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Monday, January 27, 2014

Celebrate Chinese New Year with Happy Shrimp! {recipe}



I am a foodie. I simply love to prepare and eat great food. I’ve enjoyed meals prepared by chefs in restaurants all around the country. But despite all of the various foods I’ve tried, my favorite, by far, remains Chinese food. For me it is comfort food. Growing up I was an extraordinarily busy child, involved in just about any activity you can think of from being Student Government President (in both high school and middle school), to playing violin, singing, and even trying to play sports! My mom was also a very busy full-time working single mom so most of our home cooked meals were relegated to the weekends. We’d both get in pretty late so quick convenient food was high on our priority list and our fallback was alway Chinese. And yes, I am aware that most Chinese food is Americanized BUT I have dined at authentic Chinese restaurants (there are some great ones here in Atlanta) and my love grows fonder still.

And my love of Chinese pastry? Oh my goodness, I wish I had some buns from Chinatown in NY right now! All this talk about Chinese food is because Lunar New Year aka Chinese New Year is this Friday, January 31st. Chinese New Year is a two week celebration when family and friends gather and celebrate. During this time you will see a lot of red because it scares away evil spirits and there are numerous traditional foods eaten like egg rolls for prosperity based on their resemblance to gold bars and fish for abundance. This year is the For Chinese New Year I was so tempted to make a pastry but quite honestly my hips protested so I decided to make Happy Shrimp Stir Fry because above all else, I’d like happiness this year. I found a recipe by the awesome Jaden of Steamy Kitchen. I figured if I wanted a Chinese New Year recipe it’d be best to get an authentic one and this one has her mom’s stamp of approval.

I can tell you that this is delicious! Happy shrimp stir fry made me really, really happy! After making this I am much more likely to prepare even more Chinese food at home because this is a much healthier option than my usual favorite General Tso’s Shrimp and it tastes better!

very little breading just a little cornstarch coats the shrimp

I hope that you decided to make this recipe because it is quick, easy and economical. I was able to purchase the ingredients I needed (some are already staples like vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, ketchup) shrimp and vegetable broth for under $10.00 at Walmart. And it literally only took me 15 minutes to prepare! I will enjoy this during Chinese New Year and beyond.


Happy Shrimp Stirfry
recipe reprinted from Simply Recipes
For the sauce (mix together in a bowl)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
For the shrimp
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, deveined
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons canola, vegetable or peanut cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced green onion
  • Handful of shredded iceberg lettuce
METHOD
1 Pat the shrimp very dry and place them in a bowl. Toss with the cornstarch.
2 Heat a wok or large frying pan on high heat until a bead of water instantly sizzles and evaporates upon contact. Add the cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the cornstarch coated shrimp to the wok and spread out in one layer. Let fry untouched for 1 minute. Flip and fry other side for another minute. Remove the shrimp from the frying pan, keeping as much oil in the pan as possible.
3 Return the pan to the stove. Add an additional teaspoon of cooking oil to the pan if needed. When the pan is hot, turn the heat to medium and add the garlic and the ginger and fry for 15-30 seconds until fragrant.
4 Pour in the sauce mixture and bring to boil. Add the cooked shrimp back into the wok and let simmer for an additional minute until the shrimp are cooked through. Serve on bed of shredded lettuce and top with garnish of sliced green onions.




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