The flavor of ginger almost always reminds me of a Caribbean vacation a few years ago. One of my favorite dishes on that trip was shrimp with ginger, citrus, and chili served on a heaping mound of white rice. When I saw the basket of big, knobby ginger roots at the grocery store the other day, I decided to try to recreate the dish, and, of course, to make it paleo friendly.
The shrimp themselves are perfect little packages of almost pure protein. All I had to do was figure out the right combination of spices and herbs to get the right flavor. This proved more difficult than I originally thought.
I knew the dish had ginger, spring onions, chili flakes, lime juice and cilantro. So I picked up all those from the grocery store and headed home with my shrimp. When I cooked it all up, it was certainly delicious, but I knew it was missing something. I tried more ginger and fewer spring onions…but that wasn’t right either. It was a more earthy flavor that I was missing. And then I realized what was missing – it was so obvious! Garlic!
This was a truly silly mistake. I put garlic in everything! How could I have missed such a basic ingredient profile? But this just shows the way these flavors all blend perfectly together. The garlic isn’t the “I can only taste garlic and I can taste it for days” flavor. It’s subtle, and balanced by the lime and ginger.
So by the time I was ready to have friends over for a Caribbean-themed evening, I had worked out the flavor balances in the dish and I was all set.
Of course, I didn’t serve a steaming bowl of white rice. I went with the standard paleo-friendly rice substitute: cauliflower rice. If you haven’t yet tried this as an alternative, you should stop reading now, go get a head of cauliflower, and try it immediately. It’s super easy – just a few quick pulses in the food processor and a quick boil and – voila! – rice! The texture is perfect and when you pair it with something as flavorful as this rice dish, no one will know they are actually getting something much more healthy than rice: vitamins A, C, and B6, tons of fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Rice doesn’t have any of that!
So get cookin’ – this dish is great for a summer evening or a chilly winter night when you *wish* it was summer! I can almost hear the ocean waves now…
- 1 ½ pound peeled and deveined shrimps
- 4 spring onions, sliced
- 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- ½ lime, juiced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or parsley plus 1 tbsp for decoration
- Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until the size of small rice grains. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add the cauliflower rice and cook for two minutes. Drain well and set aside.
- In a wok heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the ginger, spring onions and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the shrimps and chili flakes and cook for 3-4 minutes or until shrimps have turned pink. Add the cauliflower rice and chopped parsley or cilantro and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, garnish with remaining fresh cilantro or parsley and serve immediately.
P.S. Take a look at the Paleo Grubs Book. With 470+ easy-to-prepare Paleo recipes in 17 comprehensive categories it is the only Paleo book you will ever need.
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