Here’s another recipe I came up with for my opera-themed party for my sister. I made these delicious shrimp for the “Madame Butterfly” dish. Although I butterfly-cut the shrimp, they did not flatten as I expected them too (I’ve read since that sometimes you need to pound them a bit to keep them from curling). Still, for the opera dish, I was able to use their curl to nicely form “butterflies” using lotus root, while the flat side made them sit up perfectly.
I briefly marinated the shrimp in a ginger-mirin marinade before pan-frying them. The caramelization from the mirin gave the shrimp a beautiful reddish-orange color. Still, be sure to do a thorough job of shaking off the marinade before cooking the shrimp… too much mirin, and the marinade will burn!
- ¾ cups mirin
- 1½" piece fresh ginger, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 20 large shrimp or prawns, shells removed but tails left on, deveined, butterfly-cut
- Grapeseed oil for pan-frying
- Mix mirin, ginger, salt, and white pepper in a large bowl. Toss the shrimp in the marinade; allow to marinate for 15 minutes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Remove shrimp from marinade, thoroughly shaking off excess. Working in batches to prevent overcrowding, add shrimp to the pan and cook until bottom sides are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until shrimp are opaque in the center, about 2-3 minutes more.
- Transfer to paper-towel lined plate and cover with foil to keep warm as you repeat step 2 with the remaining shrimp. If the pan gets coated in browned bits, remove pan from heat and wipe down carefully with a paper towel between batches. Shrimp can be served warm or chilled.
For the “Madame Butterfly” dish, I used lotus root slices that were quick-pickled in ume vinegar, using the same recipe I used for radishes HERE. There was also a dollop of avocado cream, made simply with avocado, sour cream, and salt.