting can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Coleslaw vinaigrette can be made up to two days in advance.

Ingredients

Vietnamese glaze

1 cup of sugar
½ cup of water
2 tablespoons of fish sauce, mix with 1 tablespoon of water
2 tablespoons shallot, finely diced
2 tablespoons of ginger, finely diced
1 tablespoon garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
½ teaspoon crushed black pepper
½ teaspoon of red pepper flake

First prepare the fish sauce caramel. To combine 1 cup of sugar with ½ cup of water in a small saucepan, without stirring, cook over medium heat until it turns an amber color, then gently add 2 tablespoons of fish sauce and 1 tablespoon of water. It’s hot and will splash and the fish sauce is a bit smelly, window open. Saute the garlic, shallots and ginger in sesame oil until tender, about five minutes. Add the sautéed vegetables, pepper and chili flakes to the caramel of fish sauce.

Cabbage vinaigrette

3 limes in juice
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 each thai pepper
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 teaspoon of dried shrimp
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Green apple salad

2 Granny Smith apples each
1 each medium carrot

Using a mandolin or a knife, cut the apples and carrots into ¼ inch julienned. Apples will oxidize and brown, do not cut until ready to serve.

2 pounds royal red shrimp (peeled and deveined, leaving the tail intact)

Tempura dough

½ cup all-purpose flour, plus an additional ¼ cup for dusting
½ cup of cornstarch
½ cup of rice flour
1 water cup of sparkling water

With the flour, rice flour and cornstarch together, add soda water and mix until smooth (do not over mix)

directions

Vietnamese glaze

1 cup of sugar
½ cup of water
2 tablespoons of fish sauce, mix with 1 tablespoon of water
2 tablespoons shallot, finely diced
2 tablespoons of ginger, finely diced
1 tablespoon garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
½ teaspoon crushed black pepper
½ teaspoon of red pepper flake

First prepare the fish sauce caramel. To combine 1 cup of sugar with ½ cup of water in a small saucepan, without stirring, cook over medium heat until it turns an amber color, then gently add 2 tablespoons of fish sauce and 1 tablespoon of water. It’s hot and will splash and the fish sauce is a bit smelly, window open. Saute the garlic, shallots and ginger in sesame oil until tender, about five minutes. Add the sautéed vegetables, pepper and chili flakes to the caramel of fish sauce.

Cabbage vinaigrette

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Green apple salad

Using a mandolin or a knife, cut the apples and carrots into ¼ inch julienned. Apples will oxidize and brown, so don’t cut them until you’re ready to serve.

Tempura dough

Combine the flour, rice flour and cornstarch, add soda and mix until smooth (do not over mix).

Shrimp

To cook the shrimp, add enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a 2 inch deep pan with the oil and heat to 350 degrees. To test, add a drop of the dough and the oil should bubble around the dough. Sprinkle the shrimp with ¼ cup of flour then, holding them by the tail, dip them in the tempura batter, then very slowly place the shrimp in the hot oil. Work in batches of just a few shrimp at a time for 2-3 minutes until they are slightly crisp on the outside. Liberally brush the cooked shrimp with the Vietnamese glaze. Serve the apple salad with ¼ cup of the dressing. Place the coleslaw in a shallow bowl and arrange the shrimp on top, garnish with fresh herbs (basil, mint, cilantro, dill). Enjoy!

Thanks to Michael Nelson, the executive chef of GW Fins in New Orleans for the recipe.

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