Everyone has a favorite product that they use in their kitchens. My favorite product is a jar of tamarind concentrate. Tamarind is a pod-like legume that is used in Asian, Latin, and Caribbean cuisines. It can be used in a number of applications from desserts to savory entrees. It has a tartness to it and it will give a curry or a soup another depth of flavor. You can buy tamarind in different forms. You can buy it whole and separate the pulp yourself, you can buy it in bricks with the fibers and seeds still inside, or you can buy it in a concentrated form. For ease, I use the concentrate. One teaspoon will stretch pretty far. You can buy a jar online for $6-$8 dollars if you don't live near any stores that carry it.
Tamarind glazed shrimp
1 tsp. tamarind concentrate
1/4 cup. hot water
1 tsp. soy sauce
2 Tbs. honey
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 lb. shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1 C. + 2 tsp. Cornstarch
Oil for frying (vegetable or olive)
- In a small bowl, fully dissolve the tamarind concentrate in the hot water. Mix in the soy sauce, honey,pepper, sesame oil, and 2 tsp. cornstarch. Set aside.
- Heat a medium saute pan over high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Dredge the shrimp in the cornstarch.I used a bowl with a cover and shook the shrimp in the cornstarch. It's much easier and kinda fun that way.
- Once the pan is hot, shake off excess cornstarch and lay the shrimp one by one in the pan. Shrimp doesn't take long to cook. It will take about 1 minute for each side. Basically, once it turns pink, it's done. Take the shrimp out of the pan and drain on a paper towel.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the tamarind sauce*. As soon as it starts to boil and get thick, add the shrimp,toss, and enjoy.
*If you prefer a lighter sauce, then don't heat up all of it. You can cover it and put it in the fridge for later use. It's great for other proteins such as chicken or fish as well.
What is your favorite product to use in the kitchen?