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Mario Batali's Spicy Shrimp Saute'

It is cold, gray, and damp which in Minnesota during February means snow is coming. This weather calls for hunkering down, but first you must head out to the grocery store to prepare for Snowmageddon, buying enough food to survive anywhere from 3-12+ inches of snow. Oh the things you will make and the things you will do (and not do) while you are snowed in!

It’s a fantasy, lounging in comfy clothes, lighting candles, endless cups of coffee in the morning followed by bottomless cups of tea in the afternoon while you read luxuriously wrapped up in a shawl or blanket by the window while the the snow falls gently or not so gently, with gusty winds and the magical baroque sound coming from your wind chimes harshly reminding you that you did not put them away in the fall. All of this activity and stimulation is sure to be followed up by a much needed and deserved nap.

As the snow continues to fall, around 4:00 you realize that your family who has been shoveling, snow plowing, and romping in the snow with breaks to eat recreational bread and drink hot cocoa are going to be seriously hungry for dinner. The perfect way to warm their tummies and satisfy their appetites is with a spicy comfort food.

Nothing says snow day dinner like Mario Batali’s Spicy Shrimp Saute’ (original recipe link) courtesy of Epicurious Recipes. This recipe is a quick put together meal that is spicy creamy and satisfying on a cold winter’s evening. What I have done to this dish is to make it into a one dish delight that I can serve to my family and friends for dinner. Serve on a plate or in a large deep bowl to showcase this visually appealing dish.

***The lime zest and fresh chopped cilantro is what really makes this dish stand out!

Below is my version of this delicious dish, with my additions in italics:


  • 2 tablespoon red curry paste

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce

  • 1/4 cup sambal

  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce

  • 2 pounds shrimp medium size

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil

  • 3 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 medium-large yellow onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoon tamari (gluten free) soy sauce or regular soy sauce

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar

  • The zest of one lime

  • The juice of one lime

  • 1 package of flat rice noodles

  • 1 cilantro, bunch, chopped


  • Slice onions and red/orange pepper

  • Mince the garlic and chop the ginger root

  • Peel and devein shrimp

  • Bring a pot of water to boil, add rice noodles cook for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow noodles to sit for 8-10 minutes. Check for doneness and then strain and set aside.

  • While the water is getting ready to boil, place the peanut/canola oil in pan on medium-high heat, then add the onions, peppers, garlic and ginger. Saute until medium tenderness and remove from heat.

  • Combine curry paste, fish sauce, sambal and chili sauce in a medium bowl; add shrimp, tossing to coat.

  • Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add sesame oil, and heat till smoking then add the shrimp mixture, and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the onions/pepper mixture and mix thoroughly. Stir in sweet soy sauce, dark brown sugar and coconut milk. Cook for 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. P.S. "Yes, yes, this is good for breakfast!"


Serve in a bowl or on a dinner plate, pasta on the bottom, shrimp mixture on top, then sprinkle with a pinch of lime zest and chopped cilantro.

Dairy Free, Gluten Free

Vegan or Vegetarian: Omit Shrimp and use Fried Tofu

Vegan Substitute for Fish Sauce (click on link)

You gotta eat! So eat well!

“Take time to nourish your mind, nurture your body, and feed your soul.” Deana~

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