Sunday, August 19, 2018

Eric Ripert's Shrimp with Orzo, Tomatoes, and Ginger

Do you ever have trouble sourcing ingredients? I do. I've always attributed it to the fact that I live in central Kentucky, and while it's certainly up and coming, it's not a major metropolitan area. I was surprised when my friend, Shirley at Ever Open Sauce, mentioned having trouble sourcing lemongrass as she lives in the metro New York City area. I suppose in my mind, you can find everything you want in New York City. The truth is, sourcing is an issue for all of us, regardless of where we live.

While Shirley did eventually source lemongrass, I could not. Interestingly enough, after Shirley tasted the dish she felt like the flavor of the lemongrass was lost and recommended using garlic instead. I was so happy when I read her helpful notes as garlic is much easier to source. Major score, because now I could stop trying to source that pesky lemongrass and forge ahead with this dish! Thanks Shirley for your help!

This is the kind of dish that I love. A handful of ingredients. Fresh flavors. Nothing fussy. Make it your own with the freshest seafood of your choosing. The original recipe was written to be Scallops with Orzo, Tomatoes, and Ginger and Shirley did use scallops. Her recipe looked wonderful and while I would've loved to use scallops, I had trouble sourcing them as well, go figure. I opted to use some Royal Red Shrimp fresh from the Alabama Gulf.

Orzo tossed in a sauteed mixture of minced ginger, garlic, lemon, basil, and tomatoes with some seared Royal Reds makes for a fresh and light dinner on a hot summer day.  I highly suggest making this easy, refreshing, light summer meal. It really hits the spot!

Shrimp with Orzo, Tomatoes, and Ginger
Adapted from Food and Wine
by Eric Ripert
Serves 4

1 cup orzo or other tiny pasta
One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large stalk of fresh lemongrass, the tender inner core of bottom third only, coarsely chopped (and or substitute with a clove or two of minced garlic)*
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil*
1-1/4 pounds tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped basil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 pounds large sea scallops or shrimp*
salt and pepper, to taste

*Notes: Feel free to use any seafood for this dish, as long as it is fresh. Also, the original dish called for vegetable oil, and quite a heavy hand, but I opted to use olive oil and used just a drizzle here and there to lighten things up.Also feel free to substitute garlic in place of the lemongrass.

In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the orzo, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a mini processor, mince the ginger with the lemongrass.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium skillet. Add the ginger and the lemongrass and cook over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons of the basil and the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the scallops, or shrimp, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat until browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook for 1 minute longer.

Mound the orzo in shallow bowls or on plates and top with tomatoes and scallops/shrimp. Sprinkle with remaining basil and serve.


  1. If I can't find something at the grocery store I try Trader Joe's or World Market. I don't know if you have either of those in your area but I can get lucky there. It's frustrating though. half the time I just substitute something else and know the flavor will be different. Oh well!

    Love your dish here - orzo is such a favorite with me. It's pasta but ricelike!

  2. Kim, the funny thing is. At the local farmers market, I can get fresh fish and scallops, and no shrimps at all. These Royal Red Shrimps fresh from the Alabama Gulf are off the chart—in size and freshness. I'd love to dive into your dish. Thanks for mentioning me on this post.

  3. So weird! There are definitely some supermarkets I can think of that don't source lemongrass here but I can think of quite a few that do. Either way I'm glad you were able to find a worthy substitute and make this great dish!

  4. This dish looks like a perfect dinner to me. Simple, but so much flavor! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  5. A very Great and interesting post. Thanks for sharing Your Awesome Recipe with us. You explain it Very Well, I just Love it to try your Recipe. Sounds very Delicious and tasty. Once again thanks for sharing with us. :) 😃



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