Are you buried under a pile of snow?
I’m not. And while I’m not exactly saying I want to be buried under a pile of snow, I certainly wouldn’t mind a few inches, you know? It’s like 60 degrees in Austin – and while that’s something I should be thrilled about – I am not at all thrilled. I love winter. I miss winter. Cold weather soooothes me.
This is 100% caused by my natural hermit and sloth-like tendencies which call for thick socks, multiple blankets, a couch you can sit on for days and a pup who fits into any tiny space you leave for him. And soup. Lots and lots of soup.
Also explaining how you managed to watch an entire season of The Wire in one day is so much easier when it’s freezing outside, you know?
Not that I know anything about that.
Nope. Not me.
Still, I know there are a whole bunch of you stuck in that cold weather who want to slap me right now. I know it sucks. I’m sorry. Not sorry enough to not complain about my lack of snow, but pretty much sorry.
If it’s any consolation, I made you dinner! (Kind of.)
So IF it is stupid cold where you are and you want something with a little tropical vibe, look no further: These sambal oelek shrimp wraps are the perfect fit! Aside from being SO GOOD, they’re easy to throw together (in spite of a somewhat-long list of ingredients – so don’t be scared!), are totally customizable and can easily be scaled up or down depending on how many mouths you have to feed. As far as “easy dinners” go, these are like one step up from fancy avocado toast. But still pretty simple!
I used shrimp because I love how quickly it cooks, but I know for a fact the sambal oelek marinade will be delicious on chicken (my recipe is based on this one, which is actually for chicken). Or tofu! Maybe even cauliflower?? Oh man, the possibilities.
Because there are a number of components in this dish, I want you to think of it as a “choose your own adventure” type of meal, which automatically makes it more fun:
Meat/protein: I’m pretty sure anything would work here as long as it’s paired with this delicious, spicy marinade. Like I said, shrimp cooks up really fast so it’s my go-to. But use whatever you have on hand + fits your lifestyle.
Rice: I made coconut rice because I loved the idea of spicy shrimp against cool, slightly sweet rice. But regular rice is fine! If you do want to jazz it up, I love adding lime zest and cilantro to cooked rice (yes, like the kind you get at Chiptole. No shame.) and think it would be super tasty here. You could even try another grain, like quinoa, if you prefer.
Toppings: We’re playing with pickled red onions today because OMG HAVE YOU EVER HAD A PICKLED RED ONION?? They’re the perfect finishing touch to….well, anything really but I love them with spicy dishes like this. If, however, you don’t like pickled things you can just add raw onion. Or forget the onion, and add some sliced avocado. Nobody will be mad at you.
Wrap: I know they can be messy, but man I love a lettuce wrap. If that’s not your thing, go with good ol’ tortillas and straight up make this a taco. You can also wrap this in some pita bread or naan (omg yum) or be a rebel and just chop up the lettuce and make yourself a big ass salad. It’s all good.
See? This is basically YOUR recipe now. Go forth!