The English have a unique way with English. For instance, they pronounce "shrimp" as "prawn."
Here we tend to toss all the little 10-legged, long-antennaed swimmers in the "shrimp" basket. Now and then a fancy menu calls the big ones "prawns."
There they tend to toss all the little 10-legged, long-antennaed swimmers in the "prawn" basket. Now and then a fancy menu calls the big ones "shrimp."
The shrimp or prawn or marine biologist might point out that the 10-legged, long-antennaed swimming family knows dozens of clans, each with unique, if very small and very subtle, characteristics.
Distinctions many a fisherman casts aside — and many a cook ignores in favor of other goals, like coaxing bold flavor from the briny deep.
At Dishoom Bombay Cafe in London, chefs marinate the crustaceans in a spicy mix of garlic, ginger and onion, crisp them pink and brighten them with cilantro and lime. Call them shrimp. Or prawns. Or delicious.
Prep: 30 minutes
Wait: 2 hours
Cook: 8 minutes
1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails left on
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato
4 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper
6 green onions, white and tender green, coarsely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves (save a few leaves as garnish)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Lime wedges, for serving
Rinse and pat dry shrimp.
Combine all remaining ingredients (except lime wedges) in the food processor or blender. Swirl completely smooth. Toss with shrimp. Cover and chill, at least 2 hours.
If using wooden skewers, soak them in cold water, 10 minutes. Thread shrimp onto skewers. (Best to skewer each through both body and tail.)
Light (or spark) a medium-hot grill. Oil grates. (Alternatively use a ridged griddle set over medium-high heat on the stove top.) Grill (or griddle) directly over heat until curled, pink and crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Serve with reserved cilantro leaves and lime wedges.
Dishoom Bombay Cafe, London.
Leah Eskin is a Tribune Newspapers special contributor. Email her at email@example.com.