Shrimp with Lemongrass and Chili

Shrimp with Lemongrass and ChiliIf you are looking for an easy main dish, the sort of thing that you would serve for a light lunch, you can’t go astray with this one.  In our case, we served this with Cream of Jalapeno Soup, Mushroom and Burdock Rice, and Smoked Citrus-Peanut Chicken Wings.  Sounds complicated, but hell, my Dad dropped by and we felt like cooking something a little nicer than usual.  In reality, this dish will stand alone with either rice or noodles; although if I was going to serve it with noodles, I would dress the noodles with Hot Chile Oil first to balance them a bit.

There is not much to say in the way of guidance regarding this dish.  The main thing you need to make sure you do is properly devein your shrimps.  Shrimp are filthy animals. They spend their day grubbing around on the sea bottom and they are not picky eaters.  Their digestive track is along their back;  sort of a thick vein of unpleasantness.  It is full of all sorts of unsavory corruption that you do not want in your delicately flavored shrimp stir fry.  To remove it, and remove it you should, simply make a shallow slice along the shrimp back with a sharp knife and and rinse under running water.  That should do the trick.

To be honest, this dish was a bit lighter on spice than I like, but it was perfect for the less spice tolerant palate of my father.  I will add at least 1/4 tsp of cayenne next time.  Another adjustment that should be made is to more thoroughly cook the onions to out the flavor in the background more.  They really need to be added about half way through the process of cooking the shrimp.  Alternately, use a red onion for a more mild effect or spend about 1 to 2 minutes more reducing the fish sauce mixture.  I think if you slightly caramelized the sugars in that sauce, it would act to bring the onions in line.  Any way you slice it, you are going to end up with something quite good.  Knock some experiment out, write down what you did, and drop us a line about how they turned out.  Have fun.


Shrimp with Lemongrass and Chili
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 2 to 3
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. water
  • 8 to 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 lime leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, finely chopped
  • ½ small onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 scallion, sliced into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 fresh red chili, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. cilantro, finely chopped, to garnish
  1. Mix lemon juice, fish sauce, water, chili powder, and sugar in small bowl; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until browned. Add fish-sauce mixture, bring to a boil, and reduce mixture for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add shrimp and cook until they are slightly opaque. Add remaining ingredients except cilantro and cook briefly, about 30 seconds. Garnish with cilantro and serve.


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