Vietnamese-Style Jumbo Shrimp on Sugarcane
- ACTIVE: 40 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 10 MIN plus 2 hr marinating
- SERVINGS: 4
- 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 large shallots, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3 stalks of fresh lemongrass, tender inner white bulbs only, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
- 24 jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 12 sugarcane swizzle sticks (see Note)
- 3 tablespoons chopped peanuts
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
- Vietnamese Dipping Sauce, for serving
- In a food processor, combine the garlic, sugar, shallots, fish sauce, lime juice and pepper. Add the lemongrass and the 1/4 cup of vegetable oil; process to a puree. Arrange the shrimp in a large, shallow glass dish in a single layer and pour the marinade on top; turn the shrimp to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Light a grill. Cut each sugarcane stick in half on a sharp diagonal so each piece has a sharp point. Scrape off most of the marinade. Working with the shrimp's natural curl, use a small, sharp knife to make 2 slits—one near the tail end and one near the head. Thread a sugarcane stick through the slits; the shrimp should lie flat. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
- Grill the shrimp over a hot fire, brushing them once or twice with oil, until lightly charred and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the shrimp to a platter and sprinkle the peanuts and cilantro on top. Serve the shrimp with the Vietnamese Dipping Sauce.
These sweet-salty shrimp go perfectly with a white wine full of tropical fruit and a touch of spicewhich is what winemakers create by blending Gewürztraminer and Riesling. Look for one from South Australia.