Adapted from a recipe in East West Food, a collection of recipes from ten chefs. Savoury caramel is almost better than sweet caramel. Almost.
½ c. brown sugar
¼ c. fish sauce (nuoc mam/nam pla) quality, like Golden Boy or Aroy-D
¼ c. water
Boil ingredients until sugar dissolves and sauce is slightly thickened. Reserve.
2 t. minced garlic
½ onion, sliced thin
16 large, peeled, de-veined shrimp
½ t. pepper
1 – 2 t. chile oil or chile paste
4 green onions, sliced into 1-inch pieces
Lettuce leaves & lime slices for serving
Heat oil in a wok. Add the garlic and onion and fry until golden. Add the shrimp, pepper, chili oil or paste, onions and 3 tablespoons of the caramel. Stir-fry until the shrimp turn pink and curl. Don’t overcook. Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves and squeeze lime over. Drizzle with a bit more caramel. Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as a main dish with rice.