Butch Cooking School, Lesson #2, Adobo Shrimp
Lateish one night the SL and I were curled up on the couch watching Anthony Bourdain tour the Philippines. One of the items we fixated on was the Adobo style cooking that seems to run rampant in the country. It has nothing to do with South American cooking, except for the word itself, and when we watched how things were cooked in this method, which is a basic stir frying method including garlic, soy, and an acid (vinegar, citrus) we found ourselves salivating and knew that we were going to try this at home.
In the episode we learned that you can “adobo” anything (so feel free to omit shrimp and add veggies or tofu/seitan/tempeh,) but what we wanted most to experience was adobo shrimp. I wanted this to be a “savage” meal. By this I mean I wanted it to be something we had to dig into, eat with our hands, and basically make a small mess in the name of gastrointestinal pleasure. Kind of like what happens with lobsters, but um, spicier. Also, it seems like everyone does adobo a bit differently outside of the base ingredients so…I augmented a bit towards the firey.
I served the shrimp over a small bowl of white rice, though I suppose it could stand on its own, with a veggie side, or some other starch – but the rice was delightful because it soaked up extra sauce and made for a happy ending. (Ha. I just made myself laugh out loud again.) This is REALLY easy, and totally delicious – I give you Adobo Shrimp, Butch style.
Ingredients: – this will serve 2 really hungry people
1 pound 16/20 shrimp (shell on, raw, most likely will have been previously frozen. This is fine – if you’re adventurous then keep heads too, they’re yummy)
3 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Juice of one lime
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon instant dissolve sugar (or regular, if you have to, I find the instant cooks down nicer)
1 teaspoon sambal oelek paste (or not, this is a to taste thing)
1 really generous long squirt of sriracha (again, to your liking)
Generous pinch kosher salt
Vegetable oil – just enough to slick up (hahahaha) the bottom of the wok/pan
Fresh ground pepper
Chopped fresh cilantro to garnish
Cooking goes really fast so it’s helpful to have all ingredients at the ready, near the stove:
1- Clean Shrimp: under cold water run knife edge from top of shrimp back towards tail so you can remove the vein but also keep the shell intact.
2- Heat up your wok/big frying pan with somewhat high sides. Coat with vegetable oil, and keep at a medium/med-high setting.
3- Toss in garlic and sauté for about 10 seconds, stirring to get it all coated w/ oil.
4- Shrimp go in. Toss in pan (or stir if you’re lacking confidence)
5- In goes the vinegar, lime juice, sambal, and soy. Continue moving things around in the pan.
6- Sprinkle in the salt and sugar, give a few good grinds (or more than a few if you like) of black pepper.
7- Just as the shrimp start turning pink and feeling more firm to the touch, squirt (haha) in your desired amount of sriracha.
8- Turn up heat and cook on high for about one more minute, continually tossing/stirring items in pan. It’s important to NOT overcook the shrimp so you know, if you’ve done the other steps slowly, you can go right to the plate before this step. Throw the cilantro on top after plating.
SERVE. Have lots of napkins. Delicious. So good. So Spicy. Perfect with beer or a Riesling that’s on the dry side. The SL says she’d eat this EVERY DAY with complete happiness if I served it to her.
What’s your favorite “savage” food?