In this spicy seasonal salad from chef Tiffani Faison (of Sweet Cheeks Q, Tiger Mama and Orfano fame), Thai flavors merge seamlessly with bright heirloom tomatoes and brined shrimp for a dish that’s just as well suited for a patio dinner party as it is for a quick weeknight meal. Hit the local farmer’s market for freshly picked tomatoes and be sure to start out conservatively with Thai chilies; they pack a lot of heat and can always be added (but not subtracted) from the sauce.
- 5 cups water
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/8 cup brown sugar
- 1 pound large shell-on shrimp, quick brined
- 3 pounds heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 6 Thai chilies, smashed
- 1/4 cup grape seed oil
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup Thai basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon scallions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon cilantro stems, thinly chopped
- 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup fried shallots
- Combine salt and sugar and combine with hot tap water. Stir until dissolved. Refrigerate until completely cooled.
- Submerge shrimp in brine for at least four hours, or overnight. Remove shrimp from the brine 10 minutes before cooking and pat dry.
- Slice tomatoes and set aside.
- Heat oil in a pan until shimmering then add garlic. When the garlic begins to brown, add shrimp and chilies, and immediately remove from heat.
- Continue to stir the ingredients and add fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar.
- Once combined, return the pan to the heat and add basil and cilantro stems. Stir until shrimp are cooked through, turning from translucent to bright pink and white.
- Spoon mixture over tomatoes and garnish with chives, cilantro leaves and shallots.