This Minangkabau Shrimp Curry Recipe is Indonesian in spirt, and uses a spice paste called Sambal Terasi with Shrimp in a Coconut Milk base.
I have called this Coconut-milk based dish a ‘Minangkabau Shrimp Curry’, as the Minangkabau are a people of Indonesia known for their spicy cuisine, and this preparation certainly captures that spirit. This particular Curry uses a very Indonesian spice blend known as Sambal Terasi, as well as aromatics like Lemongrass and Turmeric, all combined together with Shrimp in a Coconut-milk base.
The Sambal Terasi called for in this recipe can be purchased commercially, or you can follow my Home-made Sambal Terasi Spice Paste Recipe. Alternatively, you can simply substitute with a plain red-chili paste, or, if you really want to increase the complexity, a Thai Red Curry Paste.
Toss the shrimp with the Turmeric and a pinch of salt and set aside for at least twenty minutes.
Sprinkle the zucchini slices with a little salt, toss with a teaspoon or two of oil and then grill on a ridged pan until light grill-marks appear. You can omit this step if you like, but the grilling will improve the flavor and give the slices an attractive appearance in the finished dish. Once this is done, transfer the slices to a bowl for the moment.
Next, heat your pan or wok over a moderate flame and add a tablespoon or so of oil. When it is hot, add the shrimp and toss quickly until they are cooked through. Transfer them to the same bowl as the zucchini.
Now, replenish the oil in the wok and add the lemongrass and ground coriander. Stir until they release their aromas. Add the Sambal Terasi (or substitute) and the Jalapeno, then continue cooking just until the Jalapenos are beginning to soften.
Add the red pepper and onion and stir for a minute or so longer then add back the shrimp and the zucchini. Stir in the coconut milk and, if it is a little too thick, add a little water to give the right consistency. Continue to stir until all is heated through and then transfer to a serving dish. You can serve right away at this point, garnished with coriander leaf or something along those lines, but this is a dish that will be much improved if you let it cool and sit overnight before warming again for service.
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Minangkabau Shrimp Curry
- ¾ lb. medium Shrimp
- 1 small Zucchini sliced obliquely
- 1 small Onion sliced lengthwise into wedges
- 2 Jalapenos sliced
- ½ cup Red Bell Pepper cut into irregular chunks
- 1 can Thick Coconut Milk
- 1 ½ tbsp. minced Lemongrass
- 1 ½ tbsp. Sambal Terasi
- 1 tbsp. Turmeric
- 1 tbsp. ground Coriander Seed
- Toss the shrimp with the Turmeric and a pinch of salt and set aside for at least twenty minutes.
- Toss the Zucchini slices with a teaspoon or two of oil and a pinch of salt, then grill just until light grill-marks appear and remove to a bowl.
- Briefly stir-fry the shrimp in a little oil over medium heat and, when just cooked through, remove to the same bowl as the Zucchini.
- Replenish the oil in the pan and fry the Lemongrass and ground Coriander until they release their aromas.
- Add the Sambal Terasi and the Jalapeno, then continue cooking just until the Jalapenos are beginning to soften.
- Add the Red pepper and Onion, stir-fry for a minute or so, then add back the Shrimp and the Zucchini.
- Add the Coconut-milk, plus a little water, if necessary, cook until all is heated through and either serve immediately, or else chill overnight to blend flavors and reheat for service the following day.