Jan 15 2012

Shrimp and Peapods with Bell-peppers and Mint in a Garlic-Ginger Chili Sauce

Published by at 11:44 am under Asian,Seafoods,Shrimp

Chinese Take-out Part Deux

Shrimp and Peapods with Bell-peppers and Mint in a Garlic-Ginger Chili Sauce

Shrimp and Peapods with Bell-peppers and Mint in a Garlic-Ginger Chili Sauce

“What the heck?” That’s what I exclaimed the last time I opened my Chinese take-out box, rummaging for the shrimp and peapods.  I ordered #43 from the menu “shrimp and peapods.” But to my dismay, I found four pitiful shrimp the size of jelly beans and five stringy, yellowish overcooked peapods. I found myself slurping noodles submerged in a flavorless broth, promising never again to be the victim of Chinese carry-out.

With a wok, some noodles, shrimp, and veggies, you can make your own Chinese with the ratio of ingredients you want, and it will only take you 15 minutes. In fact, it can be your go-to meal for those days, you are out of fresh produce, or you just dont want to make a trip to the grocery store to buy the ingredients. As long as you keep some of these staples in your pantry and fridge at all times, Chinese can be a quick fix meal any day of the week with no fuss.

In case I want a quick-fix Chinese dinner, I always have soy sauce, fish sauce, and sweet chili sauce. These come in handy for Thai and Vietnamese dishes too. Also, wheat noodles, egg noodles, and soba noodles are a must in my pantry. Bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, baby corn are not only economical, but they also add the perfect crunch to any  Chinese dish, so I keep some cans of these in my pantry too. For the aromatics, garlic and ginger are a must. In fact, ginger keeps well in the freezer for at least a year. Speaking of my freezer, I keep a bag of frozen raw or pre-cooked shrimp along with a stir-fry mix of veggies.

I bought some beautiful fresh shrimp today that were on sale, and also some peapods to make my favorite take-out dish Shrimp and peapods my way: more shrimp, lots of pea pods, and some noodles in a flavorful garlic, chili, and ginger sauce. When I got home, I realized I had a couple bell-peppers and a bag of fresh mint. Why not have them join the party?

Shrimp and Peapods with Bell-peppers and Mint in a Garlic-Ginger Chili Sauce Recipe

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

2 lbs shrimp

1/2 lb peapods

2 red bell peppers

3/4 cup  bamboo shoots

1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint

1 lb of wheat, egg, soba, or buckwheat noodles

5 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1 fresno chili or 1 teaspoon chili paste

2 cups of chicken broth

1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce

2 teaspoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Boil water in a large pot. Add the pea pods. After two minutes, remove them with a strainer, and shock them in a bowl filled with ice and water. This process is called blanching, and we do it to make the vegetable more pliable and give it a vibrant color without over-cooking it to a mushy, discolored state. In the same pot of boiling water, now add the noodles. Remove after a few minutes (depending on what type of noodle you use the time will vary. Look at the packaging for exact minutes). Keep the noodles and pea pods in a big serving bowl.

In a hot wok, pour the vegetable oil and add the minced garlic, grated ginger, and finely chopped fresno or chili paste. After a minute, add the sweet chili, oyster, and fish sauce. Stir for another minute, then add the shrimp. Toss after a minute. You can slice your bell-peppers thinly in a julienne style while you wait for the shrimp to cook. After another minute, remove shrimp from the wok add to the serving bowl with the noodles and pea pods. With the wok still on high heat, immediately add the bell-peppers. Toss frequently for about a minute. Now, add the chicken broth and soy sauce and using a wooden spoon deglaze the wok, or scrape the bits that are at the bottom of the wok. That’s where all the flavors for you sauce are. Kick back the heat to medium-low, and add bamboo shoots along with everything in the serving bowl. Toss it around for a few minutes.  Turn off the heat, add the chopped mint, and empty your wok into the serving dish.

Bon Appetit!

 

 

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