Test Kitchen - Spicy Thai Maple Shrimp

Oh my goodness, this has got to be one of my favorite recipes so far. It's amazing what can be done with a little bit of suggestion and brainstorming! The Test Kitchen ingredient last week was maple syrup, which I had so happily procured on my Vancouver trip. The suggestion on my Facebook page was to use it in a glaze. Then Duc asked me if I could put a Thai spin on it (Thai cuisine that is, not my last name). Thoughts went colliding inside my head before the idea of a spicy Thai maple shrimp dish concreted. So here we go - a recipe that is to die for. It's definitely a good sign when I finish taking my first bite and then start declaring that I want to make it for everyone I know...

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 3-4 servings)
  • 1 lb. shrimp, de-veined, shelled, and butterflied (I used size 31-40)
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 large jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 2 tbsps garlic chili sauce
  • 2 tbsps pure maple syrup
  • 1 handful cilantro, finely chopped

Step 2: Prepping the marinade
Into a large bowl, add thinly sliced shallots and jalapeno. You can use a whole jalapeno if you'd like more spiciness. Add in lime juice, garlic chili sauce, and maple syrup. Finely chop a handful of cilantro and add. Mix together thoroughly. You'll definitely want to use pure maple syrup because its natural sweetness and woodiness will shine through to give your shrimp a unique flavor.

Step 3: Prepping the shrimp
For your shrimp, make sure to de-vein and shell. Slice thinly about halfway into the shrimp on the back so that your shrimp is butterflied. Start a large skillet with oil on medium-high heat. For the shrimp, you won't need to marinate it too long because there is lime in the mix - the citrus will cook the shrimp if you keep it in too long. Put your shrimp in and stir to thoroughly coat.

Step 4: Finishing
Your skillet should be hot now! Quickly put all the bowl's contents into the skillet. Because you don't want your shrimp to be overcooked and come out a little rubbery, it won't take long to cook in the pan. Once you start seeing the slight orange appear on one side, turn shrimp over to the other side. You'll want to turn off the heat just after it's turned orange! Serve with rice and enjoy!


This week's Test Kitchen ingredient: Jamaican jerk seasoning
Is it bad that I bought this so long ago in Jamaica itself and still have yet to use it? It's okay - the spices have kept. I just finally have now decided that I will rip it open in a glorious fit of Test Kitchen experimentation. FOR SCIENCE! Comment on Facebook what you think I should do with it =]

"Modern recipes also apply jerk spice mixes to fish, shrimp, shellfish, beef, sausage, lamb, and tofu. Jerk seasoning principally relies upon two items: allspice (called "pimento" in Jamaica) and Scotch bonnet peppers (among the hottest peppers on the Scoville scale). Other ingredients include cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, and salt. Though Jamaican jerk sauce certainly was derived from African ancestry, it is something that was adapted and modified over hundreds of years as various cultures added their influence." [Wikipedia]

Photography by Minerva Thai and Duc Duong.