Once upon a time, many moons ago, I sent Matt to the grocery store to pick up shrimp for a risotto recipe and he returned with the cooked, cocktail variety. We were still at that stage in our relationship where you are kind and tiptoe around the other’s feelings so I let it slide until we reached that step in the recipe where it says “cook until opaque”, which by the way I’ve never known exactly what that means, and then I timidly explained, “well usually for recipes… you buy raw shrimp”.
But this was all before I knew about “Awesome Sauce” – which is the super simple condiment or dressing used in Thai and Vietnamese cooking that perfectly balances sour, sweet, salty and just enough funkiness from fish sauce. It makes raw vegetables actually fun and exciting to nosh on. Powerful and strong, already cooked proteins soak up plenty of the saucy goodness and it’s best enjoyed cold, not cooked at all.
Who woulda’ thunk it possible.
This week I tossed it with wax beans from my CSA, boiled briefly for 3-5 minutes, cooked shrimp, roasted peanuts and cilantro. For such an easy meal it had a lot of spunk and it’s all in the sauce.
And not to get you over excited or anything but I’m going to make a real meal, like one you could serve for company or an entire family, out of this vietnamese dipping sauce along with tons more raw veggies: yellow wax beans, cucumbers, and carrots. It will be based on this recipes and coming to the blog soon. Get excited.
Oriental spinach, yellow carrots, celery, red tropea onions, english peas, yellow (wax) beans, english telegraph cucumbers, lodi apples, black currants, and new yukon gold potatoes.
Outside of the recipe I mentioned above, this is what I plan to make with this week’s bounty:
If I remember correctly from last year, the red onions are strongly flavored and I think would be best roasted or grilled. I found this recipe inspiring, especially as a topping for grilled steaks. But I also think I could sub them for the green onions, especially with their green tops, in my grilled green onion tacos.
Alexandra from alexandra’s kitchen first got me excited about new potatoes from the CSA. This recipe for new potatoes with green harissa looks so good and in a pinch I could always use my leftover garlic scape pesto.
- ½ cup lime juice
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar or palm sugar
- 2 thai bird eye chilies or seranos
- Whisk together all ingredients.
- Serve with favorite sliced raw veggies and protein of choice. Shredded chicken, cooked shrimp, or edamame all work.