Vietnamese summer rolls

Adapted from Rasa Malayasia

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz (115g) rice noodles or rice vermicelli (or Maifun rice noodles)
  • 4 oz (115g) peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 leaves fresh lettuce, sliced
  • 6 sheets Vietnamese rice paper
  • 2 oz (56g) carrot, peeled and cut into matchstick strips

Thai peanut sauce:

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons ground peanuts
  • salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Add some water to a pot and bring it to a boil. Add the rice noodles and cook per the package instructions, stirring occasionally (10 minutes approximately). Drain and rise under cold water, set aside.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the Peanut Sauce together in a small bowl. Whisk it to mix well. Transfer to a dip bowl and garnish with the peanuts.
  3. In another small pot, bring some water to boil. Cook the shrimp for about 1 minute, or until the shrimp are completely cooked. Drain, let cool, and slice in half lengthwise. Set aside.
  4. Divide the vermicelli, shrimp, lettuce and carrot into 6 equal portions.
  5. To assemble the summer rolls, dip one sheet of the rice paper in a big bowl of water. Shake off the excess water and quickly transfer it to a clean, dry and flat working surface, for example, kitchen countertop or a chopping board.
  6. Place the rice noodles on the bottom part of the rice paper.
  7. Add the sliced lettuce and carrots.
  8. Place 3 shrimp halves on top.
  9. Fold the bottom side of rice paper over the filling securely, then fold the left and right sides of the rice paper over the filing. Make sure the filling is secured tightly.
  10. Continue to roll the summer roll over, until fully wrapped. Repeat the same until everything is used up!
  11. Cut the Summer Rolls diagonally in the middle into halves, place them on a platter, and serve immediately with the Peanut Sauce.

We made the hoisin version of the peanut sauce, but I kind of missed a little Thai peanut sauce flavor! I know, fusion. Jesse’s sister made them really well (see photos).

~Jessica

Scallion ginger shrimp

Adapted from The Woks of Life

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound shrimp (450g, peeled and deveined)
  • 4 scallions (cut into 2-3 inch lengths)
  • 10 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or canola or vegetable oil)
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing Wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 dash soy sauce (optional but we added)

Directions:

  1. Defrost your shrimp (I had them in the refrigerator) and give them a quick rinse, checking them for any veins. After they are defrosted and clean, place them into a colander to drain well. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
  2. Cut the scallions into 2 1/2 inch pieces and slice the ginger to about 1/8 inch thickness. Heat the oil in your wok over medium heat and spread the ginger across the wok. Let it fry in the oil for about 20 seconds to infuse the oil with all that great flavor, and immediately turn up the flame to the highest setting.
  3. Next, add the scallion ends and the middle green parts of the scallion. Give everything a quick stir and add the shrimp. Let the shrimp sear for 20 seconds and add the wine, sesame oil, salt, white pepper, and pinch of sugar.
  4. Add the remaining green portion of the scallions and stir-fry until the shrimp is just cooked through. Add in the dash of soy if using, and give everything a final toss. Plate and serve immediately.

I wanted to practice run through this recipe before using it for Lunar New Year next weekend. It was so quick, once your assemble all your seasonings, almost as quickly as making the ramen noodles. Jesse’s review: “They’re tasty.”

~Jessica

Shrimp fried rice

Adapted from Just One Cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 6 shrimps (100 g or 3.7 oz; shelled and deveined)
  • 1 leaf iceberg lettuce (30 g or 1 oz)
  • 1 green onion/scallion
  • 2 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (canola, etc)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil (roasted)
  • 1 tsp sake (subbed with Shaoxing wine)
  • ¼ tsp kosher/sea salt (use half for table salt)
  • 2 cups cooked Japanese short-grain rice (preferably day-old cold rice)
  • ⅛ tsp white pepper powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

Directions:

  1. Cut shrimp into ½ inch (1.3 cm) pieces.
  2. Cut iceberg lettuce and scallion into small pieces.
  3. Gently whisk the egg in a small bowl.
  4. Heat wok until surface almost smoking, add the oil and spread it around till it coats the surface evenly. Add the egg and cook over high heat. The egg will not stick to the pan as long as you put enough oil. Quickly mix it with a spatula and when it’s 80% cooked, take it out and put on a plate.
  5. In the same wok, add shrimp and then sake and salt. Cook until shrimp change color outside. The inside doesn’t have to be cooked through at this time. Take shrimp out onto the plate.
  6. Add sesame oil and cook scallion, stir until nicely coated with oil.
  7. Add the rice and break up the chunks of rice. Toss the wok and mix well together.
  8. When rice is coated with oil, put the egg and shrimp back in the wok again and toss all together. Add lettuce, white pepper, freshly ground black pepper, and soy sauce. Toss the wok frequently and mix it all together. Serve immediately.

