i had this dish while visiting my sister last spring in navato california and crave it again and again. this is perhaps one of my favorite spicy meals to date. at one time i recommended this as a great spring or summer dish. however, after days on end of holiday meals, a healthy meal was in order. the heat in this dish will warm you up just as any soup or stew would.
sambal oelek is a spicy southeast asian condiment made, in its simplest form, from chile peppers and salt. it can be easily found in your grocery store, but, it not, any local asian food market will have it. it is made of chilies with no other additives such as garlic or spices for a more simpler taste. sambal adds a dark, fiery flavor to dishes and you want to avoid the chili sauces with garlic or other spices. a simple rice or vermicelli noodle would be a great pairing for the shrimp.
recipe source: Emeril Lagasse, Sambal Shrimp
2 c sambal oelek (ground fresh chili paste)
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c minced garlic
1/4 c minced fresh ginger
1/4 c mirin
2 tbs fish sauce
2 tbs sesame oil
3 lbs head-on u-10 shrimp, peeled and deveined, head and tail intact
2 tbs rough chopped cilantro
2 tbs rough chopped mint
in a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients except the shrimp, cilantro, and mint and whisk well to combine. set aside and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. in a 1 gallon resealable food plastic bag, place the shrimp and add all but 1/2 of the sambal marinade to the bag. allow the shrimp marinade for 1 hour.
*note: the 4 hours is not necessary if time is an issue. if head on shrimp is not available, headless shrimp works just as fine.
preheat grill to medium high.
place the shrimp on the grill and cook until shrimp are just cooked through, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes per side. transfer the cooked shrimp to a large bowl. add the reserved 1/2 c of marinade along with the cilantro and mint and toss well to combine. transfer shrimp to a large serving bowl or platter and serve immediately. (6-8 servings)