Kick off grilling season with a quick and simple shrimp lettuce wrap for a hearty appetizer or light main dish. Use a portion of the lime juice and fish sauce marinade (nuoc cham) for the shrimp and the rest for the mango salsa. Serve with fresh herbs and extra limes.
Combine the warm water and sugar in a small mixing bowl and stir until dissolved. Add the lime juice. It should taste like very strong but balanced limeade. Add the fish sauce, shallot and chile pepper, if using, to make 1 cup.
Pour 3/4 cup of the marinade over the shrimp and marinate for 20 to 30 minutes while you preheat a gas or charcoal grill to high heat.
Meanwhile, make the salsa by combining the mango, pepper and scallion with the remaining 1/4 cup marinade and toss gently with the cilantro. Taste and set aside at room temperature. Arrange the lettuce cups on a platter, slice the extra limes and put the cilantro and basil on a small plate.
If you do not have a grill pan, skewer the shrimp and place on a sheet pan and pat dry with paper towel. Or, drain the marinade from the shrimp, pat dry with paper towel and arrange on the grill pan. Grill the shrimp until they change from translucent to pink, turning once, about 3 minutes.
Portion the shrimp into each lettuce cup and serve with the mango salsa, herbs and limes.
Copyright 2021 Lynne Curry