You might not know it to look at it, but this is a shrimp cocktail. I know you know shrimp cocktail. It’s been one of your all time favorites since you were a little kid. You love the simplicity of shrimp cocktail. We all do. There’s just something about the dichotomy of rich, tender shellfish combined with sweet-tomato-meets-hot-horseradish. BOOM! Palate explosion.
Speaking of explosion. Watch out for this shrimp cocktail. It may look innocent enough– sitting there on the plate, promising a cool bite sensation on a hot summer day. But these shrimp are packing heat. They’re like Miami in summer. The buildings may be pretty and pink, but they are scorching hot on the outside with indoor air conditioners that chill you to the bone.
As good as the classic version is I decided to take the same dichotomy that makes a shrimp cocktail work so well and give it a more spare, modern edge. I also turned the volume up on the heat. Because when the weather is warm I avoid the sun burn and choose a good tongue burn. There’s no better way to cool down.
Have you ever noticed that the spiciest food comes from the hottest countires? There’s a reason. A sensible one at that. Spicy foods raise your internal temperature. They make your blood circulation increase. So you sweat. Sweat isn’t a bad thing (necessarily). Sweat is your body’s way of cooling itself. So spicy foods aid in cooling the body, because they make you sweat…
Of course there are some people who don’t like to sweat. For them there’s air conditioning. But I prefer to sweat the heat out with bad boys like these… GREG
- 5 c crushed ice
- 2 c water
- 1 c sake
- 6 thin slices of fresh ginger
- 1 T asian fish sauce
- 1/2 c plus 2 teaspoons ponzu sauce, divided
- 1 lb large shrimp, peeled with tails in tact, deveined
- 1 T soy sauce
- 1 T sweet chili sauce
- 1 T rice vinegar
- 1 thai bird chilies, thinly sliced cross wise (optional)
- 1 T sliced pickled ginger (optional)
- 1 pn radish sprouts (optional)
Put the crushed ice in a large bowl set near the stove.
Bring water, sake, fresh ginger, fish sauce, 2 teaspoons ponzu sauce to a boil in a large saucepan. Add shrimp and cook just until they turn pink, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove from water quickly using a slotted spoon and bury them in the ice-filled bowl to stop cooking. Once completely chilled, drain away the remaining ice and dry the shrimp well. refrigerate the shrimp, covered, until ready to serve.
Stir the remaining 1/2 cup ponzu sauce, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, rice vinegar and chili slices (if using) in a small bowl. Let the flavor come together about 10 minutes.
Arrange the shrimp in small individual bowls. Drizzle the sauce evenly on top each serving. Garnish with pickled ginger and radish sprouts, if using.