Saturday, March 24, 2012

Grilled Spicy Thai Shrimp with Basil and Thai Peanut Sauce

Since the weather is 80 degrees and sunny today, AND since it's Friday I thought tonight would be a good night to fire up the grill and welcome the warm evening with something spicy and light.

I have a hankering for grilled shrimp.  This is one of my favorite preparations, it is spicy and fragrant and tangy. It's also incredibly easy to throw together if you have a food processor.  Serrano chiles, lemon grass, garlic, ginger and lime are used to marinate the shrimp, then they are skewered and grilled.  Shrimp cook very quickly on the grill so there isn't a lot of waiting time.

I love to serve this with a home made Thai peanut sauce.  Again, this sauce comes together in minutes with a food processor and tastes amazing on everything.

Serve Shrimp with basmati rice (or cooked vermicelli) and blanched brocolli and you will feast like a king!

Grilled Spicy Thai Shrimp with Basil
serves 6-8

2 lbs shrimp, uncooked, peeled, tail on

2 serrano chiles, unseeded
2 walnut-sized chunks fresh ginger
3 large cloves garlic
1 stalk lemon grass, tough outer layer rmoved, cut into 2 -inch lengths
grated zest of one lime
juice of one lime
3 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp Thai fish sauce
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp vegetable oil

bamboo skewers

2-3 scallions chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
1/4 cup chopped peanuts

combine all ingredients for marinade in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade and process until finely minced.  Place shrimp in a large plastic ziploc bag, add  marinade, seal bag and shake to coat.  Place shrimp in refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

Soak bamboo skewers in water for at least one hour.

Skewer shrimp onto skewers and grill until pink and slightly charred.

Garnish with chopped scallions, basil and peanuts.  Serve with Thai peanut sauce.

Thai Peanut Sauce
Makes 1 cup

1 cup salted roast peanuts
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp Thai Fish Sauce
1 clove garlic
1 walnut-sized chunk of fresh ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp water

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, add peanuts and sugar. Process until a smooth thick paste is formed (about 1 minute).  Add fish sauce, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper, process until smooth.  Add water and process until everything is incorporated into a smooth sauce, scraping down sides of work bowl occasionally.

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