Shrimp is one of my favorite festive ideas for a dinner party. We hosted one last night and I felt like adding an exotic touch to the menu, so I prepared saffron-flavored jumbo shrimp. The luxurious saffron provides a lingering savory-sweet note enhanced by the sake (Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice).
I love playing with shrimp for a quick dinner menu because they cook very fast. Normally I would flambé the liqueur but it tastes so sweet and mild, I preferred not to. I also added green bell peppers for a nice contrast in texture and balance of color.
1. Info for Festive Saffron Shrimp with Sake
- Cook Time: unavailable
- Total Time: unavailable
- Servings: 6
- Calories: unavailable
2. Ingredients for Festive Saffron Shrimp with Sake
- 1-¼ pounds raw jumbo shrimp
- ½ cup Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons palm sugar, freshly grated
- 2 tablespoons red chili powder
- 1½ cups sake
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- ½ teaspoon saffron threads
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 lime, freshly squeezed
- 1 green bell pepper, stemmed and coarsely choped
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 tablespoon curly parsley, for garnish
- For the saffron: In a mortar and pestle, grind the saffron threads into a fine powder.
- Remove and discard the head of the shrimp if it’s still attached. Carefully shell and de-vein the shrimp using a sharp hook-like paring knife, all the way from the head to the tail so when it’s cooked, the shrimp will open up like a butterfly. Make sure to remove the tip of the tail (the shell that covers the tail) as well; this part is very delicate. Rinse the shrimp under cold running water and pat dry using a paper towel. Repeat the same procedure for each shrimp. These steps are tedious but essential for good results.
- In a large bowl, dissolve the palm sugar in 1 cup water, then combine the liquid with the shrimp, 2 cloves of garlic, Kosher salt, red chili powder and a splash of sake. Let stand for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Drain the shrimp and pat dry again. There should be as little liquid as possible.
- In a large, heavy-bottom pan, heat the oil for about 1-2 minutes over high heat. Add the rest of the garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add the bell pepper and transfer to a platter.
- Season the shrimp with salt.
- Place the shrimp in the pan one piece at a time. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until seared on one side, then start stir-frying the shrimp for another minute (if the pan is not large enough, you could stir-fry the shrimp in batches). The shrimp will start to open up like a butterfly. Add the saffron powder and remaining sake liqueur. Add ½ cup cold water to the mortar (saffron is quite pricey, don’t waste it!) and transfer to the pan. Stir well.
- Drizzle with lime juice. Stir well. Return the bell pepper and garlic to the pan. Sprinkle with black pepper. Turn off the heat and transfer to a platter.
- Garnish with parsley.
- Bon appétit!