Yesterday, for Martin Luther King's birthday, which also happens to be my birthday, I wanted nothing more than the company of my husband Ted, a snuzzle from the cats, a few hours to read in the middle of the day, and a bowl of this spicy Asian shrimp cocktail.
When I was a little girl and my family went out for dinner on special occasions like birthdays, I always felt quite grown up when I ordered shrimp cocktail in a restaurant and the waiter brought a martini glass with shrimp hanging around the rim. This dish, served with a bit less fanfare, hits all of the high points for me: spicy, salty, smoky, sweet, shrimp. No birthday cake with candles on top can do that. Not even if it's chocolate.
Spicy Asian shrimp cocktail
20 jumbo (16-20 per pound) shrimp, defrosted, peeled and deveined
Juice of 1/2 lime
1-1/2 tsp sambal oelek
1 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp agave nectar
2 cups diced English (seedless) cucumber
1 large avocado, diced
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
2 tsp roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
In a saucepan, bring one quart of water to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, add the shrimp, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the shrimp are pink and curled. Drain, and rinse under cool water. Drain again, and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine lime juice, sambal oelek, soy sauce, sesame oil and agave nectar. Whisk together.
To the sauce in the bowl, add the shrimp and remaining ingredients. Stir gently to combine.
Chill the shrimp cocktail for 1 hour, and serve cold.
More shrimp delights:
Blazing hot shrimp, from The Perfect Pantry
Pomegranate-orange-ginger shrimp, from The Perfect Pantry
Spicy shrimp and cucumber salad with mint, lemon, and cumin, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Sesame shrimp with honey mustard sauce, from Steamy Kitchen
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