Inspired by Spanish cuisine, this recipe uses a slow poaching method to cook shrimp to tender, juicy perfection. The unique addition of Japanese red vinegar lends acidity to this savory garlic and red pepper shellfish dish.
While white vinegar is made by aging fermented rice, Japanese red vinegar (akazu) is made by aging sake lees, the residue left behind during the sake-making process. Fermented for three to five years, Japanese red vinegar is prized by sushi chefs due to its smooth and bright flavor that pairs wonderfully with seafood.
To make Japanese Red Vinegar Garlic Shrimp, start by heating dried red chili peppers and minced garlic in olive oil on medium heat. Heat will unlock the aroma of the chili peppers and garlic, creating an infused olive oil. Once the flavors are melded together, add your shrimp and broccoli florets to the oil bath. Poaching the shrimp in olive oil gives them a luxurious, butterfly feel and encases them in a protective cocoon, ensuring that they stay succulent. If the ingredients are bouncing around the pot, it means that the heat is too high. The oil should be shimmering, but not boiling. Baste the hot oil over the shrimp and broccoli to ensure that all sides are being coated. After cooking, the shrimp will be bouncy, light, and pure-tasting.
For serving, sprinkle the dish with flaky Maldon salt and fresh herbs. Enjoy with toasted french bread to dip into the seasoned oil, or save any leftover sauce to mix with pasta after.
- 200ml olive oil
- 2 whole dried red chili peppers (finely chopped) or equivalent amount of red pepper flakes
- 4 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- Handful raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- Handful broccoli (cut into florets)
- Dash of salt
- 1½ tbsp red vinegar
- In a pan on medium heat, combine olive oil, red pepper flakes and garlic. Heat until the garlic smells aromatic.
- Add shrimp and broccoli and cook for 10 mins.
- Add salt and red vinegar. Serve hot.
Introduction courtesy of Britney Budiman
Britney Budiman (@booritney) is a writer, minimalist, aspiring effective altruist, and runner-in-progress with a penchant for saying “yes.” Previously, she has worked in Cambodia at a traditional arts NGO, in Brazil as a social sciences researcher, and in San Francisco at a housing start-up. She currently lives in the countryside of Kagoshima, Japan, where she teaches English. Her favorite thing in the world is good conversation.