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Five Spice Shrimp Sliders

November 9, 2009

As you probably know by now I love spices. Not just “spicy” but the brilliance spices bring to any dish. There is such a depth of flavor in the precious oils that spices carry. They add texture as well. Five spice, a ground combination of star anise, fennel seed, Szechuan peppercorns, cinnamon and clove is one of my favorites. Shrimp is one of my favorite five spice shrimp sliderfoods but my wife is not a fan. I have been on a mission to create a shrimp recipe that my wife will like so that we can live happily ever after. The five spice did it. I coated the shrimp heavily in five spice and some salt and sautéed them over high heat for just a minute on each side. The five spice turned into a sweet, golden, crispy coating on the shrimp. I took the shrimp out of the pan and added fresh chopped ginger, garlic and shallots. They went golden in a matter of moments. I then deglazed with mirin (the sweet rice wine). I poured that mixture into a bowl and added a tablespoon of mayo. I chopped the shrimp and stirred that in. The residual heat of the shrimp and the mirin soaked shallots, garlic and ginger became one via the mayo.

About an hour earlier I made a spicy “kim chee” style slaw. I shredded green cabbage and tossed it with salt, rice wine vinegar, cilantro, shredded carrots, green onions and a touch of sriracha chili sauce for some heat. The salt and the vinegar pickled the cabbage in a matter of an hour. I toasted some mini buns under the broiler with sesame oil and then put the sandwiches together. The shrimp on the bottom to allow the sauce to soak into the bun. The spicy slaw on top. I took a bite and immediately got that tender “pop” of the shrimp in my mouth. The five spice filled my mouth with the warm baking spices contrasted with the natural sweetness of the star anise and the backdrop of pepper from the Szechuan peppercorns. Just when my mouth was full of that flavor the slaw cleansed my palate with the tender crunchiness and mild heat. Nadia loved them. I have finally done it. A shrimp dish we can both eat. I think we will be together forever. Enjoy!

Key Flavor Factors
1. Make sure your pan and oil are really hot before you add the shrimp.
2. Dry the shrimp off before coating with the salt and five spice. Dry meat/seafood will sear instead of “boil”.
3. Take the shrimp out right after you see the side go from raw to opaque.
4. Put the cabbage in a larger container so that the rice wine vinegar and salt can do its job pickling. Stir the mixture occasionally. You need 40 minutes minimum but you can make this slaw up to a day ahead.
5. Broil the buns. The crispy inside is a nice texture contrast to the soft bun.
6. Don’t use too much mayo. As Guy Fieri says mayo can be like “lube” if you use too much. When you use a little it can be a nice liaison for the other flavors.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. November 9, 2009 7:58 am

    yes spices do add texture! couldn’t agree more. love the idea of sliders made with shrimp. now if we could just get some mini fish tacos. LOL

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      November 11, 2009 6:21 am

      Hello Dawn, Fish tacos are one of my favorites. I will get a posting on here for those. Have a great day, thank you 🙂

  2. November 9, 2009 9:54 am

    Definitely a must try recipe. LOVE IT. Thanks!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      November 11, 2009 6:20 am

      Thank you Shelby, enjoy!

  3. LizAndrsn permalink
    November 9, 2009 1:29 pm

    Looks delish — but referencing a quote from Guy Fieri? LOL !

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      November 11, 2009 6:19 am

      thank you 🙂

  4. November 9, 2009 2:03 pm

    I think it’s great how you appropriate ingredients and cultural recipes and repurpose them to create your own dishes!! I’m definitely excited to try out your “kimchee style slaw” as kimchee is something I grew up with!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      November 11, 2009 6:21 am

      Thank you Jessica. let me know how it turns out. Thanks for checking out my blog. Have a great week! Warmly, Jeffrey 🙂

  5. emma permalink
    November 13, 2009 11:20 am

    I’m with Dawn, mini fish tacos would be something I’d love to see your spice combination on.

    You know you’re turning us all into slider-addicts…you evil, evil man 😀

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