If you’ve never cooked Thai food before, the prospect can seem daunting. And it’s true that whipping up some massaman curry, pad kee mao or Phat phrik khing from scratch might be harder than throwing together some marinara sauce or pot of chicken soup.
But the trick to cooking Thai food is that if you use the right flavors and ingredients, you don’t need to make something off the menu at the Thai joint in your neighborhood.
This recipe for spicy shrimp with plantains and mango salsa is more Thai-inspired than it is authentic Thai, but the ingredients from the fruit to the spices to the sriracha sauce all have Southeast Asian roots.
The melding of spicy, sweet and savory are all classic components of Thai cooking, and regardless of whether you want to call it ‘authentic’ or not – the mango salsa will keep you coming back for more and more.
- 2 tablespoons garam masala
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 limes, zested and juiced
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
- 20 shrimp (fresh or frozen), deveined and peeled
- 1 mango, diced
- 2 ounces red and green bell peppers, diced
- 1 ounce red onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely sliced or shredded
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon mint, finely sliced or shredded
- 1/4 jalapeño, stem, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 1/4 cup micro cilantro
- 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
- 1 plantain, peeled and sliced; 1/8-inch thick
- 1 In a large bowl, combine the garam masala with the garlic, soy sauce, olive oil, limes, brown sugar and sriracha. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Place bowl in refrigerator and let marinate for 30 minutes.
- 2 While shrimp marinates, prepare the mango salsa. Combine mango with red and green bell peppers, red onion, cilantro, ginger, mint, jalapeño, Tabasco sauce, micro cilantro and sweet chili sauce. Set aside. The mango salsa can be prepared up to 48 hours in advance.
- 3 Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- 4 Remove shrimp from marinade and carefully skewer one at a time.
- 5 Before placing shrimp on the grill, bring the heat down to medium.
- 6 Place each skewer on the grill and grill the shrimp for approximately 3 minutes on each side, or until pink and cooked through.
- 7 Fry the plantain slices in plenty of hot oil until they are lightly brown. Once removed, immediately place hot plantain slice in circular bowl and press to form a circle-shaped basket (as seen in the recipe photo).
- 8 Remove the shrimp from skewers, place inside the plantain basket (tails up), top with 2 tablespoons of mango salsa, and garnish with some micro cilantro.