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Coconut Shrimp with
Lemongrass Vinaigrette



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Coconut Shrimp with
Lemongrass Vinaigrette

Chef Binh Duong, La Truc, Boca Raton, FL
Food and Wine Magazine's America's Best Chefs

Food & Wine Books, Editorial Director: Judith Hill,
© 1995, American Express Publishing Corp.


“The exotic flavors in Vietnamese cuisine – chiles, lemongrass, curry
spices and cilantro – are captured in this colorful salad of marinated,
grilled shrimp on a bed of asparagus, radicchio and endive. If you
can’t find fresh lemongrass, use lemon zest instead.”

Chef’s Wine Suggestion: In Vietnam, I like to drink beer with dinner.
My favorite beer is 33 from France, available here as Tsing Tao, a
Chinese beer. Or for entertaining, pair this dish with a California
sauvignon blanc or with a dry Riesling.

Serves 6

4 red Thai, or bird, chiles, or
2 serrano chiles, chopped
1 1/4 cups cilantro leaves
7 cloves garlic, 6 chopped, 1 minced
2 shallots, chopped
7 tablespoons olive oil
4 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons curry powder
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 cup thick unsweetened coconut milk
(from 2 cans)
2 1/4 pounds large shrimp, shelled
2 stalks lemongrass, bottom third only, minced,
or 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon Asian chili oil, or
a dash Tabasco sauce
1 3/4 pounds asparagus
12 radicchio leaves
3 heads Belgian endive, leaves separated
6 lemon wedges

1. In a food processor or blender, puree the chiles with the cilantro,
the 6 cloves chopped garlic, the shallots, 2 tablespoons of the
oil, 3 3/4 teaspoons of the sugar, the curry powder, turmeric,
1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Trans-
fer to a large bowl and stir in the coconut milk and 2 tablespoons
of the oil. Add the shrimp and stir to coat. Cover and marinate
at room temperature for 30 minutes or for up to 2 hours in
the refrigerator.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemongrass, the 1 clove minced
garlic, the lemon juice, chili oil and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon sugar,
1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the remaining 3 table-
spoons oil slowly, whisking. Set this vinaigrette aside.
3. Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus and discard them. In a large
pot of boiling, salted water, cook the asparagus until just done, about
5 minutes. Drain and then rinse with cold water. Drain thoroughly
and pat dry with paper towels.
4. Light the grill or heat the broiler. Thread the shrimp on six skewers.
Grill or broil the shrimp, turning once, until lightly browned and just
done, 3 to 5 minutes in all.
5. In a large bowl, toss the asparagus with 3 tablespoons of the vinai-
grette. On each plate, arrange the asparagus in three equidistant piles
with the ends in the center and the tips at the edge. Toss the radicchio
and endive with the remaining vinaigrette. Put two or three endive
spears between the piles of asparagus. Put two radicchio leaves in the
center of each plate. Put the shrimp in the radicchio and set a lemon
wedge alongside the radicchio.

Chef’s Tip: The best way to remove the thick coconut milk from a can
is to put the can in the refrigerator for several hours. Without shaking
the can, spoon the thick coconut milk from the top, leaving the thin
milk below for another use.

Featured Archive Recipes:
BBQ Shrimp with Lemongrass
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Wolfgang Puck's Shrimp with Mustard

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