2 stalks of fresh lemongrass, bottom third only, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1/2 cup Asian fish sauce (see Note)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
In a food processor, combine the garlic, chiles, lemongrass, shallot and ginger and process to a paste. Scrape the paste into a bowl and stir in the fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, cilantro, coriander and pepper.
Light a grill. Coat the shrimp with 2/3 cup of the marinade and let sit for 15 minutes. Thread the shrimp onto skewers and cook over a hot fire for about 2 minutes per side, using the remaining marinade for basting.
Fish sauce, which is made from pickled anchovies, is available at Asian markets and specialty shops. In a pinch, you could substitute soy sauce.
The briny shrimp would benefit from the accent of a crisp white, but the zing of the marinade narrows the choice to a white with assertiveness as well. Top pick? An Oregon Pinot Gris.