Renown for its bustling fish and seafood industry, the city of Rayong on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand is inspiration for the recipe below. First experienced in a restaurant across from the beach, this version has a tempered down heat edge to accompany those with a more delicate palate. However, if you are adventurous, using one red Thai chili pepper instead of the red pepper flakes increases the heat and brings the dish closer to “authentic” Thai heat. Thinly slice without removing the seeds and then warn your guests! Since the “heat” appears in 3 of the Flavor Tiers, the honey provides a sweet contrast and further tempers the peppers slightly. This is a great appetizer to serve along with a sweet appetizer as contrast. It is easily doubled or tripled to accommodate a larger crowd or to serve atop a salad.
18 Extra Jumbo raw shrimp (16-20 count per pound)
3 limes, juiced, divided
zest from 2 limes
2 t red pepper flakes
2 T honey
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t ginger, freshly grated
1 T cilantro, minced
½ c + 2 T garlic infused extra virgin olive oil
½ c + 2 T toasted sesame oil
½ t fish sauce
½ t fresh ground black pepper
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T cilantro, roughly chopped
Peel and devein shrimp leaving tails intact. Using a sharp knife, make a slit in the underside of the curl beginning 1/8” to ¼” from the tail and continue to the opposite end. Do not cut through the shrimp.
Place the juice of 2 limes, half of the lime zest, red pepper flakes, honey, garlic, ginger, ½ cup of the olive oil, sesame oil, fish sauce and black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk until blended. Pour 2/3 cup of the sauce into a re-sealable plastic bag, add the shrimp, seal and marinade for 7-8 minutes at room temperature. Turn bag often to ensure the shrimp are evenly marinated. Remove shrimp from bag and discard used marinade.
In large skillet, add 2 tablespoons remaining marinade, heat over medium high. Add the shrimp. Cook 3 minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove shrimp to paper towels to drain. Wipe out skillet.
While shrimp are cooking, place the remaining marinade in a small saucepan. Add the juice of the remaining lime and the remaining lime zest. Cook over medium high to reduce by half. Watch carefully as this will happen in 2-3 minutes.
In same skillet used in Tier 3, add 1 T olive oil and heat over medium high. Add one tablespoon roughly chopped cilantro. Sauté until crisp. Remove cilantro to paper towel to drain.
Place 3 shrimp on each of six small plates. Evenly drizzle reduced marinade over the shrimp. Evenly sprinkle with crisp cilantro and chopped candied ginger.