A rice pilaf is all that’s needed to accompany these cheerful kebabs.

Serves 4

  • 1½ pounds large raw shrimp
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes

For the marinade:

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2-inch piece of cucumber
  • 1½-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pinch of dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • 8 medium wooden kebab skewers

1.  Peel the shrimp and remove the veins. Put the shrimp in a bowl and add the cherry tomatoes, discarding the stems.

2.  For the marinade: Whisk the oil with the lime juice.  Grate the cucumber, including peel, and stir it into the lime juice mixture with the remaining marinade ingredients.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, including flavorings.  Add the marinade to the shrimp and tomatoes and toss well to coat them.  Cover the bowl and chill 2 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally.  Soak kebab skewers in water so they do not splinter.

3.  TO FINISH: Preheat the broiler or light the grill.  Drain the shrimp and tomatoes, reserving the marinade.  Drain the kebab skewers and thread shrimp and tomatoes onto them.  Broil or grill the kebabs about 3 inches from the heat, turning once, until the shrimp are no longer transparent and the tomatoes are split and charred, 4 to 6 minutes total.  Baste the kebabs often during cooking with the reserved marinade.

GETTING AHEAD:  An hour or two extra of marinating will do no harm.

When I butterfly shrimp, I like to leave the tail flange to hold the meat together.

1. Peel the shrimp and set it flat on the work surface. Make a full-length cut along the back about three quarters of the way through the flesh, so the meat opens to lie almost flat but is still attached at the tail. Discard the intestinal vein. When cooked, the meat will curl prettily into crescents.

From The Good Cook: 70 Essential Techniques, 250 Step-by-Step Photographs, 350 Recipes by Anne Willan. Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2004.
Photo CREDIT: Alison Harris.