Shrimp and Sweet Potato Rice Bowl & Why a Tropical Dish Makes Me Miss NYC

About a year and a half ago I moved back to Southern California from NYC. While I'm very happy with my decision to return to my family and my sunny roots, that decision doesn't come without the price of constantly longing for my favorite city in America. A lot of things remind me of my time in the city- the cold weather, pork buns, coffee + hot chocolate, city skylines, Jamaica hot sauce...

Jamaica hot sauce? Yes, Jamaica hot sauce. One of my absolute favorite restaurants in the city is Tacombi at Fonda Nolita. The food is simply great, but what makes Tacombi so special is the ambiance, and their ability to make you feel like you're enjoying homemade fish tacos and sangria in someone's back yard. Tacombi is well known amongst it's following (or maybe it's just me and my friends...) for their trio of hot sauces. Everyone has their favorite between the Chile Arbol, the Jalapeno, or the Jamaica, and mine without a doubt is the Jamaica.

Image Source: Google Image

About a year ago my boyfriend went home (he's NY born and bred) for the holidays, and when he came back surprised me with all of the hot sauces for my birthday! Each sauce is designed to pair with different types of food, the Jamaica specifically with seafood. I couldn't wait to slather it all over my famous (subject to opinion) Fish Tacos (fun fact - fish tacos was the first item I learned to make). However, with body figure and health in mind, it isn't realistic to consume fish tacos for dinner every night (again, subject to opinion). Thus, the Shrimp, Mango and Sweet Potato Rice bowl was born.

Guys, this bowl is so good. It's comforting (isn't all Mexican inspired food?) yet refreshing, simple yet bold. And for those of you who don't have the pleasure of owning Jamaica hot sauce, it's just as good with your own favorite blend. What's even better- it's customizable to your diet and taste. Vegetarian? Sub shrimp for black beans and tofu. Want more veggies? Add sweet red pepper, kale, and corn. Want a heartier meal? Use regular rice or quinoa. Don't like avocado? Get off my blog.

*If the photos seem off portion wise, it's because I was making extra for my lunch the next day

Serving Size: 2

1/2 pre-cooked shrimp (or fresh, deviened)

1 large sweet potato (or 2 small) - you will need a mandolin or Spiralizer to make the noodles/rice

1/2 avocado, sliced

1/3 cup mango, diced

1/8 red onion, diced

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 lime, juice

olive oil for cooking

salt and pepper

cilantro for garnish

1. Begin by prepping your ingredients. Remove the tails and toss the shrimp with dry seasoning and set aside. If using fresh shrimp, remember to devein.

2. Combine chopped mango, chopped red onion, a few squeezes of lime juice, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

3. Peel and chop the ends off the sweet potato. You can also cut them in half to make spiralizing easier. If you do not have a spiralizer, you can chop and roast the sweet potato cubes.

4. Spiralize the sweet potato using the skinniest blade.

5. Either chop the sweet potato noodles into rice like forms, or pulse in your food processor. It should look like the photos below:

6. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the minced garlic. Heat for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add sweet potato rice and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until al dente, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Meanwhile, heat oil in a separate skillet and add shrimp. If using fresh, cook until opaque. Heat through until slightly seared (about 2 minutes) tossing once or twice, and drain off any liquid.

8. Divide rice among two bowls, reserve any extra for leftovers. Top each bowl with shrimp, mango salsa, & avocado slices. Garnish with cilantro, squeeze remaining lime juice, and drizzle Jamaica hot sauce. Enjoy!

#food #photography #salad #shrimp #nyc #jamaica #mango #salsa #hotsauce #spiralized #sweetpotatorice