“Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art. It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements.”
Bright & Crisp Summertime Dinner – Chicken & Shrimp Laap
Finding the right quote for each week’s article is something I enjoy enormously. I’m pretty sure I drive just about everyone around me nuts with all the quoting going on but I just can’t help myself… I even have quotes permanently inked onto my body. I’m a fan you could say! The quote this week is something I believe in so fully and it is in fact, the mantra of Be Still & Eat. It’s absolutely true what my Sittoo used to say, “… a little of this, a little of that, until it’s just right.”
I almost never make this recipe the exact same way. It always has some of the same components but I will vary amounts and sometimes add a different veg, it really depends what looks good at the market. And I almost always leave the seasoning (done at the last minute) to John as he was the original bearer of the recipe upon returning home from a business trip to London several years ago. Back to the amounts… I made a point of watching him as he dressed it when we enjoyed it last and I have to say that it truly depends on how much you are making, the amounts I state in the recipe below are for the corresponding amounts of ingredients stated. Bottom line… go with your gut, taste as you’re going and change it to suit your own tastes.
I suppose I might be jumping the gun a teensy bit on this one as I’ve just spent the past few weeks singing the praises of spring, but it’s been weirdly quite hot lately in my neck of the, ahem, woods. I thought I should share this recipe as it is PERFECT for the days when you just can’t bear to turn on the oven or even hover over the grill for longer than a few scant moments. And that’s all it takes with this dish. Chopping the veg can be done almost any time. As can the cooking of the chicken and shrimp each only taking less than 10 minutes or so.
Once this dish was introduced to our household it immediately became a family fave. It’s so popular in fact that I can tell you I NEVER make enough. I always think I’m making a very generous portion but without fail, regardless of how much I make IT’S NEVER ENOUGH!
So get creative, taste as you go and probably make a little more than you think you need!
Menu suggestion: This is a meal unto itself and needs nothing more than a side of rice should you so desire. I like brown rice for its nutty flavours and health benefits but a lovely jasmine or basmati would be equally delicious.
Wine pairing: “It sounds like something I want to eat, not drink wine with. Conventional wisdom says something off-dry like Gewurtz or Riesling, but I know little to nothing about those as I don’t really enjoy them. Sake, since you already have rice wine in the dish, would probably work well. A cold one. Nice and nutty, like you.” Some things in life never change… thankfully big brothers are one of those things! Besides there are worse things in the world to be compared to!
Enjoy & Namaste!
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into smaller than bite size pieces
- 20 or so large shrimp, cooked and cut into smaller than bite size pieces
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 TBSP fish sauce
- juice of 2 limes
- 1 TBSP rice wine vinegar
- 25-35 grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 6-7 mini or one large cucumber, seeded and diced
- 1 bunch green onion, cleaned and sliced, white and light green parts
- 1 large handful mint, rough chopped
- ½ bunch cilantro, cleaned and rough chopped
- chilli pepper, seeded and finely diced (the pepper you choose will depend on your tolerance and desire for heat)
- I head Boston lettuce cleaned
- OPTIONAL ADDITIONS: green, red, yellow and/or orange peppers, diced
- Heat a drizzle of grape seed or other mild flavoured oil in a saute pan
- Quickly saute chicken in batches until just cooked, set aside
- In same saute pan, very quickly cook shrimp until just barely pink, set aside
- Chop all veg and toss together with the lime juice, set aside
- once chicken and shrimp have cooled add them to the veg and add fish sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil TO TASTE
- Serve cleaned individual leaves of lettuce for scooping
- Serve with brown, basmati or jasmine rice OPTIONAL