The most fun part about preparing these was shopping for the tiger shrimp. E and I strolled around Chinatown, and popped into this fish market with a dizzying display of fresh catch available.There seemed to be more workers than customers inside the small, hectic store. Three guys at the same time asked us what we were looking for, and one of them promptly scolded me to stop taking photos of every little shellfish. “This reminds me of Vietnam,” E told me. He’s been twice. “I’ll take you one day.” Vacation!
For the shrimp buns, I used sriracha mayonnaise as my marinade, which added a nice spicy tang against fried shallot and green onion. A bit of cilantro and peanuts finished it off with a refreshing crunch.
After we’d all devoured the three buns, one of my guests posed a question: “Does this mean you can remake all of your sandwiches up to now onto buns and count them as new sandwiches? You’ll be at 300 in no time.”
“DON’T. EVEN. THINK ABOUT IT,” E declared.
Too bad. Already thinking. I wonder what a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a bun would taste like.
8-10 tiger prawns (or about a pound of shrimp)
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sriracha
juice from one small lemon wedge
1 shallot, fried
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Fry the shallots in a tall saucepan with the canola oil over medium high heat until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain on a paper towel-line plate. Season steak with salt and pepper.
Clean and de-vein shrimp, and season with salt, pepper and touch of cayenne. Throw a tablespoon of olive oil into a large nonstick pan and place on medium heat. Sear shrimp on each side for about 2 minutes, turning once. Once done, remove from pan, let cool on paper towel lined plate. Remove the heads from the shrimp, and chop into small pieces.
Place shrimp in bowl with mayonnaise and srirachia. Squeeze lemon wedge over top and mix until well blended. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste.
Steam bun according to direction on package. Open bun and add scoop on shrimp. Then sprinkle on fried shallots, chopped green onion, cilantro, peanuts, chopped cucumber and carrots or whatever you like. Serve. Makes 6 buns.