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The Dish: Light and Shadow Shrimp from Zibu, Acapulco

The Dish: Light and Shadow Shrimp from Zibu, Acapulco

The Dish: Light and Shadow Shrimp from Zibu, Acapulco

An Asian-Mexican mix of ginger and chipotle brings a subtle heat to this dish featuring sweet local shrimp.

Acapulco was once a main trading center of the spice route between Mexico and Asia. Playing on that tradition today is Zibu, Chef Eduardo Palazuelos’s (photo below) Thai-Mex restaurant that overlooks the beautiful Bay of Puerto Marqués and pays homage to the flavor exchange that took place in the city hundreds of years ago. Some of the menu’s highlights include Thai salad with shrimp tempura, wild mushrooms with vinaigrette of mint and sweet coconut soup and the light and shadow shrimp (above) made with shrimp medallions, rice, fried bananas and its two sauces, ginger-mango and chipotle-tamarind.

Light and Shadow Shrimp

Ingredients (6 portions of 4 shrimps per person)
24 shrimps with shell
100 ml of vegetable oil
100 grams of butter
Salt and pepper

Mango Sauce:
1 can of mango chunks with syrup 480 grams
15g of chopped ginger
300g of small tomatoes
10g of green chile pepper (2 pieces)
10g of chopped garlic (2 pieces)
1 teaspoon of refined salt
1 spoonful of vegetable oil
1 spoonful of brown sugar

Tamarind sauce:
400g of tamarind pulp
10g of garlic (2 pieces)
40g of canned chipotle chili
40g of white onion
40ml of vegetable oil
125g of brown sugar
75 ml of sour cream

For the mango sauce: open the mango can and drain. Reserve the mangoes. Chop the ginger finely and blend with the mangoes.

In an iron pan, roast the tomatoes and peppers for 8 minutes until soft. Once roasted, peel and take off the burnt part of the tomatoes. Put into a food processor or blender, add salt and liquefy the mix to create a sauce.

Add oil in a pan and heat over medium heat, add the mango and incorporate the tomato sauce. Cook for 3 minutes and then add the sugar and mix it with a fork or whisk.

Test the spice. If the mixture is too hot, just add half of the tomato and pepper sauce. For a sweeter recipe, add more brown sugar.

Peel the shrimp keeping the tail and keep refrigerated. Also, save the shell and heads.

For the tamarind sauce, soak the tamarind pulp in a 200ml of water for about 15 minutes, enough time to soften the pulp from the seeds. Sort through pulp with your hands in order to separate the seeds, and then drain and the sieve until all the pulp comes out without seeds.

Liquefy the can of chipotle Chile with 20ml of water and put aside.

In a saucepan heat up the vegetable oil and fry the shells and heads of the shrimps, add the garlic and onion pieces and cook until roasted making sure it doesn’t burn. Then, add the liquefied chipotle chili mix and pan fry for three more minutes. Lower the heat and add the tamarind pulp.

Add 200ml of water and stir for two minutes. Then, add the sugar to offset the acidity of the tamarind.

Cook the mixture over medium heat for five more minutes until the mixture is reduced. Stir to extract all the juice, discarding the shells.
Replace the juice in the same pan and add the sour cream, allowing it to slightly thicken by mixing it.

Try the seasoning sauce and if it’s too acid, add more sugar.

Season the shrimps and place in pairs, so that the portion of the body is opposite to the tail, creating a medallion. Seal the shrimps with oil and place them in a baking dish, previously buttered. Above of the shrimps, place pieces of butter. Bake at 160 C, for 6-10 minutes, until the shrimps are firm and have a pink color.

To serve, place the mango sauce and tamarind sauce next to one another. Then, place the shrimps on top of them. For a nice complement, serve with rice and fried plantains.

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Bryan Van Gorder