If you're looking for a deliciously different shrimp dish, try making up a platter of these Thai shrimp mini lettuce wraps. These bite-size wraps are just perfect for a party appetizer served with beer, wine, or cocktails, or make up a batch to serve as an entrée for dinner.
Each shrimp wrap provides a burst of Thai flavors that are meant to hit different parts of the palate all at once. Based on the traditional Thai appetizer miang kum, this fresh dish is sure to be a hit with anyone who has a taste for spicy and flavorful foods.
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened, baking type)
- 1 cup baby shrimp (cooked, packed)
- 1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts (ground or finely chopped)
- 2 green onions (sliced finely)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced or pressed)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoon galangal (or ginger, grated)
- 1 fresh red chili (minced, or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed chili)
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons coconut milk
- 1 head romaine lettuce (or 1 package prepared romaine lettuce leaves)
- 1/3 cup fresh coriander (cilantro)
- 1/2 to 1 fresh lime (sliced into wedges)
Gather the ingredients.
Place coconut in a dry wok or frying pan set over medium-high heat. Dry fry it by stirring continually until it turns light golden-brown and is fragrant. Immediately transfer your toasted coconut to a bowl and set aside to cool.
Whether you're using fresh or frozen baby shrimp, make sure they are well-drained (gently squeeze out any excess water with your hands). If using larger shrimp, chop them up into small pieces. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl.
Add most of the ground or finely chopped peanuts to the mixing bowl, reserving 1 tablespoon for garnish. Add the fish sauce, spring onions, garlic, galangal or ginger, chili, chili powder, and sugar. Stir or toss everything together well.
Add the coconut milk and gently stir again. Finally, add the toasted coconut, reserving 1 tablespoon for garnish. Stir again.
Taste-test this mixture. You should taste a combination of spicy and salty plus a hint of sweetness (there also will be a slightly sour note later when the lime juice is added).
To assemble the appetizer, chop off the tops of 12 romaine lettuce leaves (3- to 4-inch pieces) and set on a platter.
Scoop 1 heaping tablespoon of the shrimp mixture onto each leaf. Top each one with a sprinkling of the reserved ground peanuts and toasted coconut.
Add a final sprinkling of fresh coriander and serve with the lime wedges.
- If you'd like it saltier, add a little more fish sauce. If too sour for your taste, add a little more sugar. If you prefer more coconut flavor, add 1 more tablespoon coconut milk (don't add too much, though, or it will soak through the lettuce leaves—you want a sandwich-spread consistency).