This dish is awesome for grilling and serving in the backyard with friends. The marinade’s bright and spicy flavors contrast perfectly with the herbaceous, nutty noodles. It’s also great made with grilled fish. The dressed noodles can be served either hot or at room temperature.
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Preheat the grill to medium-hot. Put the skewers in a pan of water to soak.
2. Use a serrated knife to cut the shrimp lengthwise along the back of the shell, stopping short of cutting all the way through, to butterfly them.
3. Rinse and drain the shrimp and put them in a large bowl. Add ¼ cup of the mint, ¼ cup of the cilantro, and the basil, chiles, olive oil, lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, sugar, and salt. Toss well to coat. Remove the skewers from the water and thread 3 shrimp on each skewer through both the head and tail ends to hold them in their natural C shape.
4. Cook the capellini in the boiling water until al dente. Drain, rinse with cool water, drain again, and transfer to a large bowl. Coat with the emerald sauce, tossing with two spoons until the noodles are evenly coated. Set aside. (The pasta is best served at room temperature.)
5. Grill the shrimp over medium-hot heat until they are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Use a fork to spiral the noodles, making a nest at the center of each plate. Serve 2 shrimp skewers crisscrossed atop the noodles for an entrée, or 1 for an appetizer. Garnish with the remaining mint and cilantro.
What to Drink: Serve with Thai iced tea or a cold Asian beer on a hot summer day. Other good choices include a kabinett riesling, gewürztraminer or other aromatic white wine with a touch of sweetness.
CHEF’S TIP: Grill shrimp with shells on for more flavor. Cutting through the back of the shell makes it pop off for easy eating.