By David Cohen

I’ve used this marinade several times for shrimp and boneless chicken and been totally wowed by it; it’s the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. Not only that, it doesn’t have a lot of ingredients; it comes together quickly, and you only need 15 to 30 minutes of marinating time.

For a pound of shrimp or chicken, coarsely chop three Fresno chiles and six garlic cloves and then combine them in the food processor with an 1/8 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and about 3 tablespoons vegetable oil. Run until smooth and then toss in a glass bowl with the peeled shrimp or chicken.  Cover and refrigerate. 

When you’re ready for dinner, heat a little bit of vegetable oil over high heat in a heavy pan. When it starts to smoke, add the shrimp or chicken, making sure to leave any excess marinade in the bowl. I also recommend stirring in a bunch of chopped basil after everything is cooked through and you’ve removed the pan from the heat.