Couscous is a blank canvas.
Alone, it is tasteless and boring but with a tiny amount of creativity it transforms into fulfilling side dish.
Last night I made Shrimp and Thai-ish Couscous.
I added the -ish because it was a long way from something authentic. But boy-oh-boy it was delicious!
It’s a cinch to make — just use equal parts of liquid as couscous.
I like to use this Thai Coconut Curry broth but you can use any broth or even just water if you want to.
Once the broth comes to a boil, pour in the couscous, stir, cover, remove it from the heat, and leave it alone for about 5 minutes.
That is it.
I just leave it covered while I prep everything else.
Chop the shallot:
A clove of garlic:
And the cilantro.
I sautéed the shallots in olive oil:
Added the garlic after a couple of minutes:
Then the chopped scallions after another minute:
And then a big spoonful of Roasted Red Chili Paste:
It is a concentrated blend of roasted red chilies and Thai spices.
Keep the jar out because we are going to need several more spoonfuls.
Uncover the couscous and fluff it with a fork.
The pan I used wasn’t big enough for me to work in so I transferred it to a bigger bowl.
a messy cook an energetic stirrer.
Add the shallot/scallion mixture to the couscous and gently combine.
You can take a quick taste but we aren’t finished yet.
I tossed in some ground cumin, curry powder, salt, pepper, another spoonful of chili paste, and drizzled in some olive oil.
After a taste it needed 2 more spoonfuls of chili paste and another dash of salt.
I am sorry that I don’t have exact measurements… I just taste and add as needed.
It is all up to you and your family. You might only want a tiny amount of chili paste or maybe you want to omit the cumin. It is your canvas.
I added the cilantro, snuck another bite, and set it aside while I cooked the shrimp.
Put a good amount of couscous on each plate:
And then the shrimp.
It was so good that I ate more for dessert.
And then again for lunch the next day.