Cucina Adventures #3: Grilled Scampi (aka Bring me to the Beach, Shrimpie!) ++

Grilled Scampi, where art thou?!

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Happy Lunar New Year!!!

To coincide with the Chinese new year’s eve, yesterday was my husband’s 35th birthday and luckily, our office decided to declare it as a holiday too – which was fantastic because that makes it a 5-day-off-work-week (the lunar new year’s just starting and I’m feeling lucky already haha!) And because my husband loves to eat, I decided to cook something special for his special day (smarty pants light bulb: on) lets try seafood!

I initially thought of cooking tiger prawns but as I was going around the supermarket, I saw this GIANT prawn look-a-like critter in the seafood section, the sign says scampi (scampi? what’s a scampi???) and decided to give it a try.

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I googled it but mostly it says scampi is a cooking method for shrimps but the grocery sign says scampi.. whatever, I don’t care since I’m already in the business of trying something new I might as well jump into this. So I bought around 5 pieces and it weighs 800 grams for around SG$24. Night before the 18th, I felt like 5 pieces won’t be enough for us so I thought of going to the wet market the next day to buy tiger prawns as substitute. Luckily they were selling scampi and I got additional 3 pieces for SG$15.

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You think you can scare me?! Well actually… you do…

During my trip to the grocery also, I saw some whole Tazmanian Salmon selling at a discounted price – SG$12++/kg so I got one which weighs around 2.5kg and costs around SG$30. I then decided to make this a part of the menu for ze husbandry’s birthday because he is a sucker for salmon 😀

I was really excited days before yesterday, thinking “weeee I’ll be cooking again” little did I know I’ll be literally cooking the whole day. I was so tired after that my sole is sore and my whole body was in pain – first time in my history of cooking!

I was actually a bit nervous about cooking the scampi because it is something I haven’t cooked before and I have no idea how a scampi should taste like. But as they say – when in doubt – grill! Once I was resolved to grilling it, I looked for a recipe in the internet and suddenly remembered the prawn recipe I saw in tasty conversations on fyi channel and adapted as below

BBQ Scampi (serves 4 very hungry, seafood-eager people)

1.3kg scampi, whiskers and legs trimmed and cut in half (which took me forever to finish because I feel sorry for them)

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Marinade:

6 cloves garlic peeled and coarsely grated

2 long red chili finely chopped

2 small bunch of fresh parsley, washed and finely chopped

2 lemon zest

juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp of sugar

3 tsp salt

5 Tbsp olive oil

a dash or 2 of liquid smoke

Sauce/Dipping:

1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup ketchup

1 1/2 Tbsp hot sauce (Tabasco)

4 garlic cloves minced

2 Tbsp minced peeled ginger

1 tsp salt

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While I was cooking it, I was reminded of my time in Camiguin. It literally smells of the beach – that feeling when you are just chilling seaside and eating or perhaps just staring at the sea. That maybe the reason why I didn’t notice my kitchen was already filled with smoke haha!

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Also in the menu:

California Roll (which ended up as rice with avocado,crabsticks and omelette)

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And Baked Salmon with Butter Sauce (butter sauce was from “mastering the art of french cooking” by julia child)

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I just have to say, the salmon was cooked to perfection! I’m so proud of myself I wanted to cry, lols!

Despite feeling like running 21K, I was more than happy with the results of my cooking and my husband loved the food (except perhaps the california roll) I’m now thinking of joining MasterChef Asia haha!

Can someone please tell me what’s a scampi? 😀

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