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Spicy Shrimp Simmered in Basil

Serves: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce, divided, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, divided, plus more as needed
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 3 medium kaffir lime leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 to 2 Thai red chiles or 2 serrano chiles, stems trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 1 large bunch Thai or sweet basil leaves, stems removed, divided
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed palm sugar or light brown sugar, plus more as needed


Procedures:

Unlike a traditional stir-fry, this dish is cooked over medium heat to allow the aromatics to infuse the cooking oil with loads of flavor. Basil and fish sauce are both added at the beginning and the end of cooking to build a great depth of flavor in this Thai-style dish. If you’re using Thai chiles are extremely hot; you can reduce the heat by removing the seeds before adding them to this dish.

To marinate shrimp: Place shrimp, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, and 1 tablespoon lime juice into a medium mixing bowl and toss until thoroughly coated in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate shrimp for 10 minutes.

To cook shrimp: Place oil in a large wok or skillet on the stove over moderate heat. Add the oil and when shimmering, add the shallots, garlic, lime leaves, chiles and 2/3 of the basil leaves and cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Increase heat to moderate-high and add the shrimp, stirring frequently, until firm and no longer pink (about 3 to 4 minutes). Stir in the remaining tablespoon of fish sauce and lime juice. Add the palm sugar and stir until combined. Add the remaining basil and cook, stirring constantly until the basil wilts, about 1 minute. Taste and season with additional fish sauce, lime juice, and palm sugar as desired.

Tested and perfected in the Sur la Table kitchen

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