No Dill-y-Dallying to This Dish

Turmeric adds color, while dill or curry leaves add the pow.

Dill is like cilantro’s twin brother — either people hate the poor guy or adore him. There’s no in-between.

The feathery-leafed herb with the assertive flavor is all too often forgotten, too. Unless we’re making gravlax or pickling veggies, it’s not often an herb we have on hand.

That’s a shame because dill’s distinctiveness can lend a dish real punch.

See for yourself by making “Malaysian-Style Stir-Fried Turmeric Shrimp.”

The recipe is from “Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge” (Simon & Schuster) by Chinese cooking authority, Grace Young.

The dish was created by Mei Chau, a former restaurateur in New York, who was born in Malaysia and is of Hakka descent.

It’s a quick stir-fry dish, which starts with marinating large shrimp with chilies, dill, pepper, and turmeric that imparts a deep yellow hue to the dish. Garlic and shallots get tossed around in a hot wok, then the shrimp are added and allowed to sear. In just three minutes, it’s ready to be served.

If you’re not a dill fan, no worries. The dish also can be made instead with curry leaves, which will lend a lovely citrus note. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

Malaysian-Style Stir-Fried Turmeric Shrimp

(Serves 2 as a main dish with rice or 4 as part of a multicourse meal)

2 small dried red chilies, or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 pound large shrimp

9 fresh curry leaves cut into strips, or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill sprigs

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon chopped shallots

1/2 teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, cover chilies in cold water for 1 hour. Drain chilies an cut into 1/2-inch pieces with the seeds. Using kitchen shears, cut through the shrimp shells two-thirds of the length down the back of the shrimp. Remove legs and devein the shrimp, leaving the shells and tails on. In a medium bowl combine the shrimp, chilies, curry leaves or dill, turmeric, and pepper. Stir to combine and marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes. Stir in sugar.

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottom wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the oil, add garlic and shallots, then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry 10 seconds or until aromatics are fragrant. Push aromatics to the sides of the wok, carefully add shrimp, and spread them evenly in one layer in the wok. Cook undisturbed 30 seconds, letting the shrimp begin to sear. Then stir-fry 1 minute or until shrimp just begins to turn orange. Sprinkle on the salt and stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until shrimp turn completely orange. Cover and allow to stand 30 seconds off heat. Uncover and stir-fry a few seconds or until shrimp are just cooked through.

From “Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge” by Grace Young


Another Recipe From Grace Young: Stir-Fried Bagels with Cabbage and Bacon (Yes, bagels!)

Another Shrimp Stir-Fry Recipe: My Mom’s Prawns with Pork and Black Bean Sauce

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Date: Friday, 14. January 2011 5:25
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23 comments

  1. 1

    I am a fan of dill, so this sounds lovely. In fact, this reminds me I need to get some dill seeds planted in my garden soon. The book sounds lovely too. Another one to add to my list.

  2. 2

    I love both herbs! It is true that they are not liked by everybody… Your prawn dish looks terrific!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. 3

    I love dill. I’ve tried to grow it, but it seems a bit to fragile for the conditions here in England. Beautiful dish.
    Have a wonderful weekend ahead.
    *kisses* HH

  4. 4

    What a yummy sounding dish and a gorgeous photo!

  5. 5

    What an interesting recipe! I don’t cook with dill too much although I don’t mind it. I’d like to try this with the curry leaves too though.

  6. 6

    Another great lede! (I used to think cilantro tasted like dishwater, but now I toss it into pretty much everything for that fresh grassy flavor.) Dill is under-used in my repertoire — will be making this dish for sure :-)

  7. 7

    You’re right! Dill is like cilantro’s cousin, because while I love cilantro, I’m lukewarm about dill. I don’t hate it but I feel it’s overused in seafood, especially fish dishes at restaurants, and I just tolerate the taste. But this dish does look pretty. Dill does make a nice garnish. ;-)

  8. 8

    I don’t use dill a lot but I adore cilantro. But now I’m craving shrimp for dinner. ;)

  9. 9

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sandy Hu. Sandy Hu said: RT @stirfrygrace: Thanks @carolynjung for posting my favorite dill stir-fry! http://tinyurl.com/4sn5v5w [...]

  10. 10

    Heavenly Housewife: I tried growing dill, too. The plant thrived beautifully — for all of four months. Not sure what happened after that. But my friend, who is a great gardener, said dill can be difficult to grow. So, see — it’s not us, it’s the plant. ;)

  11. 11

    wow! I just love the prawns! lovely in colour and style!

  12. 12

    Hehe it’s so funny that you say that Carolyn because I’ve heard that people dislike dill and coriander but I just adore both. especially dill with seafood! :D

  13. 13

    Ha…I have to admit, I’m not a huge dill fan (but I LOVE cilantro)…so I’d definitely make this with curry leaves. The recipe looks delicious!

  14. 14

    I’m in the love camp. And with cilantro, too.

    Meaning, I suppose, that I would love everything about this dish – it looks fantastic!

  15. 15

    I love Malay cuisine! I’ve never attempted to cook it, but this dish seems very approachable!

  16. 16

    Love prawns with dills! Your 1st picture is stunning!

  17. 17

    I once had too much dill and as a result its not a spice I readily reach for but as soon as I have it, I always enjoy it. I never would have thought to have it in a stir fry. I am very intrigued!

  18. 18

    Love the dish and the title of this post too.. I think this is the first time I’ve seen you feature a dish from home too hehe – gorgeous photo as well!

  19. 19

    I am absolutly a lover of dill so this gorgeous dish is right up my alley! I’ve never had dill with shrimp, but I bet it’s a fantastic pairing!

  20. 20

    I love dill and shrimp, but I’ve never tried finding the curry leaves. It doesn’t seem like they’d be interchangeable, but maybe either one would make a great dish, just a little different.

  21. 21

    Must use dill…making a note to myself. This dish looks great! I’ve got a curry leaves tree outside my window, and the bazaar is overflowing with dill these days! Mmmm…

  22. 22

    I love both dill and cilantro and think that there are certain foods that pair so well with one or the other that they seem bland without. This is one gorgeous shrimp dish!

  23. 23

    I thought I already left a comment the first time I saw it but I guess my baby came in the way and I forgot to click submit. LOL. Anyway, so happy to see a Malaysian recipe here. Love it. If you can find curry leaves in your store, drop a few of them in the shrimp while stir-frying. AWESOME!!!

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