Fried Shrimp Flatbreads with Spicy Cardamom Sauce
Photo: Johnny Valiant
At his L.A. spot, Josef Centeno has done what few chefs do: developed a new kind of sandwich bread. Called the bäco, it's a very supple flatbread. But his creative fillings, like the fried shrimp here with cardamom-chile sauce and herbed crema, are sensational on any kind of flatbread, or even rolled inside flour tortillas.
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- 1/2 cup crème fraîche
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons mint, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chives, minced
- 1 lemon, grated zest only
- 7 cloves garlic, minced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 Thai chiles, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 (large) egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
- 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 16 (about 1 pound) shrimp, shelled and deveined
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 4 (10-inch, thin) flatbreads, such as naan, or thick flour tortillas, warmed
- 1 Hass avocado, sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
- 1/4 cup pickled red onions (from a jar of pickled beets and onions), sliced
- In a bowl, whisk the crème fraîche with the buttermilk, mint, chives, lemon zest and 1 minced garlic clove; season the crema with salt and pepper.
- In a blender, combine the remaining minced garlic with the chiles, cardamom, cumin and lemon juice. Puree until smooth. Season the cardamom sauce with salt and pepper.
- Put the beaten egg and panko in separate bowls. Dip the shrimp in the egg, then dredge in the panko; transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a saucepan, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil to 350°. Fry 4 shrimp at a time, turning once, until browned and crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to drain; season with salt. When all of the shrimp have been fried, transfer them to the oven and bake until heated through, about 2 minutes.
- Spread the warm flatbreads with the spicy sauce. Arrange the avocado and the shrimp on top. Scatter the pickled onion on top, drizzle with the crema and serve.
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