Yield: 4 servings
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided, or more to taste
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds extra-large shrimp, peeled, deveined and patted dry
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 scallions, whites minced, greens sliced on the diagonal, reserved separately
1 bunch cilantro, stems minced, leaves roughly chopped, reserved separately
1 pound ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped
Cooked rice, for serving
1. In small bowl, stir together 1/4 teaspoon cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Season the shrimp on both sides with the mixture.
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2. In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add half of the shrimp in a single layer and cook without stirring until golden on the bottom, 45 to 60 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to plate. Brown the remaining shrimp in the oil remaining in the pan, then transfer to the plate with the first batch.
3. To the oil remaining in the skillet, add ginger, garlic, thyme, scallion whites, cilantro stems, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook over medium, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
4. Add tomatoes and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits, then cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain steady but gentle simmer, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
5. Add shrimp and accumulated juices. Cook, stirring, until the shrimp are opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in cilantro leaves. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
6. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with scallion greens. Serve over cooked rice.
"Milk Street: The World in a Skillet" by Christopher Kimball (Voracious, April 2022, $35)