But just in case anyone forgets, limit your seafood intake (if you’re concerned about mercury, by all means), because of this: Will the ocean ever run out of fish? I’m a huge fan of TedEd videos, especially in education. Feel free to sub with chicken, or tofu instead, just make sure to marinate the chicken well ahead of time (salt and pepper, minimum), or fry the tofu. Consumer decision has huge influence on overfishing practices. I used 1/4 lb. of “sustainably farmed” shrimp (although Thai — carbon footprint) from Whole Foods, used 2 eggs instead of just one, and subbed the sake with Shaoxing rice wine. Probably could have used 2-3 lettuce leaves for more veg.

~Jessica

Chinese shrimp stir fry

Adapted from Steamy Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce (I didn’t have)
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro minced (optional, I didn’t use)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined (tails left intact)
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil divided (I used butter, peanut oil preferable)
  • 3 scallions, chopped (I wish I’d had, used red onion instead)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, microplane grater (I wish I’d had)

Directions:

  1. Pat the shrimp very dry with paper towels. In a medium bowl, add shrimp and cornstarch and toss to coat.
  2. In a wok over high heat, add half the peanut oil (butter) and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. When the wok is very hot, add the shrimp in a single layer and cook partially until one side is nicely seared, about 1 minute. Flip and sear the other side of each shrimp, about one more minute. They don’t need to be cooked all the way through yet. Remove them to a plate and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine oyster sauce, soy sauce and cilantro and set aside.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium and let wok cool off a bit to prevent the aromatics from burning. Add the remaining cooking oil and add green onion (I had red onion), garlic and ginger (couldn’t find) and stir fry for a minute until fragrant. [I used other vegetables, like lima beans, which I added to the wok and stir fried until bright in color and crisp-crunchy.]
  5. Pour in the sauce mixture and add the shrimp back into the pan. Stir fry for another minute or so until shrimp is cooked through. Serve immediately.

Some AirBnB tenants left some frozen shrimp, and I had garlic and butter, so… Home-cooked meal ^_^ My only regret is not having ginger and scallions — I don’t think the lima beans or red onions were the best complement.

~Jessica

Shrimp rolled omelette

img-20170116-wa0034Similar to Japanese tamagoyaki. Adapted from mao mao Mom

12 shrimp
salt, white pepper, cornstarch, sesame oil
4 eggs
salt, rice wine, scallion greens
olive oil

Deshell and de-vein the shrimp. Rinse and chop small. Mix with salt, white pepper, cornstarch, and a dash of sesame oil. Set aside for 20 minutes. Beat the eggs with the seasonings and scallions.

Heat nonstick pan (must be nonstick!) and fry the shrimp in the oil until cooked pink. Remove from pan. Add half the egg mixture. Cook until it’s mostly done (a little wet on top still), and add half of the marinated shrimp in a line down the middle of the omelette. Carefully wrap the omelette around the shrimp, and cook on all sides. Serve. Repeat with the rest of the egg and shrimp.

~Jessica

Bun Chay

Bún Chay (Vietnamese Noodle Salad). Adapted from smitten kitchen and Cooking with a Wallflower

4-8 ounces dried rice sticks or vermicelli
12-18 large shrimp
peanut oil

Sauce
1 lime, the juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons water
4 cloves garlic, minced
ginger, finely grated
6 tablespoons natural unsalted peanut butter
Chili pepper/chili paste, miso, Asian fish sauce, mirin (rice vinegar, if you can find it)

Greens
mixed greens
1 small carrot, thinly sliced
2 small cucumbers, thinly sliced
handful of mixed herbs, coarsely chopped or torn (basil, mint, cilantro)

Garnish
2 tablespoons peanuts, roasted and chopped
Small Thai or Serrano chiles, thinly sliced, to taste
scallions
toasted sesame oil
Lime wedges (to serve)

Make the dipping sauce: Whisk ingredients in a small serving bowl, dissolve the sugar. Leave for 15 minutes. Refrigerate extras and use within a few days.

Cook the noodles: Bring a large pot of water to the boil, then turn off the heat. Add the rice vermicelli and soak for 7 to 8 minutes. (Package directions may vary; check for doneness by tasting.) Drain when noodles are al dente, and cool under running water. Fluff and leave in strainer to drain well.

