Whether you like your shrimp grilled on a skewer or bobbing in a bowl of spicy tom yam soup; there is no doubt that Thailand is the perfect place to enjoy the juicy seafood delicacy. Chefs form around the nation pride themselves on their shrimp cooking techniques, and if you rent a private villa you can try a variety delicious of recipes during your stay.
One of the reasons that shrimp tastes so good in the Land of Smiles is because of they are generally served fresh, especially in popular island destinations like Phuket and Samui, where the shrimps often reach your plate on the same day they are caught.
Fresh shrimps have a delightful texture and unmistakeable flavour and they have been an important staple in Thai dishes for centuries and modern Thai chefs have honed their shrimp dishes down to perfection. For villa guests with a personal chef on hand to prepare dishes to order, “Shrimp of the Day” should therefore be one of the preferred menu choices.
Below are some examples of some classic Thai shrimp dishes you are unlikely to order just once.
This appetising dish works perfectly as a rich and succulent starter, whether you are enjoying it in a beachside restaurant or with friends and family at your holiday villa. Butterflied prawns are fried over high heat with an irresistible array of ingredients, including shallots, chillies, fish sauce, palm sugar and, of course, tamarind, which gives the dish a distinctly rich and exotic flavour. The prawns are fried in this delectable spicy concoction until the sauce begins to thicken, and then garnished with green onions and coriander and served with fluffy jasmine rice.
Raw & Delicious
If you are searching for the perfect light seafood lunch, gung chae nam pla
(raw white prawns with chillies and fish sauce) may be just the plate to tickle your taste buds. As the dish isn’t fried, it won’t leave you feeling too full if you have a busy afternoon of exploring ahead. First, a zesty sauce of chilies, coriander root, garlic, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice is whipped up – this gives the dish its signature sour kick. The prawns are then served on a crisp bed of lettuce with the sauce drizzled on the top. Many restaurants in Thailand will garnish gung chae nam pla with mint leaves for an extra punchy flavour.
Spicy Choo Chee
This creamy creation is the ideal dish for those looking to try a delicious Thai feast. While you can use various types of fish or even scallops for the recipe, the crunch of fresh prawns provides the perfect balance to the thick, velvety sauce. If you want to put your Thai cooking skills to the test in your villa’s kitchen one evening, begin by butterflying the prawns and place then place them in a bowl with one teaspoon of salt and a little water. Mix and leave for 20 minutes before rinsing the salt off. In the meantime, heat a pan of coconut cream in your wok over a high heat until it thickens. Stir in some chilli paste, fish sauce and palm sugar until the unmistakeable aromatic fragrance wafts through your kitchen. Reduce the mixture until thick, and then add your prawns and kaffir lime leaves. Serve with jasmine rice.
Pure and Simple
If you are planning a barbecue or two at your private villa this vacation, grilled prawns are the perfect seafood choice. To add an authentic Thai twist, ensure that you have plenty of nam jim
to hand. This fiery green dipping sauce is often served with seafood in Thailand in order to bring out the fresh flavour of the catch. Like many other Thai sauces, the principle flavours of nam jim
are spicy and sour from crushed green Thai chillies and freshly squeezed lime juice. If you enjoy cooking, there is no reason you can’t have a go at creating this zesty dipping sauce yourself with a little advice form the chef, of course.
Pride of the Nation
Pad Thai is quite probably the first Thai dish you ever tasted, and its combination of noodles, tangy sweet sauce and crunchy prawns probably mean it is also a dish you go back to again and again. Like many Thai dishes, the best place to enjoy a plate of Pad Thai is at a local roadside stall. However, if you fancy a more upmarket version then ask your villa chef to stock up on noodles, fresh prawns, fish sauce, lemon/lime juice, palm sugar, chillies and green onions. For additional sustenance, you can also request bean sprouts and egg.