This weeknight dinner for one is inspired by an incredible garlic shrimp I had at a Chinese restaurant in Hawaii. When roasted at high heat in a quarter sheet pan like this, marinated shrimp cooks up gorgeously and begins to caramelize in its own juices, creating a sauce that's made even saucier thanks to a last-minute pat of butter and spritz of lemon juice. Though the usual scampi players are present (garlic, lemon, and red pepper flakes), I went with mirin instead of white wine and soy sauce instead of salt, lending it some of that Waikiki palate. I anticipate that many will wish to skip the optional pinch of sugar, but I implore you not to; for me, anyway, this dish didn't fully come together until that one pinch. But to each their own: That is the point of cooking for yourself, isn't it? You can tailor a recipe to your predilections. As for my predilections, I like to eat this straight out of the pan with a bowl of white rice and an ice-cold beer, just as I had it in Hawaii. —Eric Kim
In a small bowl, stir together the shrimp, garlic, soy sauce, mirin, olive oil, sugar, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest. Marinate for 10 minutes.
Lay shrimp on a quarter sheet pan in a single layer and roast for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Out of the oven, add butter and toss the shrimp until coated and butter is melted, then spritz with lemon half. Serve with white rice.
Eric Kim is a Senior Editor at Food52, where his weekly solo dining column, Table for One, runs every Friday morning. Formerly the Digital Manager at Food Network, he writes about food, travel, and culture and lives in a tiny shoebox in Manhattan with his dog, Quentin "Q" Compson. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can follow him on Twitter @ericjoonho.