|(necee regis for the boston globe)|
Shrimp with coconut milk and peppers
Salty fish sauce and the tart notes of lime balance the natural sweetness of the coconut milk in this Thai-style shrimp dish. Heighten licorice-flavored Thai basil by adding whole anise or fennel seeds (or substitute regular fresh basil and the dish will retain a subtle licorice aroma). Coconut milk curdles easily, so simmer the sauce over medium-low heat and don't cover the pan or let it boil. Leave the tails on the fresh shrimp for a more decorative look. Because fish sauce and shrimp lean toward a salty palette, add salt sparingly if at all. Sprinkling with lime juice before serving keeps the flavor from dissipating. Serve over fragrant basmati or jasmine rice.
|2||tablespoons canola oil|
|1/2||teaspoon whole anise or fennel seed|
|1||small onion, finely chopped|
|1/2||teaspoon crushed red pepper|
|2||cloves garlic, finely chopped|
|1||each red and yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into thin strips|
|2||tablespoons fish sauce|
|1||can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk|
|1 1/2||pounds fresh raw shrimp, peeled|
|Juice of 1 or 2 limes, to taste|
|Salt, to taste|
|Handful of Thai basil leaves, torn up|
|1||lime, cut into wedges (for garnish)|
2. Add the onion and red pepper. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until the onion begins to soften.
3. Add garlic and bell peppers and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes more or until the peppers begin to soften.
4. Stir in sugar, fish sauce, and coconut milk. Bring to a low simmer. Reduce heat (do not let the sauce boil), and simmer, stirring often, for 4 to 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
5. Add shrimp to the skillet and stir well. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the shrimp are firm and pink. Turn off the heat. Stir in the juice of 1 lime. Taste for seasoning and add more lime juice, if you like, and salt if necessary. Ladle into bowls over basmati or jasmine rice. Garnish with basil leaves and a lime wedge.