I usually have three main criteria in mind when adapting recipes for the Slow Carb Lifestyle: quick, easy and robust flavors. This cabbage slaw marinated in Asian flavors, topped with spice-encrusted sautéed shrimp meets all of the criteria, making it a perfect fit for a slow carb lifestyle dish . The heirloom tomatoes on the side are a bonus. This time of the year, heirloom tomatoes accompany just about every dish I make since we grow them for market and always have an abundance to work with. The dish is just as good without the tomatoes, but they do add color and interest if you have them. The tomatoes shown in the photo are a French heirloom variety called Juane Flamme.
Seafood, and shellfish in particular, is great to work with on the slow carb lifestyle because it is so quick to cook and packed with nutrition and flavor. The problem is that many of the fried or sautéed seafood dishes you find in restaurants or cookbooks are first breaded with cornmeal, flour, crackers, etc. While I love breaded and fried food, it is not compliant with the slow carb lifestyle so I’m always trying adaptations. These shrimp are “spice-encrusted” rather than breaded, meaning they are generously rubbed with five-spice powder, salt and pepper before sautéed or fried. You don’t get as much crunch as a breading would give, but they are delightfully tasty.
Spice-Crusted Shrimp and Asian Slaw:
(inspired by a recipe in Eating Well magazine)
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 4 tsp soy sauce
- 4 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sugar (omit sugar if on strict slow carb protocol)
- 1/2 head cabbage, napa is good – I used a red cabbage because it’s what I had available
- 2 orange or red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp five-spice powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
- 1 lb. pkg of frozen raw shrimp, medium to large
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- Thaw out shrimp and pat them dry with a paper towel. Get them as dry as possible.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar (if using).
- Remove the tough core from the middle of the cabbage and shred the 1/2 head of cabbage into bite size pieces with a knife. Add the cabbage and chopped bell peppers to the marinade and toss to combine.
- In a clean bowl whisk together the five-spice powder, salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat (look for oil to start smoking a bit to tell if it is hot enough). While oil is heating, toss the shrimp in the spice mixture, coating the shrimp thoroughly. Add the shrimp to the pan when the oil is hot and cook, stirring often, until they are pink (this only takes about 3 minutes). Add the pepper flakes if using, and cook about 30 seconds longer.
- Serve the shrimp over a bed of the Asian slaw.
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