This crunchy party appetizer from 2021 F&W Best New Chef Lucas Sin, of Junzi Kitchen and Nice Day in New York City, is inspired by classic Chinese shrimp toast. Here, Sin combines calamari and shrimp for the toast topper; a quick blitz in the food processor yields a tasty mixture that fries up perfectly crisp. Haw flakes, Chinese sweets made from the fruit of Chinese hawthorn, are a sweet and tangy snack usually served to guests with tea or as a treat for children; here, Sin uses them to flavor a dipping sauce for the toasts. The sauce can be used immediately, but Lucas recommends refrigerating it overnight for the best flavor. For a store-bought alternative, Sin recommends Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce.
Chef Michael Reed gives us a lesson on why it's worth it to take the time to peel and devein your own shrimp: He cooks the shrimp shells along with vegetables and herbs to create a deeply-flavorful stock, which he then uses as a sauce for these shrimp and grits. Pan-fried shrimp are spooned on top of a mound of cheesy grits, and topped with the rich shellfish stock as the finishing touch. Store extra stock in your freezer for your next batch of shrimp and grits, or add it to seafood soups, stews, and sauces for a boost of flavor.
Chef Jenny Dorsey combines surprising ingredients to create a sweet and earthy sauce for her crispy tempura spot prawns. Made with morel mushrooms, white chocolate, and dill, the complexly layered sauce is the perfect complement to the sweet and crunchy shellfish. Dorsey uses spot prawns, but you could also use langoustines or large shrimp.
F&W Editor in Chief Hunter Lewis uses a broth spiked with Old Bay Seasoning, fennel seeds, and red pepper to flavor field peas and shrimp before giving them a quick soak in a lemon-sherry vinaigrette. "I love shrimp boils and earthy field peas," he says. "So why not combine them in a snappy, succulent, and refreshing salad?"
These quick-cooking shrimp are the ideal weeknight go-to. A gently sweet honey-garlic marinade, enriched with soy sauce and fresh ginger, delivers fast flavor—and does double-duty as a finishing sauce for the shrimp, too. Mirin, a staple in Japanese cooking, helps add depth and balance to the umami-rich flavors. The shrimp are especially delicious over simply steamed rice with a side of sauteed greens.
Although “scampi” are technically langoustines, in the United States the term has come to describe the famous dish of shrimp cooked with butter, garlic, and white wine. Here, the use of tequila, cilantro, and fresh lime juice offer a bold twist on the classic. Tender cilantro stems mellow slightly after a quick sauté, accenting the fresh cilantro leaves used to finish this dish. Serve it with a torn baguette to sop up the juices.