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Mar 29, 2008 01:52 PM

Thai Shrimp Basil (split from General Chowhounding Topics)

Thai Shrimp Basil

¾ - 1 lb medium tiger shrimp

4 cloves of garlic minced
1 stalk lemon grass crushed, sliced fine and chopped very fine – tender part only/or lime juice and zest
1 inch grated ginger - galangal root unavailable
2 T fish sauce or to taste
3 Thai chilies – Serrano work
2 T soy sauce
1 T water
1 ½ Tsp sugar
1 medium white onion – sliced thin
1 cup basil – chopped

Vegetable oil
In a med bowl mix the soy, water, fish sauce , lemon grass and sugar – let shrimp marinate 10 minutes

1.Heat a couple of tablespoons oil in the wok, add the onion and stir fry 2 minutes, add the ginger, garlic and the peppers- cook 30 seconds
2. Using a slotted spoon remove the shrimp from the marinade and place in the wok stir fry 3 minutes do not completely cook the shrimp
3. Add the remaining marinade and cook another 30 seconds,
4. Remove from the wok and stir in the basil – serve over Jasmine rice, Garnish with more basil/
Serve over Jasmine rice
This is pretty hot. So cut back on the chilies for less heat if they bother you.

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  1. Wow, that sounds delicious. Thanks chef chicklet, I know what I'm having for dinner tomorrow!

    1 Reply
    1. re: diablo

      You'll love it I think....I hope you like spicy.

    2. When you say galangal root unavailable, does that mean we should use galangal if we have it instead of the ginger? I probably would anyway, since I keep galangal on hand most of the time and use it for most things that call for ginger just because I prefer the flavor.

      7 Replies
      1. re: JonParker

        Yes, sorry those are my own notes for this recipe I am slowly creating electronic files for my recipes and I cut and paste to here from my own hand typed docs... I made that note to myself because I have yet to be able to find it. I use ginger root instead. I think it tastes as good as the version made for me at the Thai Cafe here in town. But who knows, he might not be able to find it either. I'm not able to find the lime kaffir leaves yours will be that much better!

        Sometimes I add a tsp of the Thai red curry paste to this too. I like this really hot.
        I will be so happy the day that the markets in the town I live, start to carry galangal, and kaffir, so I can produce more authentic Thai dishes.

        1. re: chef chicklet

          I'm not sure where you live, but I get mine from either Asian markets or Wegmans, an east coast supermarket chain. I've gotten kaffir lime leaves from Whole Foods before. Both can be scarce, so I buy the kaffir lime leaves in bulk when I find them and freeze them. The last few months I've been using the Reynold's HandiVac for this. I was thinking that a couple of those would be good in this.

          Galangal also comes pre-grated in a jar, so I use that when I can't find fresh, although lately Wegman's nearly always has it.

          Galangal has a deepr and more peppery flavor than ginger. It's more umami, as much as I hate that word.

          This is a nice, easy recipe though. I'll try it soon. Thanks for posting it.

          1. re: JonParker

            In a small "bedroom community" a few minutes of the Bay Area. I just need to go over the "hill" one weekend. I will have to drive further I'm afraid for a Whole Foods. We have a nice Indian market here. I wonder?

            1. re: chef chicklet

              When you do find galangal and kaffir leaves, stock up and keep them in your freezer. They do pretty well that way.
              Where are you outside of the Bay Area? One of the best things about living here is our abundance of Asian ingredients!

              1. re: rabaja

                Better yet, just buy a kaffir lime leaf plant. For most people, one plant in a pot will give you years of leaves. It makes a nice porch plant, as it is evergreen. I don't get actual limes in TX, but you might in CA.

                You can freeze galangal, like ginger. To me, they are totally different and not interchangable. You can also buy a jar of "pickled" galangal, but the flavor isn't quite as good as fresh. But sometimes good enough.

                I assume that chef cricket means Thai basil, and not regular basil. The thai version's flavor is uniquely different and quite awesome - my favorite herb.

                1. re: rudeboy

                  I think the kaffir is important to this dish...I made Thai Basil Chicken from a post someone put up last year and it really makes the dish distinctive. Sometimes the Asian grocery stores actually store their leaves in the freezer section of the store if it's any help...ours sells them in a little baggie unmarked in the freezer case...I had to ask the owner for them but never would have known what they were or that they were there if I hadn't asked.

                  1. re: rudeboy

                    It's a pet peeve of mine when ginger is offered as a substitute for galangal; frankly, don't make the dish if you can't procure such an integral ingredient. Agreed, galangal freezes fine as do kaffir lime leaves and chopped lemongrass(I'd say lemongrass is the most susceptible to texture degradation when frozen).

        2. Thanks chef chicklet. I made this for dinner last night (I think I made it, anyway). I had to use the ginger and regular basil, not Thai as mentioned in other posts as I could not find it around here. What do you use? Only used two peppers (I'm a wuss), but otherwise followed to the letter. It was absolutely fabulous. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

          3 Replies
          1. re: diablo

            Hi there! I've not been ignoring all of the questions and comments, my commuter crashed and had to be sent to Mars to have a new mother board implanted. I have been jonesing for chowhound something fierce!

            Anyway, to answer and address the comments and qs.
            diablo - thanks for trying the dish even without the galangal and kaffir, I think this dish if done right, is one of the best. Yes I use regular basil too, alot of it.I would imagine with the kaffir, and galangal, it would be even better, but why not? I use serrano chilis, two of them, and yes, lots of tsing tao is needed (and rice) I love the sauce, so I tend to make a little more.
            For me - ginger does not freeze well. I've tried it, I just didn't think it was any good. I buy it all the time so I don't need to freeze it, I use alot - since I'm a ginger root freak.

            Aelph I can respect your decison to not make the dish, however, sometimes just for the sake of experimentation, since I've never followed a recipe (unless it's baked goods) to the T, I just try things. This is a good dish. I am delighted with the results as well my family. But to each their own.
            I am on the hunt for the kaffir tree, I saw one once at our home depot, and have kicked myself over and over becauase I passed on it. I can get lemon grass, but the galangal, not in this town. I can drive over the hill, but so often my food comes about spontaneously depending on my cravings. I am going to check out Stockton, I'm going to bet there is a store somewhere there that has it.
            I'm growing some herbs now, Thai basil being one, so far so good.
            And its great being back!

            1. re: chef chicklet

              I found Thai Basil at the Home Depot in the potted herbs section. When it gets a bit bigger I'll try this dish with it and see if I can tell a difference...

              1. re: diablo

                Yes that's where I found mine too! Now if I can keep it green.... good luck!