I was lured into the promise of tangy sweetness, by a story in the June 2010 issue of Bön Appetit about tamarind. I’ve had a jar of tamarind concentrate -- a thick, dark syrup sold in a jar -- in the back of my refrigerator for quite some time. “It’s time to use it!” I admitted. So I pulled together a dish that I’ll call “Sauteed Shrimp with Tamarind and Soba Noodles,” as inspired by the aforementioned story in Bön Appetit. My noodle dish was not-too-sweet, but warm, smooth, and bright. My young child absolutely loved this.

I cooked 12 oz. of soba noodles, which are spaghetti-style Japanese noodles made of buckwheat and wheat flours. These are starchy noodles that typically benefit from being rinsed after cooking, but instead of rinsing, I allowed my sticky noodles to absorb all the great sauce that I made. And what was this sauce? Well, first, I sauteed 2 lbs. of defrosted shrimp with two diced shallots in an ample pour of olive oil for 8 minutes over medium-high heat. Then I added my sauce combination that included 4 Tbsp. of the tamarind concentrate, 5 oz. water, 5 oz. of a mixture of fish sauce and oyster sauce, 5 oz. of dry white wine (an Argentinian Torrontes), and 2 tsp. brown sugar. I simmered the shrimp with the sauce for 19 minutes. I then poured all this over my sticky soba noodles, which soaked it all up. Oh boy, we enjoyed this one. Try tamarind paste and/or concentrate. It’s fantastic.

Shrimp (2 lbs.) = $23.42
Shallots (2) = .20¢

RECIPE: make a sauce with tamarind concentrate and enjoy its unique tangy sweetness
eat after less than an hour of prep and cooking
TASTE: tart tamarind adds a brightness that’s more exotic and complex than lemon juice or vinegar, and swims so well with shrimp and noodles

Next time, I want to use some ready-made pizza dough to prepare “Pizza with Egg, Prosciutto, Artichokes, Olives, Mozzarella, Tomato Sauce and Basil,” from Jamie’s Italy, by Jamie Oliver, along with a “Warm Salad of Roast Cauliflower & Quinoa,” from thestonesoup.com. Come back to my site on Wednesday, July 14, to see this fantastic meal.