Toss vegetables with 1 spoon dipping sauce in a small bowl. Divide the cooked noodles among 4 – 6 bowls. Top each bowl equally with vegetable mixture and chopped marinated protein. Toss each bowl with 2 teaspoons of each the dipping sauce and dressing, or more to taste. Add the herbs, peanuts and scallions to each bowl and serve with additional dressing and dipping sauce on the side.

Gambas al ajillo

Adapted from No Recipes and Serious Eats

125 mL olive oil
10 cloves garlic, 1/2 minced and 1/2 smashed
2 dried cascabel chiles (or 1 medium dried guajillo chile), seeds removed and crushed into flakes
450 g shrimp
1 lemon, juiced or 60-89 ml brandy / cognac / dry sherry
salt and pepper, parsley, sweet paprika, red pepper flakes

No Picture — I forgot the parsley and they were eaten too fast (slightly overcooked because they were a little tough)!

Combine the minced garlic, olive oil, salt, and shrimp to marinate. Saute smashed garlic and chiles/pepper flakes in olive oil until fragrant, about 10 minutes on medium-low heat. Fry shrimp until cooked, about 2 minutes on medium-high heat. Sprinkle on lemon juice and parsley. Serve hot.

~Jessica

Taiwanese sticky rice

aka “Oily Rice” (油飯). Adapted from an Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association (ITASA) cooking workshop recipe hosted by the National Alliance of Taiwan Women’s Associations (NATWA)

2 cups long-grain sweet rice (I used 3 rice-cooker-cups glutinous rice)
5 dried black mushrooms (if you haven’t, shiitake)
10 slices ginger (I only used 5)
100-200 g boneless pork (I used 4 Chinese sausages)
75 mL sesame oil
300 mL hot water
60 mL soy sauce

Pre-cooking preparation:
a. Place the rice in a large bowl and rinse thoroughly. Cover with water and soak for at least 4 hours, or even overnight. Drain.
b. Soak dried mushrooms in hot water for 10 minutes or until soft. Wash mushrooms thoroughly and slice thin.
c. Crush ginger slices with a rolling pin to release the flavor.
d. Slice pork thin.

IMAG5663Heat sesame oil in wok. Brown the crushed ginger. Remove ginger from wok. Brown pork and mushrooms in the remaining sesame oil. Add the rice and soy sauce to wok, mix thoroughly. Here you can either cook it in a rice cooker (less water than covers the rice) or: Add 1/2 cup of hot water to the wok. Cover and cook on high for 2 minutes. Stir and add the remaining hot water. Keep stirring until the rice becomes translucent. Cover wok and cook on low heat for 10 more minutes. Serve.

~Jessica

P.S. I added some extras suggested by It’s My Dish and The Grub Files: cane sugar, 2 star anise (~16 points), 1-2 fried shallots, 3 cloves garlic (lightly smashed), dried shrimp (soaked 30 minutes in warm water), Shaoxing rice wine, oyster sauce, boiled peanuts, five spice powder.

Chinese fried rice

Adapted from Rasa Malaysia and China on Site and steamy kitchen.

~1 lap cheong (Chinese sausage), diced small
180 g baby shrimp
200 g  frozen peas-corn-carrot, defrosted 15 min (I had 300 g)
2 stalks of scallions, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
fresh ginger, grated
3-4 cups Jasmine rice, leftover
4 glugs of peanut oil
2 eggs, beaten
pinch of black/white pepper
fish sauce
soy sauce
sesame oil
splash of cooking wine
1 skinless and boneless chicken breast (optional)
100 g salted fish (optional)

IMAG5303

plated

Heat oil in wok. Fry Chinese sausage and shrimps over low heat until done. Remove from heat. Stir-fry frozen veggies until done. Set aside. Heat oil in wok. Quickly stir-fry scallions, garlic, and ginger until fragrant. Add back the sausage and vegetables. Stir-fry quickly. Scramble eggs separately and add. Add rice; stir to mix. Add in soy sauce, fish sauce, wine, and white pepper, stirring. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with scallions and (toasted) sesame oil. Serve.

~Jessica

P.S. My mom’s version:

fried-rice

BBQ

photo.JPG

Throwback Thursday (from August):

I grilled the shrimp (marinated in garlic, salt, wine, pepper, and paprika) and it came out great! It’s one healthy way to eat them. A comparable recipe is that of Rasa Malaysia or No Recipes or Damn Delicious‘s Gambas Al Ajillo.

I grilled the frozen corn, which came out not too bad.

And I made a chicken salad with cranberries, blueberries, walnuts, and feta cheese. Like Eating Richly. Jessica wouldn’t mind a Simply Recipes Cobb salad either at a barbecue though.

~Kai-ling