In the summertime, I’m usually all about the simple food. The amazing fruits and vegetables practically prepare themselves for dinner, and a typical weeknight menu will look something like this: BLT, Caprese Salad, Sauteed zucchini on toast, pasta with tomatoes and olive oil, and another BLT (I really like BLT’s). But sometimes the occasion calls for a little more sophistication. Something that’s a little more exotic, that requires some more thought, some more layers of flavor. But at the same time, you don’t want to lose the wonderful casualness of summer dining — the feeling that every meal should be eaten outdoors and barefoot.
When I saw this recipe in last month’s food and wine, I knew I had found my summer dinner party dish. The prep is incredibly simple – no marinating required, no fancy cooking. And the flavors are fantastic — complex, bright, nutty, and utterly satisfying. The shrimp are intensely flavorful from the miso marinade, while still tasting of shrimp, the scallions add a savory hit, and the slaw has wonderful crunch — even the water chestnuts add a nutty flavor that I never realized water chestnuts possess. And despite all these layers of flavor and texture, this is still, at its heart, a sandwich, perfect for eating barefoot in the back yard.
On an unrelated note, this weekend I am heading (right now — in flight wi-fi is cool!) to Seattle for the International Food Bloggers Conference. If my camera makes it to the conference (they gate checked my bag — grrr) expect tweets this weekend and some photos and recaps next week.
- 3 T lime juice
- 2 T yellow miso
- 1 T grated fresh ginger
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1.5 tsp brown sugar
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
- 3 scallions, cut into 1.5 inch lengths
- 12 oz. shredded cabbage
- ½ c. chopped water chestnuts
- ¼ c. chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 carrot, peeled and shredded or julienned
- ½ c. mayonnaise
- 1 T Sriracha
- 4 ciabatta rolls
- If you're using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least 15 minutes before you want to cook the shrimp. Metal skewers don't need this.
- Combine lime juice, miso, ginger, garlic, brown sugar in a bowl, and stir to combine. Toss the shrimp thoroughly in the miso mixture. (You can let the shrimp sit in the miso mixture in the refrigerator).
- Thread the shrimp and the scallions on the skewers.
- Grill over medium high heat until the shrimp are pink and firm -- about 2 minutes per side.
- In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrot, water chestnuts and cilantro. Remove the grilled shrimp and scallions from the skewers, roughly chop both the shrimp and the scallions, and add to the vegetable mixture. Add the mayonnaise and sriracha and stir until thoroughly combined.