Recipe of the week: Vietnamese glazed Royal Red Shrimp with spicy green apple slaw


This dish highlights the sweet flavors of the Royal Red Shrimp by contrasting it with the spicy glaze and slaw. The fish sauce, garlic and chilies make it especially pungent and well rounded. This appetizer is the perfect combination of contrasting flavors and textures – crispy and crunchy, hot and cold, tart and spicy all work well together in this dish that can be prepared year-round. Royal Reds look like huge shrimp but taste more like a combination of lobster and scallops. With a texture similar to shrimp, they are known for their rich, buttery flavor that has a touch of brininess to it. Although larger than shrimp, surprisingly they require a bit less cooking time, so make sure not to overcook their delicate meat. Although Royal Reds are a firm favorite, if they are not available, you could substitute them with White Gulf Shrimp.

Seafood in general lends itself well to the flavors and textures of Southeast Asian preparations and this Vietnamese Glazed Shrimp appetizer is a prime example of that.
And this particular dish is the perfect appetizer for any dinner party, as you can prepare both the glaze and the slaw dressing ahead of time. In fact, the glaze can last up to two weeks in the fridge. The slaw dressing can be made up to two days in advance.

Ingredients

Vietnamese glaze

1 cup sugar
½ cup water
2 tablespoons fish sauce, combine with 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons shallot, finely diced
2 tablespoons ginger, finely diced
1 tablespoons garlic, finely diced
1tablespoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon red chili flake

First make the fish sauce caramel. To make combine 1 cup sugar with ½ cup water in small saucepan, without stirring, cook on medium heat until it has an amber color, then carefully add 2 tablespoons fish sauce and 1 tablespoon water. It is hot and will splatter and also fish sauce is a little stinky, open window. Sauté garlic, shallots, and ginger in sesame oil until soft, about five minutes. Add sautéed vegetables, pepper, and chili flake to fish sauce caramel.

Slaw dressing

3 limes juiced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 each Thai chilli
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon dried shrimp
Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Green apple slaw

2 each Granny Smith apples
1 each medium carrot

Using a mandoline or knife cut the apples and carrots into a ¼ inch julienne. Apples will oxidize and turn brown, do not cut until you are getting ready to serve.

2 pounds Royal Red Shrimp (peeled and deveined, leaving tail intact)

Tempura batter

½ cup all-purpose flour, plus extra ¼ cup for dusting
½ cup corn starch
½ cup rice flour
1 ¾ cups soda water

With together the flour, rice flour and corn starch, add the soda water and mix until smooth (do not overmix)

Directions

Vietnamese glaze

1 cup sugar
½ cup water
2 tablespoons fish sauce, combine with 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons shallot, finely diced
2 tablespoons ginger, finely diced
1 tablespoons garlic, finely diced
1tablespoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon red chili flake

First make the fish sauce caramel. To make combine 1 cup sugar with ½ cup water in small saucepan, without stirring, cook on medium heat until it has an amber color, then carefully add 2 tablespoons fish sauce and 1 tablespoon water. It is hot and will splatter and also fish sauce is a little stinky, open window. Sauté garlic, shallots, and ginger in sesame oil until soft, about five minutes. Add sautéed vegetables, pepper, and chili flake to fish sauce caramel.

Slaw dressing

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Green apple slaw

Using a mandoline or knife cut the apples and carrots into a ¼ inch julienne. Apples will oxidize and turn brown, so do not cut until you are getting ready to serve.

Tempura batter

Combine the flour, rice flour and corn starch, add the soda water and mix until smooth (do not overmix).

Shrimp

To cook the shrimp, add enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a saucepan 2 inches deep with the oil and heat to 350 degrees. To test, add a drop of batter and the oil should bubble around the batter. Dust shrimp with the ¼ cup of flour and then, holding by the tail, dip it into the tempura batter, then very slowly place the shrimp into the hot oil. Work in batches of only a few shrimps at a time for 2-3 minutes until slightly crisp on the outside. Brush cooked shrimp liberally with the Vietnamese glaze. Dress apple slaw with ¼ cup of dressing. Place slaw in a shallow bowl and arrange shrimp on top, garnish with fresh herbs (basil, mint, cilantro, dill). Enjoy!

Thank you to Michael Nelson, the Executive Chef of GW Fins in New Orleans for the recipe.

If you have a recipe you would like to share with  A Luxury Travel Blog‘s readers, please contact us.


Comments (6)

  1. Kirsty Emerson says:

    I love Vietnamese food. It’s quite tasty without being too spicy. Also, with say Indian food, chefs often get the effects by using too much ghee, cream etc. I will save this recipe and have a go at it sometime soon.

  2. Jeff G says:

    In the west we like to think that we invented slaw but some of the best flaws that I’ve had recently have been Asian. Without all the mayonnaise they are usually much healthier too.

  3. Steve says:

    This looks and sounds very healthy. Vietnam’s had very low mortality figures from Covid. Could it be something to do with their diet?

  4. Moya Finn says:

    In British shops and restaurants those would be giant prawns. Love the way these whoopers are just called shrimps.

  5. Ken Whiley says:

    Are you trying to make us drool? This sounds delicious. The glaze sounds especially tasty with the black pepper, clili, ginger and garlic mix. We rarely do shrimp or prawns and when we have do it’s pretty boring, no fancy sauces but maybe some packet mix if it’s a lazy evening, so this would be a good excuse to add it to the shopping list and liven things up a bit.

  6. Lucind Summer says:

    One thing I notice with a lot of Vietnamese recipes is the use of fish sauce. It’s very smelly from the bottle, but really taste in a dish. I love how Vietnamese flavors balances the saltiness of the fish sauce with a bit of sweetness and acidity. It makes the dish taste light and fresh. But maybe it’s also because of the less cooking involved with most Vietnamese dishes. I can already taste that shrimo dish with the apple slaw.

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