Sambal Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

IMG_3637 According to some well-respected Food & Restaurant experts, bacon will become 2015’s forgotten food item. Supposedly the bacon pendulum is swinging from “Hot” to “Not”, as far as food trends go! Seriously? Who are “they” and more importantly, how do “they” know? I don’t have the answers to these questions, but I figured I’d better get a bacon recipe in before the death knell tolls for it.

I’ve been meaning to share a recipe for bacon-wrapped shrimp and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Of course, this being Auria’s Malaysian (ahem, spicy!) Kitchen, we’ll take it up a few notches.

I have these friends here in Brooklyn – they are absolutely Sambal-crazy. That’s probably an understatement – they put my Hot Chilli Sambal on EVERYTHING.  I was at their house for dinner recently and found about five jars of it stashed in their larder. This recipe belongs to the sambal-obsessed lady of the house (you know who you are!) It’s super easy and yet incredibly tasty. The sambal adds heat and that savory ocean umami to the two incredibly succulent main ingredients  – put it all together and you’ve got a flavor party in your mouth. Your guests will love you, and your tastebuds will sing!

As far as sambal goes, my Hot Chilli Sambal is a slow- and low-cooked version that is made with fermented shrimp paste and dried shrimp. It’s made according to my Mum’s recipe and adds incredible flavor and heat to practically anything you put it on or in. If you’re curious about how it differs from the generic supermarket stuff, send me a note and I’ll explain the subtleties of sambal, why cooked is preferable to fresh, and how the different varieties are used in Southeast Asian cooking.

Sambal Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp (serves 4 – 5)

1 lb hickory-smoked bacon

½ lb jumbo shrimp (about 15) – cleaned and de-veined, preferably with tails on

1 tsp Auria’s Malaysian Kitchen Hot Chilli Sambal (or to taste)

Toothpicks

Lime wedges

1. Soak toothpicks in a bowl of water.

2. Preheat oven to 400°. Lay the bacon in a single layer on a foil-lined tray.
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3. Cook the bacon in the oven until about halfway cooked but not crisp, about 7 minutes.

4. Remove from oven and drain on paper towels. Turn broiler on to High.  (At
this point the mere smell of cooking bacon will bring your people rushing into the
kitchen, asking for a taste.)
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5. Try to brush each slice of bacon with a little bit of sambal. I started out using a brush but quickly switched to a spoon as the sambal is really too chunky for a brush. Duh, Auria!

IMG_3643IMG_36576. Wrap each shrimp with a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Don’t
worry if it starts to get a little messy – perfection is not necessary. Arrange the wrapped shrimp on an oven tray with a grill rack.
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7. Position tray so the shrimp are two inches below the broiler. Cook for 5 minutes.

8. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lime.

9. Make it again next week for some other guests! Feel like a rock star all over again!

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Auria’s Malaysian Kitchen Hot Chilli Sambal is available at these fine retailers or at my website.

Happy Cooking – Auria

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