Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fill the Freezer—Thai Curry Shrimp Satay

Thai Curry Shrimp SatayFor the month of November, I'm filling my freezer with all sorts of savory and sweet treats in preparation for the holiday season. Earlier this week, I made some Cheddar Shortbread. Today, I made a shrimp appetizer. Although Halloween just ended a few days ago, I've seen Christmas lights decorating a house and heard Christmas music at the grocery store. I'm not ready for the onslought of it all. Today, was a beautiful Spring-like day in Ottawa, and I don’t want to even think about Christmas. But, here's something that is delicious any time of year.

I've made this appetizer using both chicken and shrimp, but my favorite is with shrimp. The shrimp hold the complex flavor medley together more easily. The flavors are diverse, but delicious together: coconut milk, curry paste, garlic, ginger, fish sauce and cilantro.

Coconut milk is made like tea where finely grated coconut meat is steeped in hot water and then strained. I've always purchased canned coconut milk, but after watching a video and seeing how easy it is to open a coconut, I'm going to try making my own soon.

Red curry paste is a blend of many ingredients, but I did find a recipe at Taste Buddies. I may have to try making my own version too.

Garlic is a common onion grown here in Ontario, so I have a supply from a friend who grows it. As for ginger, I like to buy fresh rhizomes, peel the skin with the tip of a spoon, cut it into chunks and store it in the freezer. Then, I use a microplane to grate off what I need.

Fish sauce is juice from fermented fish. Smells terrible, but is "essential for Thai cooking" (according to my bottle)! I took a Thai cooking class last year, and one person taking the class was always watching the Fish sauce bottle making sure the instructor didn't add too much because he had to watch his salt intake. Fish sauce is all salt, or 72% in my bottle. That's a lot of salt. And it's extracted from anchovies. {Maybe I could add a dash of this sauce to my next caesar salad?!}
"Fish sauce is to Vietnamese cooking what salt is to Western and soy sauce is to Chinese cooking." Link
Cilantro, or coriander as it's called when it's dried, is either loved or hated. There is even an anti-cilantro community out there. It has a very distinctive taste that I personally love.

All these flavors form a marinade that deliciously bathes the shrimp. You can freeze the shrimp after marinating them overnight. Then, when you want to cook the shrimp, just thaw them overnight in the refrigerator and grill or broil.


Makes 8 servings as an appetizer or 1 907 gram bag of shrimp

Ingredients for Thai Curry Shrimp Satay2 pounds (1 907 gram bag) shrimp [or chicken], uncooked, deveined and peeled
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon red curry paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/8 teaspoon curry powder
¼ cup cilantro, chopped

In a glass bowl or baking dish, combine the coconut milk, red curry paste, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, curry powder, and cilantro. Stir in the shrimp. Cover and marinate overnight in the refrigerator. (After marinating, you can freeze the shrimp for up to two months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.)

Preheat the oven to 400˚F or grill on a barbecue. Cook for 10-12 minutes until pink, turning half-way. You can serve with a sauce, but they're great on their own.

Thai Curry Shrimp SatayRelated Posts to Help Fill the Freezer
Cheddar Shortbread
Pizza Dough
Lenox Almond Biscotti


homeladychef said...

Haha, the prawn looks so cute with the stick! Not bad huh this idea~ :)

Anonymous said...

I really like the idea of making things ahead of time for the holiday season - and I really envy you your freezer that can handle it!

I'm a big cilantro fan myself - I go through so much of the stuff! Unfortunately my best friend is allergic, so I substitute basil when she's coming for dinner. The flavors are not the same, but basil is popular in a lot of the same places and still tastes good.

Maria said...

I love the photo!! Looks delicious!

Cathy said...

I love the idea of making appetizers ahead of time to save for the holidays! I do this with desserts, of course, but I think it's time to branch out. You've seen a house with Christmas lights ALREADY? Ugh. It gets worse every year!

Sandy Smith said...

This post is so well done! I can't wait to try these shrimp - what a great recipe. I love the idea of filling the freezer ahead of time, since it really helps with last-minute guests. (I have only a small freezer; I'm asking for a standalone for my birthday next year!)

Manggy said...

Hah! I am one of those coriander, uh, dislikers :) No to hate I say ;) Maybe in moderation. But I don't think I could ever get enough of lovely, juicy shrimp!

Jessica said...

Looks great!

Thanks for the wonderful idea - I'm trying to decide on hors d'ourves for a cocktail party we're hosting in a few weeks.

Sharon said...

Those look delicious and I wish I planned ahead and made holiday foods now! I have green curry paste. I wonder how it'd taste with that instead of red...

Alicia said...

good idea! although when i begin baking early..somehow the baking disappears before Christmas.. i may or may not have sneaked a few myself.. haha. These look yummy! i love shrimp!

Family First said...

Ooh this sounds pretty easy for idiots like me .. cos no real cooking involved. good for me. will try this soon :-)

NKP said...

I am pro cilantro. But I do remember not liking it when I first had it, maybe 12+ years ago. I think it has to grow on you.
Love the shrimpies - how organized you are already!

Shari said...

homeladychef - It's quick, easy, and delicious.

fearless kitchen - I'd love to have a second freezer, but I should really clean the one I have out!!

maria - Thanks!

cathy - It's too early to have Christmas lights hung up, I think!

sandy smith - The freezer will help me out this holiday, as long as I don't pull things out when I'm looking for a quick supper.

manggy - You like chocolate, so you're forgiven!

jessica - This is a great recipe to make ahead. You can even serve them cold.

sharon - Let me know how it tastes with it. I'm sure it would be delicious!

alicia - I always wait until the day before Halloween before buying candy for the same reason. But, if the treats are frozen, it makes it harder to dig one out!

family first- This is easy. Hope you try it!

natashya - This blog is helping me get organized!

Thanks, everyone!

Anonymous said...

its very funny idea using the sticks for the shrimps. Please visit my blog : and please support me by clicking one advertisement. Thank you and see you !