Using a wok when preparing this recipe will make all the difference, especially if it's the real carbon steel kind that can take any heat. Mine was smoking like crazy. A big non-stick skillet will work fine, but it's harder to get the beautiful golden crust on the shrimp without overcooking them. Absurdly high heat allows flavor to develop while the rest of the ingredients can stay crisp and crunchy. The quick cooking—along with hardly any prep work—makes this an under-ten-minutes dinner.
The recipe comes from Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Kitchen, one of my favorites of his books. The flavors create a well-balanced combination of sour (lime), salty (soy sauce), and hot (chili), and the salad is quite light. Look for baby zucchini at farmers' markets, or substitute with the smallest zucchini you can find.
About the author: Blake Royer lives in Brooklyn and spends most of his free time cooking and writing about it here at Serious Eats and on The Paupered Chef. From 9 to 5 weekdays, he works as an assistant book editor in Manhattan.
Warm Salad of Shrimp, Zucchini, and Chili
Adapted from Jamie's Kitchen by Jamie Oliver
- 20 medium-to-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 10 baby zucchini, or 3-4 small regular ones, sliced on an angle
- 6 tablespoons sunflower, peanut, or canola oil
- Zest and juice of 2 limes
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 fresh red chilis, finely chopped
- 1 small handful mixed fresh cilantro and mint
- 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
Prepare all the ingredients beforehand, as stir-frying is a quick process. Heat the oil in a wok or large non-stick skillet until almost smoking.
Add the shrimp, lime zest, and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp are lightly golden. Remove from the heat to a serving bowl.
Add the zucchini, herbs, and lime juice to the shrimp and toss so that the herbs barely wilt. Add fresh chili to taste, and season with soy sauce.