Ginger Sambal Shrimp Cocktail
Amy Dickerson
Yields8 ServingsTotal Time1 hr
AuthorIsabel Cruz

Colorful and bold, this dish shows how seamlessly Latin and Asian flavors can blend. To make the prep faster, buy precut pineapple. The sambal is quite spicy, and the chiles add to the fire—so seed them if you want to moderate the heat of the dish. The recipe is from Isabel Cruz, chef and owner of Isabel Pearl, in Portland, and Coffee Cup Café and Isabel’s Cantina, both in the San Diego area. Cruz is also the author of The Latin TableEasy, Flavorful Recipes from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Beyond (Skyhorse Publishing, 2018).

How to Make It

1

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add shrimp, and poach until curled and pink and just barely opaque in center (cut one to check), 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Drain and pour into a bowl of ice water. When cool, drain again and chop into 1/2-in. dice. Chill until using.

2

Make ginger sambal: Purée sambal ingredients in a blender or food processor (add water as needed to make it pourable), then chill until using. 

3

Make vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice and oil.

4

Just before serving, put shrimp, pineapple, jicama, onion, chiles, cilantro, and mint in a large bowl. Toss gently with lime vinaigrette and add salt to taste.

5

Divide shrimp cocktail among 8 to 10 small bowls or glasses and drizzle sparingly with ginger sambal. Serve with extra sambal on the side.

*Jicama, a juicy, crunchy, slightly sweet ­tuber, is best when small (bigger ones tend to be dry and starchy). Buy them from a place that has high turnover, like a Mexican market or farmers’ market. Find sambal oelek at well-stocked grocery stores, Asian markets, and online.

Ingredients

Shrimp
 1 ½ lbs peeled deveined shrimp (31 to 40 per lb.)
 1 ¼ lbs pineapple, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-in. dice (to yield 2 1⁄2 cups)
 8 oz jicama*, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-in. dice (to yield 1 1⁄2 cups)
  cup thinly sliced red onion
 1 red jalapeño chiles or red serrano chiles, thinly sliced
  cup chopped cilantro (leaves and tender stems)
  cup chopped fresh mint leaves
 Kosher salt
Ginger Sambal
 ¼ cup each sambal oelek (Indonesian chile paste)* and rice vinegar
 2 ½ oz fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1⁄4 cup)
 2 tbsp each sugar and toasted sesame oil
Vinaigrette
 2 tbsp lime juice 
 ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 

Directions

1

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add shrimp, and poach until curled and pink and just barely opaque in center (cut one to check), 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Drain and pour into a bowl of ice water. When cool, drain again and chop into 1/2-in. dice. Chill until using.

2

Make ginger sambal: Purée sambal ingredients in a blender or food processor (add water as needed to make it pourable), then chill until using. 

3

Make vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice and oil.

4

Just before serving, put shrimp, pineapple, jicama, onion, chiles, cilantro, and mint in a large bowl. Toss gently with lime vinaigrette and add salt to taste.

5

Divide shrimp cocktail among 8 to 10 small bowls or glasses and drizzle sparingly with ginger sambal. Serve with extra sambal on the side.

*Jicama, a juicy, crunchy, slightly sweet ­tuber, is best when small (bigger ones tend to be dry and starchy). Buy them from a place that has high turnover, like a Mexican market or farmers’ market. Find sambal oelek at well-stocked grocery stores, Asian markets, and online.

Ginger Sambal Shrimp Cocktail