We are one of those lazy, laid-back couples who like to spend Friday nights at home with something to munch, along with a drink and a movie of our choice. Sitting cozy and casual in our pajamas 🙂 Typically, cooking on a Friday night is not one of my favorite acts but when it comes to making easy, effortless finger food, it’s a whole new story.
Something like this – stir fried shrimp and lemon aioli sauce.
Arvind is kind of picky with seafood and I don’t blame him cause he had never ate fish or seafood while growing up. Luckily, he is always open to trying out new food. Even though his first experience with shrimp was not very good, he didn’t give up on it! I guess he knew how much his wife loves shrimp 😉 Nowadays, he enjoys shrimp as much as I do.
The key thing that I have to remember while making shrimp for him is to remove the head, shells and make sure it doesn’t smell fishy.
This stir-fried shrimp is his absolute favorite and it’s way too simple to even call for a recipe. It is marinated with simple spice mix, some fresh herbs and finally, stir fried in a cast iron pan to get that perfect char. Although frying in a non-stick pan will work too but the char and smoky flavor that comes from cooking in a cast iron pan is totally different.
While frying the shrimp might take about 10 minutes, the lemon aioli sauce takes about 5 mins max. How easy is that !
Aioli is a creamy sauce similar to mayonnaise and is made with garlic, extra virgin olive oil and egg yolks. It can be served with salad, spread on bread for sandwich or served as a dipping sauce. It can be made in advance and kept refrigerated in an airtight jar for days.
The tanginess of the lemon aioli and the spiciness of the shrimp made a perfect match.
This flavorful finger food is our current favorite Friday food, served with some cold beer. Both the sauce and shrimp required hardly any prep time or cooking time!
for lemon aioli
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 garlic cloves
- zest of one lemon
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon mustard sauce
for stir fried shrimp
- 1/2 pound shrimp - cleaned, head and shell removed, tail retained
- 1/2 cup fresh curry leaves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel powder
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes, plus extra to sprinkle later
- 1 tablespoon oil
for the lemon aioli
- Put everything (except olive oil) in a food processor and whisk until it mixed properly and looks foamy.
- Now, run the food processor, pour olive oil from top and continue mixing until it looks thick and creamy.
- Check for salt and add more, if required.
for the pan fried shrimp
- In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and let it marinate for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Heat a cast iron pan.
- Layer the shrimps on the pan and let it cook for about 5 minutes. You need to keep tossing and turning the shrimp occasionally.
- Serve it warm with the lemon aioli sauce.
Remember to put shrimp on the pan only when the pan is hot enough or else, it will stick to the pan. Avoid cooking shrimp for too long, as it will become rubbery and chewy. I didn't make the mustard sauce, just used the store bought ones. It's optional for me, I like the spice kick it gives and hence added it this time. Curry leaves should be easily accessible in Indian stores. You can however you any other herbs you like and have access to!