Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Stir fried shrimp with pepper and celery in a hoisin sauce

Shrimps are my favorite seafood and when I have a last minute guest to entertain, this is my go to non-vegetarian protein. They are easy to defrost and cook very quickly too. In this traditional Chinese recipe, I have combined them with fragrant and ever so slightly spicy green peppers and some celery for crunch. The sauce is a mixture of soy sauce with a heavy hand of hoisin sauce. The shrimps are marinated with Chinese rice wine and cornflour which gives it that beautiful glossy appearance. Then they are lightly sauteed with ginger and garlic and finished with the hoisin sauce mixture. Great served with plain white or brown rice.

Stir fried shrimp with pepper and celery in a hoisin sauce

1/2 lb shrimps, peeled and de-veined (about 30 shrimps per lb)
1 small green pepper, cut into 3/4th inch squares
1 stick of celery, thinly sliced
2 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine + 1 tablespoon rice wine
1 1/2  teaspoons corn flour
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
1 tablespoon garlic, peeled and finely minced
1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. In a small bowl combine 1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine, corn flour and 1 tablespoon water. Coat the shrimps in this mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a 10 inch non-stick saute pan over medium heat. Add the canola oil, minced ginger and garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the chili flakes, chopped pepper and chopped celery and saute for 1 minute. Now add the shrimps and salt and cook till the shrimps turn pink about 2 to 3 mintues. Add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice wine and 1 tablespoon water and cook for about 2 minutes till the shrimps are glossy.
Serves 2 as part of a composed meal

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mushroom,sugar snap peas and edamame salad in an Asian dressing

Delicious and fresh are the two words I would use to describe this salad. Summer is coming to an end, but this salad pairs well with any Asian meal which needs a fresh component. I served it last night with egg fried rice, black bean tofu and shrimps in hoisin sauce. The main ingredient in the salad is mushroom and you need the freshest button mushrooms you can find since they are not going to be cooked. The sugar snap peas adds sweetness and the edamame is a great vegetarian protein. You could make this salad with snow peas and celery as well instead of sugar snap peas and edamame.

Mushroom, sugar snap peas and edamame salad in a Asian dressing
10 oz white button mushrooms
10 oz sugar snap peas
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Clean the mushrooms with a damp kitchen towel and cut them into thin slices. Place them in the serving bowl 
  2. Trim the sugar snap peas to remove the fibrous string. Hold a paring knife in one hand and the sugar snap in the other, with the inside curve of the pod facing you, trim the top of the pea keeping it intact on one side and pull off the tough string that runs along the length of the pod.  
  3. Place the trimmed sugar snap peas and the frozen edamame in a small sauce covered with water and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and cook on high for 5 minutes. Drain the water and transfer the peas and edamame to a bowl of ice cold water. This will stop them from further cooking and retain their vibrant green color. Drain them after 5 minutes and set aside.
  4. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing and toss the mushrooms in it with the cilantro. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. If you refrigerate for longer, the mushrooms will lose their crispness and become really soggy. 
  5. Remove from the refrigerator and mix in the sugar snap peas and edamame with the toasted sesame oil and another tablespoon of lemon juice. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Serves 4

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Stir fried eggplants - South Indian style

This is a South Indian version of a stir fried eggplant dish. the farmers markets in summer are filled with various kinds of eggplants. I used fairytale eggplants, which are 3 to 4 inches long and slender and not bitter either. They are easily available in farmers markets during the summer months. These small eggplants are combined with red onions and a fragrant mixture of spices and lentils and perked up with a healthy dose of dried red chili to produce this mouth watering dish. Serve with steam rice and a soupy lentil dish like sambar or rasam.

Stir fried eggplants - South Indian style
1 lb fairy eggplant
1 1/2 cups sliced red onions
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 - 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon urad dal
1 tablespoon chana dal
1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
  1. Trim the tops of the eggplants and quarter them vertically or halve them depending on the thickness of the eggplant.
  2. Dry roast the coriander seeds, urad dal and chana dal separately for about two minutes each over medium low heat. Make sure they do not burn. Once cool, grind the coriander coarsely in a coffee grinder. Set aside. Then grind the two roasted dals into a fine powder. Mix the three powders in a bowl to be added at the end.
  3. Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet with olive oil over medium heat and add the mustard seeds. when the seeds begin to pop, add the sliced onions and cook over medium heat for 4 minutes stirring once or twice.
  4. Add the eggplants to the onion mixture and the turmeric powder. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix well. Cook covered over medium low heat for 8 to 10 minutes till the eggplants are soft. Toss after every 3 minutes.
  5. Once the eggplants are soft, add the spice powder and the dried chili flakes. Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes over medium low heat. Taste for seasoning and adjust the salt accordingly.
Serves 4 as part of a composed meal