shrimp sambal with 20 garlic cloves


Nik Sharma

Hey Friends, I’m a multi-award-winning and best-selling cookbook author and photographer.

shrimp samba with 20 garlic clovesl | A Brown Table

In a battle of words and terminology, shrimp and prawns fall into that murky zone in our home. Early on as a kid, I thought shrimp were small prawns and prawns were big shrimp. Biologically speaking there are differences in the anatomies of the two types of crustaceans but that usually matters to biologists. In the United States, my childhood definition of what a shrimp and prawn were get reversed, prawns are larger than shrimp. There’s noticeable taste difference between the two, regardless of what you decide to call them but what matters is that they are delicious.

As part of the Pernod Classic recipe series, I made an Asian-inspired side, shrimp sambal with 20 garlic cloves laced with cabbages and potatoes. I know, I said TWENTY! It sounds crazy but trust me, it all comes together in this delicious and spicy combination of chili, pepper and of course, garlic. The anise flavor of Pernod Classic adds a mild sweetness to the marinade in the shrimp and the vegetables and balances the heat. This is an easy side to prepare and a delicious one to add to any meal. This is what I love about the versatility of Pernod Classic, from savory to sweet, you can use it almost any dish you can for added burst of flavor.

shrimp samba with 20 garlic clovesl | A Brown Table

shrimp samba with 20 garlic clovesl | A Brown Table

shrimp samba with 20 garlic clovesl | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this side,

  • Use good quality and fresh shrimp. I used peeled and deveined shrimp here because not everyone likes to peel their shrimp but if you and your family love the flavor the tail adds to the dish, keep it on!

  • If you want a midler garlic flavor, use less garlic. Play around with the amount that you’re most comfortable with.

  • I used fresh mint flowers from my garden for the garnish but if they’re hard to find, edible garlic flowers or chive blossoms will add a nice colorful contrast to the colors in the dish.

shrimp samba with 20 garlic clovesl | A Brown Table

shrimp sambal with 20 garlic cloves and vegetables

yields : 4 servings

for the vegetables


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup diced white onion

20 peeled whole garlic cloves

3 cups shredded cabbage (Napa preferably)

2 cups diced potatoes

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon Pernod Classic


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until they just start to get translucent. Toss the garlic and cook for another minute.

  2. Add the potatoes and continue to cook until the potatoes start to brown. Fold in the cabbage, add the salt and black pepper. Cook for an additional 10 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. Stir in the Pernod Classic and keep warm until ready to assemble.


for the shrimp sambal


1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon black pepper powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon sambal olek

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

¼ cup Pernod Classic

1 tablespoon cornstarch

¼ cup vegetable oil for frying (you might end up using less)

Fresh mint flowers to garnish (optional)


  1. Pat the shrimp dry with a clean kitchen towel.

  2. Whisk the remaining ingredients with a fork in a medium-sized mixing bowl until just combined. Toss the shrimp into the bowl and mix until evenly coated. Allow the shrimp to rest in the marinade for about 30 minutes covered.

  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, fry the shrimp in three batches until golden brown and the tail turns orange. The shrimp should cook within 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and drain excess oil on absorbent paper towel.  

  4. To serve, place the cooked cabbage and potatoes prepared earlier on a serving dish. Place the shrimp on top of the vegetables and garnish with fresh mint flowers. Serve hot.


Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Pernod Classic. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

3 Responses

  1. sounds wonderful, I don’t drink so could I use an infusion of star anise and fennel water with sugar in place of Pernod?

    Great photographs as well.

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