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Shrimp Satay

September 24, 2013

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Life has been crazy lately. Between my work, juggling my cooking event last week and a wedding I attended out-of-state, I barely had time to gasp for air. Thank god for Andy, who has been patiently dealing with my madness. He has been my constant support especially when I am under pressure. Officially, he is my unpaid sous-chef. So far, he hasn’t dissected my head. He deserves an Emmy for that. It’s so amazing when someone you love outpours his effort and energy into your endeavors. Without Andy, this blog wouldn’t survive and the photographs you all have been drooling over wouldn’t have come alive. I wouldn’t have anyone to cook for, and I would be at a total loss for words. I am a lucky man.

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Everyday is a special day in our home. Besides loving me, Andy adores my cooking. For that, he usually sacrifices his time snapping photographs, trimming vegetables and other mundane activities that a solo cook would have to go through. Last week, while I was teaching my cooking class, I had demonstrated a preparation for shrimp satay, a classic Singaporean street food. The marinade was spicy with heat shooting like meteors, but I had tamed it down with some coconut milk. The flavors were extravagant, mixing heat and freshness from the green lime leaves.

Needless to say, I had some marinade left over and decided to dress the shrimp and put them through skewers. I must admit there’s something primal about biting off a piece of shrimp from a stick. Each bite is most compelling, as if the animal within you is just waiting to pry on his meal. We had an outstanding dinner, and the best part was our companionship.

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Here’s how I made it.

Shrimp Satay

Makes 20 skewers

Ingredients:

2 lb. medium shrimp, peeled, tail intact. Deveined.

Juice of 1 lime

For the marinade

4-5 shallots, diced

4-5 cloves of garlic, diced

1 piece of galangal (4-5cm), sliced, skin on

7-10 macadamia nuts (use more for a richer and creamier texture)

6-8 kaffir lime leaves

10-15 Thai bird chilies

1/2 teaspoon of dried roasted belachan (Fermented shrimp paste)-available at most Asian grocery stores in chinatown

1 can of coconut milk

2 1/2 teaspoons of palm sugar or brown sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Peanut oil

Method:

1) Place the shrimp in a non-reactive bowl and pour the lime juice over them.

2) While the shrimp soaks in the lime juice, prepare the remaining ingredients.

3) Place the remaining ingredients except for the coconut milk, in a blender and puree into a rough paste.

4) Bring a heavy skillet to heat and pour in 2-3 tablespoons of peanut oil.

5) Pour the marinade into the pan and roast for about 2 minutes.

6) Then add the coconut milk.

7) Turn the heat off and let it sit until cool.

8) Toss in the shrimp and marinade for at least 2 hours. The longer you marinade the more flavorful the shrimp. I marinated the shrimp up till 10 hours.

9) Turn the grill on or bring a grill skillet to heat. Thread about 2-3 shrimp in each skewer.

10) Cook the shrimp, turning until charred for about 4-6 minutes, depending on the heat in your stove.

11) Serve with lime wedges

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