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Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp

Two common ingredients in Vietnamese cuisine are Thai basil and lemon grass. Lemons do not grow in the tropics, but lemon grass does and has that distinctive citrus flavor. Of the many varieties of basil, Thai basil has a much stronger anis flavor.

1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp

Vietnamese Shrimp Marinade

Prepare the marinade (recipe follows). Add the shrimp to the marinade, zip the bag almost closed, expel as much air as possible, and zip the bag fully closed. Marinate refrigerated for 1 to 2 hours.

Remove the shrimp from the bag, discarding the marinade, and skewer so that the shrimp will lay flat on the grill.

Grill the shrimp over a hot fire for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes per side depending upon size. They should be pink and show grill marks.

Vietnamese Shrimp Marinade

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (in Vietnam 1/2 stalk lemon grass would be used)

2 cloves garlic, chopped

10 fresh basal leaves (Thai basal is preferred)

1 to 2 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce, or your favorite chili sauce

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons canola oil

Combine the first 4 ingredients (zest through chili sauce) in a blender and puree. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Place the marinade in a zip-top plastic bag.

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