Looking through one of my many cookbooks one day, I stumbled upon some great shrimp recipes. I have always been attracted to fusion cooking, that is fusing two cultures of food into one dish. The flavors of soy sauce and chiles are a great match for the shrimp-stuffed peppers. I will admit that this recipe, adapted from Chef Marcela Valladolid, requires a few steps, but it is so worth it in the end! This was my husband’s request for his birthday dinner, and well, it was his birthday.
Pour enough oil into a large, heavy skillet to come a ½-inch up the sides of the pan and preheat to medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the chiles and fry, turning frequently, until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate that is lined with paper towels to drain and set aside. Chop the shrimp and transfer it to a bowl, season with smoked paprika, salt, peppers, and 1 tablespoon of oil. Set aside.
Discard the oil, leaving only 1 tablespoon in the skillet. Add the onions and peppers, season lightly with salt and pepper, and saute until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the shrimp, and cook until pink and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Taste for salt and let cool.
Cut a lengthwise slit in each chile and carefully scoop out the seeds, leaving the stems intact. (For milder heat, carefully cut out ribs.) Divide the shrimp filling among the chiles, careful not to overfill because peppers will tear.
On a shallow serving platter, toss the cucumber, onion, soy sauce, and lime juice and spread out on the platter. Arrange chiles seam side up on top and serve. Garnish with cilantro. Serve at room temperature.
I used assorted sweet and hot peppers for this recipe. I prefer to fry the peppers in a deep pan for less splattering.
If don’t feel comfortable with frying the peppers, you could roast them in a 400 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
I like to prepare the onions and cucumbers an hour ahead so they have a chance to marinate for a while. You can also use thinly sliced sweet onions instead of red. We like spicy, so I added a thinly sliced habanero pepper to the mix.