I’ll be honest, I’ve not had the greatest success in cooking Asian food in the past. I love to cook, and I love Asian food, but I haven’t shown off my three-star Michelin chef skills in that genre in the past. Spicy food turns out mild, “flavorful food turns out bland”:http://wadearmstrong.com/archives/000340.html, everything but my deep-fried fish is ordinary at best. But I’ve been craving Asian lately, so I decided to give it a try.
I thumbed through a few cookbooks and ended up with “Malaysian Tamarind Shrimp”:http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m1216/4_208/84313947/p2/article.jhtml?term= from my “Best of Sunset” cookbook. It looked quick and easy, and, best of all, it uses tamarinds.
I’d never cooked with tamarinds before, but I’m always a sucker for new ingredients. I bought a block of tamarind pulp at the local (interethnic) Halal carneceria and set to cooking. Step 1 was to turn the pulp into a flavorful liquid:
OK, so the beginning was not propitious. But I mixed the sauce and then cooked the shrimp quickly over high heat, as if in a wok. It started to look and smell good:
Served on rice, garnished with slivers of green onions, it turned out a wonderful meal:
Sweet, tangy and just slightly spicy, it’s a great and easy dish and one that I’d make again. Maybe I’ll try more chili sauce next time — after all, the fun lays in the fine-tuning of the dish.