Bang Bang

After discharging our duties of childminders ( read grandparents), there was not much left of a dreary Sunday. Next up watching the Masters, which without the crowds and the Walk in the Park by Dustin Johnson, it was not that exciting either.

Never mind, Sunday cocktails on the terraces, all wrapped up in winter woolies, at least it wasn’t raincoats and umbrellas.

Next was ” what to have for dinner”?

Having not really given this much thought, it was a question of what was fairly quick to defrost and to cook. Shrimp and some kind of salad sprang to mind.

Whilst living in Houston Texas, I found the Gulf Shrimp, very much to my liking, large and succulent and very tasty. Here I basically make do with frozen. In Houston, there is a chain of restaurants called HOUSTON and the did an amazing salad with Bang Bang Chicken. A mixed salad with chicken and a peanut dressing. It really was my favourite.

Upon returning to the UK, I discovered that THE IVY ( not the Baby versions but the original on West Street London) also served a Bang Bang Chicken. It was OK, but they didn’t know that I was a connoisseur of said dish. AAGILL wrote about it in his 1997 book about the Ivy and I have tried his recipe many times, tweaking here and there, but never really up to scratch. Until last night that is!

I finally gave up on his version and with a little bit of this and a little bit of that came up with what I considered not half bad, and we had it with Shrimp !

For the Shrimp

  1. 1tbs oil, preferably sesame oil
  2. 8 middle size shrimp per person
  3. 1tsp chilli or rose harissa paste
  4. 1tsp black rice vinegar or balsamic
  5. 1 tsp light soy sauce.

For the Dressing

  1. 2tbsp sesame oil
  2. 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger ( use a micro plane if you have one)
  3. 1 tsp tamarind paste
  4. 1tsp chilli paste or rose harissa paste
  5. 1-2tbsp peanut butter. ( make sure you use a good peanut butter, I use the one from Holland Barrett, many have stabilisers, salt and sugar added No No No !)

Put all of the dressing ingredients into a bowl and mix well together.

Heat the ingredients for the prawns ( but not the shrimp) in a pan, when hot add the shrimp stir and toss for a couple of minutes until the shrimp are cooked ( pink).

Place the shrimp on top of the salad of your choice and spoon over the dressing !

What could be easier ?

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