Spicy Asian Shrimp Baked in Parchment
Fresh off the success of our parchment baked fish with fennel, I thought I'd toss a similar recipe your way so that you could totally master your parchment baking technique. Inspired by my friend Amelia's comment on our fish post, I thought an Asian spin on this shrimp would be fun. Given that most of us here at Oui, Chef like foods that bite back, I decided to spice this dish up by adding some sliced jalapeños and a touch of sambal oelek (Asian chili paste).
So how many of you have tried baking seafood in parchment before?
Those of you that have know what a great technique it is, the rest of you gather round and pay attention because this method is a terrific way to flavor and cook all of our friends from the sea. As many of you know, baking in an oven is a "dry" form of cooking and therefore a risky proposition with a delicate and easily overcooked protein like seafood. If your timing is spot on you'll be ok, but if you overcook your fish even slightly it'll go from perfect to dry-as-a-bone in no time. Wrapping the fish (or in this case shrimp) in parchment with some aromatics and a little seasoning liquid, results in it being "steamed" in a moist heat rather than a dry one, and makes for an incredibly tender and flavorful dish in the end.
If there are some in your clan that are sensitive to spicy foods then by all means pass on the jalapeño and sambal. You can also choose an entirely different set of aromatics if you want, remember this isn't rocket science. One of the real benefits of cooking at home rather than going out to eat (or doing take-in) is that when you're cooking your own food, you can make it exactly the way you want it. Huzzah!
I think a spicy fruit salsa would also work well in this dish, and so next time I make it I may make a fresh pineapple relish like the one seen here to add to my pouches. What do you think, how would you season your parchment baked shrimp?
Cheers - Steve
Spicy Asian Shrimp Baked in Parchment
By: Steve Dunn (adapted from a recipe in Fine Cooking Magazine (Oct-Nov 2011)
- 2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoons roasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons honey or agave syrup
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 12 ounces baby bok choy, or other Asian green, thinly sliced
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2-3 jalapenos, sliced thinly on a mandoline
- sambal oelek to taste
- In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, ginger and garlic. Place in the fridge and let sit while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.
- Heat your oven to 375 and set a rack in the middle position. Prepare 6 pieces of parchment by cutting it into a shape then when folded in half will hold the shrimp and bok choy snugly.
- In a small bowl whisk the tamari, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, lime juice, honey and sesame oil. Set aside.
- Arrange the prepared sheets of parchment in front of you and place 1/6 of the bok choy just to the right of where the center line will be when you fold the parchment in half. Remove the shrimp from the fridge and set 6 in a row on top of each pile of bok choy.
- Lay the sliced jalapenos on top of the shrimp, then spoon a little sambal on to taste. Drizzle with some of the soy dressing (save some for passing at the table) and fold the parchment over to cover the ingredients. Join and roll the open edges of the parchment until the shrimp are tightly encase in their little cooking chamber.
- Place the pouches on a rimmed baking sheet and place it in the oven to cook for about 15 minutes.
- Remove the sheet tray from the oven and slide each pouch onto a waiting plate. CAREFULLY (there will be steam built-up in the packet) open each pouch and scrape the contents onto each plate. Top with a sprinkling of the freshly chopped cilantro and a little more of the soy dressing if desired.
- Serve with steamed brown or white rice.