Monday, August 23, 2010

Stir-Fried Shrimp with Green Peas

My version of an ubiquitous Chinese menu fav. I've been tweaking this recipe since back in my college days when my cooking skills were often suspect. Nonetheless, here it is in its current iteration.

2 lbs. shelled, deveined shrimp (31/40 count is a good size)
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tbsp. rice wine
2 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 slices of ginger, minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 scallions, sliced

2 cups light chicken stock (I use a Chinese brand of chicken powder called "Totole", at the ratio of 1 tbsp. of powder to 2 cups of water; you can substitute with chicken bouillon dissolved in water or regular chicken stock)

This is my favorite brand of Chinese chicken stock. Their granulated mushroom bouillon can be used interchangeably with their granulated chicken bouillon. Because it's from China, my mom thinks it's inherently tainted or secretly laced with untoward chemicals. Do I think so and do I care? Not so much. Just tastes good.

1 tbsp. light soy sauce.
1 tbsp. rice wine
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. white pepper

2 tbsp. cornstarch blended with 2 tbsp. water (cornstarch slurry)

1 lb. whole button mushrooms, quartered
1/2 green peas
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Cooked white rice

1. First prep the shrimp using this technique to make them "bouncy" and crispy in texture:

2. Place shrimp in a large glass bowl. Add 1 tsp. of minced garlic, 1 tsp. of minced ginger, 2 tsp. of minced scallion, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, 1 tbsp. rice wine, and 2 tsp. sesame oil. Toss well, cover with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator until ready to use.

3. Quarter the button mushrooms, chop the cilantro, and set aside. 

4. In a large saute pan, heat 1/4 cup of vegetable oil over high heat until just about smoking. Add remaining minced garlic, ginger and scallion, and cook quickly, about 30 seconds, to release their flavor. Add quartered button mushrooms to pan and saute about 1-2 minutes.

5. In the meantime, add shrimp to pan with mushrooms and continue cooking over high heat until shrimp is lightly browned but barely cooked through (3-5 minutes). Remove shrimp mixture to a plate and set aside. 

6. Place saute pan back on heat and add the sauce ingredients; bring to a boil. Add green peas and cook about 30 seconds.

7. Add shrimp to sauce, bring back to a boil, add cornstarch slurry and stir until thickened. Turn of heat, garnish with cilantro, and serve over hot white rice.

Scallions, garlic, ginger root and cornstarch slurry (2 tbsp. cornstarch with 3 tbsp. water).

Cut ginger into 4 slices.

Next, julienne those ginger slices .

And finally, for the mince, cut those matchstick pieces of ginger into teensy dice.

Totally minced ginger.

Add 1 tsp. of minced garlic, 1 tsp. of minced ginger, 2 tsp. of minced scallion, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, 1 tbsp. rice wine, and 1 tsp. sesame oil to the shrimp. Toss well, cover and refrigerate. Reserve the rest of the garlic, ginger and scallion for later.

Quartered mushrooms & chopped cilantro.

Cilantro, scallions, mushrooms, green peas, ginger and garlic.

Saute the remaining scallions, ginger and garlic (the holy trinity in Chinese cooking).

Add shrooms to the mix.

Add in the shrimp.

When shrimp just barely turns pink (do not cook through), remove to a bowl and set aside.

Sugar, sesame oil, light soy sauce, rice wine and chicken stock.

When it comes to rice wine in  Chinese recipes, you can use either the clear rice wine or the amber-hued "Shaohsing" wine. Clear is the preference in this recipe, but just use whatever is available. 

All the sauce ingredients, blended together.

Pour sauce ingredients in the same pan that the shrimp was cooking in and bring to a boil.

Add in the peas.

Put the shrimp back in the pan of sauce, bring to a boil and pour in cornstarch slurry to thicken.

Hmmm. A half-assed presentation, now that I look at it. I tried to do a quicky photo shoot of the final dish before dinner, and in retrospect, it doesn't do the final outcome justice. In reality, we don't eat Chinese food on a plate, but in a bowl that's filled with rice and topped with all the sauce and goodies. Regardless of presentation, it's still delish!

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