There’s this Cuban dish called “camarones enchilados” and it was one of my favorites. A saucy skillet of perfeclty browned onions and garlic swimming in rich tomato sauce with big juicy shrimp. Served over a bowl of white rice. That. Was. My. JAM!
Tomatoes are no long a part of my life. They were toxic and detrimental to my well being so I thought it best that we not see each other anymore. Sure it’s been difficult. Sometimes I really miss them, I have so many fond memories with tomato. Farmer’s market, marinara, pizza. But you know, things have been better since I met someone new. They’re sweet and good for me, but still have that little tartness that I like.
I want to introduce you to: Tamarind.
Sure tamarind kind of looks like poop, but I’m not shallow 😉
This weird little fruit has been a life saver for me. With a hard, wood like shell that crumbles when crushed, sticky meat and huge seeds, it’s kind of a bitch to eat… but when it’s boiled… it releases the hard fibers and large seeds with ease. The sticky meat falls apart and then you can work with it to make a paste and incorporate it in to numerous dishes. The flavor is naturally sweet yet very tart. A delicious and satisfying combination I can’t get enough of. I only find fresh tamarind at my local Whole Foods in the fridge section part of the produce, next to salad greens.
That all being said… you can buy tamarind paste concentrate on Amazon. I have a link to one in the sidebar. I use that a lot too. You just mix it with some warm water and you can save yourself the time and the mess of boiling down the pods. Again, up to you. I do it both ways, depends on my time and mood.
I think this easy, light dish is a perfect way to introduce tamarind to your diet.
Next try my BBQ Sauce…. seriously. Fall in love with tamarind and kick those inflammatory tomatoes to the curb.
Wondering why I hate tomatoes… just kidding, I will always love them… they hate me… Read This.
Yields 2-4 servings
20 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- 1 lb wild caught jumbo shrimp
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp dried cilantro
- 1 tsp dried tarragon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
- 2 tbsp bone broth
- 1/2 cup tamarind paste (homemade)
- 7-9 tamarind pods
- 3- 4 cups filtered water
- Peel & clean shrimp.
- Toss in oil, seasoning & set aside.
- Peel your tamarind, place it in a small sauce pot & just cover with water.
- Bring to a simmer. Let it simmer until the flesh is falling apart, up to 30 minutes, but you can take it off in as little as 10 minutes, you will just get less out of your tamarind.
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and pour tamarind water mix in to it, a little at a time. Using a spoon mush it and stir it. Scrape underneath the mesh as this is where the tamarind paste will be. When done, set aside.
- Repeat adding, scraping etc until you have a good amount of tamarind paste 4-8oz.
- Heat a large skillet on high, add oiled and seasoned shrimp when it's hot.
- Sprinkle salt all over it.
- Sautée until pink on both sides, about 4 minutes.
- Then add in tamarind and 2 tbsp broth.
- Simmer on medium heat for another 3-4 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with lemon. Enjoy!