Caramel Shrimp (Vietnam)
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon flour
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 scallions (white part only), chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 fresh red chile pepper, thinly sliced (optional
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Sprigs of cilantro (optional garnish)
In a large bowl, combine the shrimp with the oyster sauce, salt, cayenne pepper and flour. Set aside to marinate for 5 to 10 minutes.
In a large skillet or wok over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook until golden brown. Transfer the shrimp to the pan, discarding the marinade. Cook the shrimp, stirring occasionally, until they begin to turn pink.
Add the water and sugar and simmer for 3 minutes.
Add the scallions and onion and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
Add the chile pepper, if desired, and black pepper to taste. Squeeze the lime juice over the top of the shrimp and transfer the mixture to a platter. Garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.