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Categories: Appetizers, Fish and Shellfish

Santa Barbara spot prawn martini with Thai spices

Robert Gadsby arranges prawns on a minty papaya salad, with a Thai peanut sauce on the side. Michael Cimarusti serves Dungeness crab with grapefruit sections, diced mango and a grapefruit juice reduction with cumin. David Myers has layered sea urchin, ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes | Serves 4
Note: From Robert Gadsby of Noe Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. Substitute regular shrimp if Santa Barbara spot prawns are unavailable. Look for the ingredients at Asian markets.

Peanut pesto dipping sauce

  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Step 1Place the curry paste, coconut milk, sugar, lime juice and fish sauce in a saucepan and heat over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes. Add the peanut butter and stir frequently. Add the boiling water and salt and simmer until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes, adding more water if needed. May be made 1 day ahead. Makes 1 1/4 cups dipping sauce.

Thai salad with mint-garlic dressing

  • 1 teaspoon Thai yellow curry paste
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic, divided
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup seeded diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced snow peas
  • 1/4 cup sliced jalapeno, seeded
  • 1/4 cup sliced cabbage
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green papaya (optional)

Step 1Place the curry paste, 1 teaspoon garlic, lime juice, nam pla and sugar in a blender and process 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside. Makes about two-thirds cup dressing.

Step 2In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, the remaining one-fourth cup garlic, cilantro, mint, bean sprouts, carrots, snow peas, jalapeno, cabbage and papaya. Toss with the dressing.


  • 48 medium shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salad with dressing
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 4 cilantro sprigs
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 lime wedges
  • Peanut pesto dipping sauce

Step 1Soak 16 (8-inch) bamboo skewers in water for 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the peeled shrimp in a bowl and season with the curry powder, garlic, salt and pepper.

Step 2Grill or fry the shrimp. If frying, work in batches and cook in 1 tablespoon oil mixed with 2 to 3 tablespoons peanut pesto until pink and firm, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place on skewers after cooking. If grilling, thread 3 shrimp onto each skewer and grill until pink and firm, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Step 3To serve, divide the dressed salad among 4 large martini glasses. Arrange 3 skewers in a triangle on top of each glass; place the fourth skewer upright in the center of the glass. Garnish with chopped peanuts, cilantro sprigs and halved cherry tomatoes. Serve with lime wedges and the peanut pesto dipping sauce.

Each serving:
540 calories; 31 grams protein; 37 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams fiber; 33 grams fat; 10 grams saturated fat; 128 mg. cholesterol; 2,613 mg. sodium.
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