Shrimp is both a weeknight dinner warrior and backyard party hero. The tiny crustacean can be prepared at a moment's notice and flavored with a multitude of spices and sauces, instantly becoming the star of a meal or standout side dish.
One of our favorite renditions is the seared coconut tiger shrimp from N.Y.C.-based Cambodian eatery Num Pang Sandwich Shop. The recipe comes from newly released cookbook Num Pang: Bold Recipes from New York City's Favorite Sandwich Shop ($17; amazon.com), penned by the joint’s owners Ratha Chaupoly and Ben Daitz. “This is one of our most popular sandwiches, but stripped of the bread, it becomes a great on its own, whether served over plain… rice, noodles, or even toasted bread,” write Chaupoly and Daitz. “We like tiger shrimp because they have a lobster-like texture and incredibly sweet flavor—search them out and you’ll be happy (if you can’t find them, buy sweet white shrimp instead).” Read on below for the recipe.
Seared Coconut Tiger Shrimp
1 tbsp canola oil
1 lb (21 to 25 count) shrimp (preferably tiger shrimp), peeled and deveined
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut, toasted
1. Heat a large skillet over high heat for 2 minutes, add the oil, and once it shimmers, add the shrimp. Season the shrimp with the salt and pepper and cook until they start to turn opaque around the edges but are still raw in the center, about 1 minute.
2. Turn the shrimp over and add the coconut milk. Cook briefly on the other side just until the shrimp are cooked through, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a bowl and season with more salt (if needed) and serve sprinkled with the coconut.
Text excerpted from NUM PANG, © 2016 by Ratha Chaupoly and Ben Daitz. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.