pound large raw shrimp, fresh or frozen, shelled and deveined
cups warm water
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
small yellow or white onion, peeled and finely minced
garlic cloves, peeled and grated
cup tomato paste
teaspoon black pepper
tablespoon tamarind paste (not concentrate)
bunch cilantro, leaves and stems minced
green chile, such as serrano or Thai chile, thinly sliced
- Place the shrimp and the water in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat until the shrimp turns pink, about 10 minutes for fresh shrimp and 15 minutes for frozen. Increase the heat to high, bring the liquid to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Separate the shrimp and the liquid, and reserve both.
- Wipe the saucepan dry with a clean paper towel. Heat the oil in the saucepan over medium. Add the onion and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until it turns translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the tomato paste begins to deepen in color. Add the black pepper and tamarind paste, then stir in the reserved cooking liquid and mix until fully combined. Taste and season with salt.
- Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Remove from heat and fold in the reserved shrimp, cilantro and green chile. Serve hot.