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Poached Shrimp with Toasted Sesame-Ginger Sauce

This sweet-and-spicy sauce is a delicious accompaniment to poached shrimp. Toasting the sesame seeds in a dry saucepan adds a nutty flavor that nicely balances the acidity of the sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. jumbo shrimp, in the shell
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1 tsp. peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbs. peeled and coarsely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. dried red chili flakes
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Have ready a large bowl filled halfway with ice water. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. Drain the shrimp in a colander and immediately submerge them in the ice water. When the shrimp are cool, remove the shells, leaving the tail attached. Using a paring knife, make a slit along the center on the top of each shrimp and remove the vein. Rinse the shrimp under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey and peanut oil. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a small dry saucepan over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds, stirring often, until golden and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately add the ginger, vinegar, sugar, chili flakes and fish sauce. Bring to a boil, while stirring, and cook the mixture just until the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and process until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a small bowl, stir in the cilantro, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, arrange the shrimp on a chilled platter and place the bowl of toasted sesame-ginger sauce alongside for dipping.
Serves 8.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.