3.09.2010

ginger, soy sauce, and ketchup.

Josh has mentioned several times that he would like me to make more Chinese food. He even bought me a cookbook once at a yard sale, The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook. I think I've made one thing out of, egg drop soup (which I did because I truly love egg drop soup, another exception to my overall ho-hum attitude about eggs). Mostly, I'm resistant to this idea. For one thing, I'm pretty ambivalent to Chinese food as I know it. It's alright once in a while, but I don't go out of my way for it. Secondly, I associate it with Josh's Chinese ex-girlfriend.

Jealousy is one of the stupidest emotions I've ever known. When you start getting mad at your boyfriend for using chopsticks, then you know you're dealing with something that can't be fought with logic. Thankfully, I am mostly passed all that. Chopsticks do not bother me. In fact, I even have a set of them that did not come from a take-out place; they're very useful for poking blue cheese dressing through a funnel. Despite this great personal progress, during those times when he requests Chinese food, I still sometimes hear that small voice inside me that wonders if he thinks having a half-Kansan girlfriend isn't very exotic.

But sometimes I get over myself and I make Chinese food, or at least American food with ginger and soy sauce. Because then his gratitude is such that it seems silly to ever worry about some other girl.

Last week, I made Szechwan Shrimp. He ate his helping in about thirty seconds, and it only took that long because he stopped three times to tell me how awesome it was. Aw, shucks. Then he went and got more. He would have eaten the whole thing, except that he thought that I needed some to take to work the next day. So this one is going straight into the regular rotation. I doubt it has much to do with acutal Szechwan cuisine, what with the presence of ketchup, but who cares? What is a cultural melting pot for if not to add ketchup to ethnic food?

Szechwan Shrimp
Adapted from Allrecipes
  • 1 onion, chopped into square inch pieces

  • 3 celery stalks, chopped into inch-long pieces

  • 3 carrots, cut into long, thin pieces (1.5 in x 1/8 in)

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled with tails removed

  • cajun seasoning (optional)

  • soy sauce (optional)

  • olive oil

Sauce
  • 3/4 c water

  • 3/8 c ketchup

  • 3 T soy sauce

  • 1/8 c cornstarch

  • 3 t honey

  • 1 1/4 t crushed red pepper

  • 3/4 t ground ginger

Sprinkle cajun seasoning and soy sauce on shrimp, stir to coat. Mix up sauce, set aside.

Cook vegetables and garlic in olive oil until tender on the outside, but firm on the inside. Add shrimp to skillet. Add sauce to skillet and mix to coat. Continue cooking until sauce is thickened and shrimp are cooked through. Serve over rice.


Notes: You could make this with chicken, I bet. For those of you who don't like a meal to clear your sinuses, then cut down on the red pepper. This is what I would call very spicy, on the verge of too spicy. Josh's tolerance is much higher than mine, but he didn't add any hot sauce, which indicates that he thinks it's about right. You'll notice that this is reasonably healthy, which was a total accident, I promise. It's also quick. The whole thing took me forty-five minutes, and that's just because I'm a slow vegetable chopper.

I marked the soy sauce and cajun seasoning as optional because I just added those things on a whim because I knew the shrimp would have to sit in a bowl in the fridge for a while. I have no idea how much they actually added. Also, the garlic is optional because I forgot to add it. But you should add it, because garlic is delicious. You should always add things which are delicious.

1 comment:

laura said...

Sandra,

As soon as I read about your spicy shrimp experience/recipe, I knew that one sounded delicious. It was still a bit too spicy for one of my children. But, the other 7 of us loved it. (And we like to use chopsticks because it seems like the fun thing to do.)

Thanks!
Laura