Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ming Tsai's Lemongrass Shrimp Scampi with Pappardelle -- Tasty Fusion Take on a Classic

Having had Ming Tsai's "Simply Ming One-Pot Meals: Quick, Healthy and Affordable Recipes" in my cookbook collection for a few months now, I have been seriously neglecting it. Even the opportunity of watching the man himself cook from it, tasting three of the dishes (all delicious), and getting my book autographed in November didn't raise it to the top of the cookbook stack. Finally, this week I succumbed to the lure of the many colored Post-It tabs I had placed in it and made one of the crave-worthy dishes within, an Italian-Asian fusion pasta dish, Lemongrass Shrimp Scampi with Pappardelle.

You can find the recipe in "Simply Ming One Pot Meals" on pages 80-81

Ming says, "The Italian-American dish called "shrimp scampi" (a redundancy, as "scampi" is always a shrimp dish) features shrimp, garlic butter, lemon and parsley. We've had much success at Blue Ginger serving this version with lemongrass in addition to the citrus fruit, and pairing the shrimp with pappardelle, a pasta with lots of surface area for sauce coating. This is a perfect starter or main dish, and it's easy to make, too."

Lemongrass Shrimp Scampi with Pappardelle
From "Simply Ming One Pot Meals" by Ming Tsai
(Serves 4)

1/2 lb fresh or dried
kosher salt
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, Plus more for coating the pasta
2 Tbsp minced lemongrass, white part only
4 shallots, sliced thin
1 Tbsp minced garlic
freshly ground black pepper
12 large shrimp, (U-15) peeled and
zest and juice of 2 lemons
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp thinly sliced chives for garnish

Fill a large bowl with water and add ice. In a stockpot or other tall wide pot, cook the
pappardelle until al dente, 1 to 2 minutes if fresh, 4-5 minutes if dried. Using a large strainer, transfer the pasta to the ice water, and when cold, drain and transfer to a medium bowl. Drizzle in enough olive oil to coat the pasta lightly, toss, and set aside. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water.

Heat the stockpot over medium heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the lemongrass, shallots and garlic and sauté, stirring, for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp and sauté until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest and juice, stir, and return the pasta to the pot. Toss to combine. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. If the mixture seems dry, add as much of the reserved pasta water, starting with 2 tablespoons, as needed. Add the butter, stir, and transfer to 4 individual serving plates. Garnish with the chives and serve.

Ming recommends: To Drink: A tropical fruit juice like pineapple or passion fruit or a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, like Brancott or Giesen.

Notes/Results: A great combination of flavor, texture and color, and an easy dish to make with a big impact on the plate. The lemongrass adds a different touch to the scampi, a clean, slightly herbal tang--of course it is plenty lemony between the zest the juice, but the butter and garlic mellow out the lemon flavor so it isn't overpowering. Personally I like a lot of lemon flavor. I did add another clove of garlic into the mix--I need my scampi to have plenty of garlic. One thing--Ming asks for large shrimp--although he lists U-15's which are actually considered "colossal" and the bag in my freezer was 26-30 per pound (marked "extra large") so I just threw some extra shrimp into the dish. This was a different and delicious take on a classic dish that I would happily make again.

This week marks the 4th Anniversary of Presto Pasta Nights, created by my friend Ruth of Once Upon a Feast, and one of the longest running weekly blog events. I am sending this tasty pasta dish to Ruth for her celebratory Pasta Potluck Party. Be sure to check out her round up on Friday for all kinds of wonderful pasta creations.

Congratulations Ruth!


  1. When Ming Tsai was on Top Chef a few weeks back, I totally spent the whole time thinking...I hope Deb sees this! I love a good fusion dish and this pasta definitely has some of my favorite flavors. Oh lemon. How I love thee.

  2. Lemon, I agree with I love thee! What a great submission for PPN for a big celebration.

  3. An interesting take on scampi. I loved watching Ming Tsai on Top Chef Masters and was sorry when he was eliminated.

  4. I love scampi! This is a fantastic version... especially with the lemongrass! Lovely post and recipe, Deb!

    Also, I'm hosting a CSN Giveaway this week and would love if you entered!

  5. What a fabulous addition to Presto Pasta Night's big birthday celebration. I do love what Ming Tsai does with food and this shrimp dish sounds & looks awesome.

  6. Yay for Ming! there's just something about pappardelle, too...I've never had it because I've never seen it in the store and I'm too lazy to make it, but it's just so enticing to me. This sounds delicious and I love the lemongrass infusion.

  7. Deb - I'm still obsessing over shrimp and this looks so wonderful. I love the lightness with all the lemony flavor and the shrimp. This is exactly the kind of food that I am craving right now. I'm ready to move onto lighter, more spring-inspired fare.

    Glad you got a chance to cook from Ming's book. Sometimes it's hard to keep up with all the cookbooks we have on our shelves.

  8. Ming Tsai is such a great chef; I've always enjoyed his recipes and style! Lemongrass is now calling to my heart and soul after reading this. I can smell it over here on the Mainland, Deb! :-D

  9. I love this fusion of flavors! Every time I eat shrimp scampi I wonder how I can kick it up a little. This is my answer!

  10. This sounds amazing, so wonderful with lemongrass, an excellent fusion dish!

  11. Good selection. I really enjoy watching his show, and now will have to get just one more cookbook. How often have I said that? Have you eaten at Blue Ginger?

  12. JennifercampbelldesignJuly 15, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    does anyone have the recipe for Ming Tsa's Red Rendang? Have looked for months and cannot find on internet or his cookbooks! Thanks-Sonny


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