“The snow is pelting down and the grey days are getting to you. The weather forecast is gloomy with no indication that the sun is going to make an appearance anytime soon. If you are longing for the warmth of the tropics to melt away your winter blues, do try this delicious recipe for sweet chilli shrimp skewers”
Sweet and tangy, the juicy shrimps have a nice kick that will release the endorphins and make you feel good. The crustaceans also remind you of days spent on the beach amidst glorious sunshine and bright blue skies. The grilled, smoky flavour of the pineapple brings memories of summer vacations, countryside rambles and big, happy family gatherings.
This is a versatile dish. While the tropical tones help to ease nostalgic pangs on a cold winter day, it is also the perfect party dish. For one, it is easy on the eye. The medley of colours and textures gives it the right visual appeal. Secondly, it is just plain flavoursome. If you need something dramatic to kick start your party, the heat and zest in the shrimps recipe will do the trick. The moist succulence of the shrimps combines beautifully with the tangy juices of the pineapple to create a medley of unforgettable flavours. The glaze of the sweet chilli sauce gives it the umami high. Despite its glamorous look, this is not a complicated dish to make. You can keep your cool on party night even as the guests ooh & aah over your showstopper appetizer.
If you are cooking for a party, you may decide to cook the shrimps without the shells. It does make it less cumbersome for the guests to eat it. But here’s a tip. Do not throw away the shrimp shells. Instead, pop them into a bag and freeze them. When you have the time, boil them up in a pot full of water to which onions, garlic and herbs have been added. Reduce the liquid to half. This may take an hour or more. Discard the shells. The flavourful stock can be used for stews, soups and bisques. The shrimp stock amps the flavour profile of any dish you make.
Let us prep for the sweet chilli shrimp skewers. If you are planning to serve it as a party appetizer, you can cut and chop for the salad well ahead of time. This will make things easier and avoid a last minute frazzle. Slice the bell pepper into thin strips, cut the onions up and tear the lettuce. Mix together with salt and lemon. Keep aside. If you want the veggies to remain crisp, you can season the salad just before serving. Cut the pineapple into small wedges and chop the garlic. Since shrimps cook very quickly, it is important that the pineapple wedges are cut small.
It’s now time to prepare the skewers. If you are using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water for at least an hour. Skewer the shrimp and the pineapple alternately. Brush with salt, pepper, oil, garlic and chilli flakes. There is a secret to marinating shrimps. If your marinade is acidic, for example if it has orange or lemon juice, do not marinate for more than a few minutes. This is because shrimp meat is delicate and the acidity may destroy its texture. However, shrimps will happily soak in non-acidic marinades like oil, garlic or herbs for longer time periods without any damage.
Heat oil in a pan. Grill the skewers loaded with the shrimps and pineapple. When the shrimps are pink, turn the skewers over. Keep it on the grill for a couple of minutes more. For that final tropical touch, glaze the cooked shrimp and pineapple with that divine sweet chilli sauce. The juicy shrimps and the sweet tanginess of the pineapple get infused with a warmth that instantly transports you to the wonderful Thai beaches where the sun shines down benevolently at you. Inhale the wonderful aromas. The fresh smell of the sea on the shrimps, the sunny personality of the pineapple and the wicked punch of the sweet chilli sauce will have you salivating. It may well be possible that a helping of shrimps and pineapple will make their way to your mouth before the dish is presented at the dining table. Well, we did warn you that it was rather irresistible!
The presentation for this recipe is simple. Season the salad which was resting in the fridge and place the skewers on top. Stand back and admire the cheerful, colourful, tropical flavour on your plate. Its look, fragrance and taste will make you forget the snowy drifts and the icy wind pounding outside your window!
Indian Vannamei Shrimps (Freshly Peeled) 12 no.s
Pineapple Cubes 12 no.s
Chopped Garlic One tablespoon
Red Chilly Flakes One teaspoon
Refined Oil Three tablespoon
Sweet Chilly Sauce Six tablespoon
Mixed Lettuce 150gm
Red Bell Pepper 30gm
Yellow Pepper 30gm
Red Onions 20gm
Lemon 1 no.s
Salt to taste
Thread shrimps and pineapple cubes on the skewer.
Marinate with oil, salt, pepper, chilli flakes and garlic.
Heat the oil in a pan and grill the skewers.
Once the shrimps cook, add sweet chilli sauce to the pan and coat the skewers well.
For the salad
Mix in the lettuce, bell peppers, tomato, onion, lemon juice and olive oil.
Spread the salad on a platter.
Serve the grilled skewers on it.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes