Things that make your nose wrinkle are the things that Pepper Thai loves to cook with the most. Think fish sauce, pickled garlic, and, the holy grail eau-de-dirty-sock-that-actually tastes delicious…Thai soybean paste . I guess they take those beanies and let them sit around until other beans don’t want to come over and visit anymore, but that’s when you know this sauce is magic: that funkiness gives this dish a kick like no other. If you can find them, microwaveable snow peas in a bag are pre-cleaned and ready to rock. If not, start from the top of each snow pea, grab the tip and pull down, releasing the thready fiber from each snow pea.
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon water
- ¼ cup Thai soybean paste
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- One (8-ounce) package microwaveable snow peas (or 8 ounces loose snow peas)
- 1 pound cleaned large shrimp
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 scallions (greens and whites), thinly sliced, greens and whites separated
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- ½ small red or green jalapeño, thinly sliced (seeded if you must)
- Splash chicken stock or water
- Cooked rice, for serving
Make the sauce:
Whisk together the cornstarch and water in a medium bowl, then whisk in the soybean paste, soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, and rice vinegar.
Prep the shrimp and snow peas:
Stack the snow peas (clean them and remove the thread if they’re not the pre-threaded packaged kind) and cut them in half lengthwise.
Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and season both sides lightly with salt and pepper.
Cook and finish the dish:
Heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat for a minute, then add the oil. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring once or twice until opaque and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes, Transfer the shrimp to a plate, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet then add the scallion whites, garlic, ginger, and jalapeño and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the snow peas to the skillet with the stock and cook, tossing, until tender-crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the shrimp to the skillet with the sauce and cook, tossing, until coated and the sauce thickens slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with scallion greens and serve with rice.