Ginger, Garlic & Chili Shrimp


In this quick and easy recipe — adapted from The Splendid Table’s How To Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift  — jumbo shrimp are bathed in a brine flavored with salt, sugar and chili powder, and then sautéed with loads of fresh ginger and garlic. It’s a delicious and flavorful dish that appeals to kids and adults alike. In fact, the recipe headnote reads: “If there is one recipe in this book that is guaranteed to have your family moaning with gratitude, this is it. After eating these shrimp, a five-year-old has been known to say, ‘Wow, Mom, thanks!’ And they’ve driven a grown woman to shamelessly lick her plate—in front of everyone.”

ingredients2Before we get started, a few words on buying shrimp. Unless you live on the coast and have access to fresh shrimp, it’s best to buy frozen. The “fresh” shrimp you see in the seafood case at the supermarket are almost always thawed frozen shrimp, and you never know how long they’ve been sitting there. Most shrimp are cleaned and flash frozen shortly after being caught, so you’re better off buying frozen shrimp and defrosting them yourself.  For this recipe, try to find jumbo frozen shrimp (21-25 to a pound) labeled “shell split and deveined.” Come dinnertime, all you have to do is run the shrimp under warm water to quickly defrost and then peel.

Begin by whisking together the water, kosher salt, sugar and chili powder.


Drop the shrimp in the brine and let them sit for about 20 minutes.


Heat the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan, and cook the ginger and garlic for one minute.

Add the sugar and cook 1-2 minutes more. Do not let the garlic brown.


Drain the shrimp in a colander.

Then add the shrimp to the pan and cook until done, 3-4 minutes.


Serve the shrimp over white or jasmine rice. The sauce is salty (in a good way) so be sure not to salt the rice. Enjoy!

Servings: 4
Total Time: 30 Minutes


For the Brine

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined (defrosted)

For Cooking

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • One 4-inch x 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the salt, sugar, chili powder and water. Whisk until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Drop in the shrimp and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a 12-inch sauté pan (preferably nonstick) over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 1 minute. Add the sugar and continue stirring until the garlic is pale gold, 1-2 minutes more. Do not let the garlic turn dark brown.
  3. Drain the shrimp in a colander, and immediately add to the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp are pink and barely firm, another 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately with rice.

Where to Find the Best Wine, People, and Places

See Ya Later Ranch – Okanagan Falls, BC

The world’s viticultural areas are renowned for their natural beauty as well as their wines, but many have succumbed to crass commercialization and often exude an exulted sense of themselves, but happily not all.  If you truly love wine and are looking for an exciting young wine country with many exceptional wines, plenty of friendly and passionate people, and an unspoiled land that offers a true feast for the eyes as well as the palate, try British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.  Situated in a scenic valley between the coastal mountains and the Canadian Rockies, Okanagan flows north for nearly 125 miles from the border with Washington State to north of Kelowna.  The Okanagan’s vines lay primarily on sunny, well drained bench lands that overlook the countryside’s deep glacial lakes.  Think Lake Tahoe.  

So, yes indeed, the scenery is knockout beautiful and the Okanagan is serious wine country, too, so what more could you want?  How about 200 fun loving wine bloggers, dozens of winery owners to go along with the picturesque scenery and fine food, the latter emanating from fresh sustainably grown foods from farms nearby!  The organizers’ of this year’s International Bloggers’ Conference, which was held in Penticton, British Columbia, wisely chose to highlight Okanagan during the 2013 International Wine Bloggers’ Conference.  Imagine spending four days with 200 passionate wine bloggers, hundreds and hundreds of wines from the Okanagan and from around the world, and passionate winemakers. 

A good time was had by all.  And in case you’re wondering, the wines of Okanagan are well worth searching out.  What began earlier this month as a voyage of discovery has already yielded great fruit in the form of many of Canada’s most compelling wines.  Stay tuned for more about Okanagan and this year’s wine bloggers’ conference.


Don’s June Collector’s Series Top Picks

iStock_000006887537MediumOur June Collector Series wines offer what I like to think of as ideal summer wines.  But, this month I can’t just choose two.  Tie goes to the runner in baseball, and as baseball is the nation’s summer pastime I’m going to adopt that rule this month.  So, my first Top Pick belongs to Josh Bergström’s incredibly elegant and pure 2009 Old Stones Chardonnay, a wine that started out great and keeps getting better.  This is a tiny production Chardonnay from Bergström, who is best known for his incredible Pinot Noirs.  But what most people don’t realize, Josh is equally adept at fashioning compelling white wines, including Old Stones Chardonnay.  My second Top Pick is a tie between Josep Grau’s deep, pure 2010 Vespres Montsant and the 2009 Château Fourcas-Borie Listrac Médoc.  Grau’s Vespres is born of old vines of Garnacha (80% Grenache) and Samsó (20% Carignan), many of which are100 years of age, and the wine’s got it all going on: an opaque purple robe, a heavenly aroma, and a boatload of flavors that gush from the glass.  Equally compelling but totally different in flavor and style is the Fourcas-Borie, a polished, beautiful Médoc from an outstanding Bordeaux vintage.  It’s truly a sleeper of the vintage, but just don’t take my word for it.  You can ask Mr. Robert Parker and other critics, or better still, taste it yourself.  A votre santé.


Don’s June Premier Series Top Picks

Summer calls for wines that can hold up to the weather and still provide plenty of pleasure.  All four of this month’s wines can do that.  Yet, two wines truly stand out.  Consequently, my first Top Pick goes to Carmen’s 2010 Gran Reserva Petite Sirah, a deep, robust wine with beautiful aromatics and impeccable balance.  It may be the best bargain today in Petite Sirah; this wine is so good, it could easily sell for nearly twice the price and no one would be disappointed.  Serve it cool at a barbecue or more formal affair, and allow it to work its magic.  My second Top Pick belongs to Château de Fontenille’s splendid 2011 Entre-Deux-Mers white Bordeaux.  One taste of the 2011 Château de Fontenille Entre-Deux-Mers and you’ll know why this classic white Bordeaux garnered Gold (the coveted Medaille d’Or) at Europe’s most prestigious wine tasting event, the Concours Mondial Bruxelles.  Château de Fontenille’s Entre-Deux-Mers is made from four of the five traditional grape varieties for Entre-Deux-Mers (Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Muscadelle, and Semillon), all of which add to the wine’s amplifying aromas and inviting flavors.  This wine goes great with food and is simply delicious to sip on the porch.  A votre santé.


Grilled Fish with Citrus

Grilled Fish with CitrusA layer of citrus slices between the fish and the grill means there’s no chance of sticking, and the fish gets infused with flavor.

Everyday Food, June 2012


  • Oil
  • Fish
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sliced citrus
  • Fresh herbs (such as cilantro, basil, or mint)
  • Flavored butter (below)


Set up grill for indirect cooking and heat to medium-high. Clean and lightly oil hot grill. Season fish with salt and pepper. Arrange sliced citrus on cooler side of grill and top with some fresh herbs and fish; dab flavored butter on fish. Cover and cook until fish is opaque in center (no need to turn), 20 to 30 minutes.

Cook’s Note

Orange-Herb Butter

Mash together 1 stick unsalted butter; 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest; 2 teaspoons fresh orange juice; 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper; 1 clove garlic, minced; 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro; and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt.

Squeeze of Flavor

Grill salmon over citrus, then serve the charred slices and more fresh wedges with the fish.

Recipe and photo from