This past weekend we decided to go back to visit the Asian market we haven’t visited a while. The reason for the lapse was because we noticed an ever more sparsely stocked shelves. We didn’t find any other good Asian markets in the vicinity and stopped Asian market shopping all together for a while. Some time later we read in the news that the owner of the chain market was in the process of selling his stores to another chain store from NY. So we waited. This weekend’s visit was not disappointing. Yes, the shelves were well-stocked. The store was well-lit and clean. I was rather like a kid in candy land.
So, Saturday night we made turkey and napa cabbage dumplings. MM was in 7th heaven. She liked it so much, I packed it for her lunch for Sunday’s after church luncheon. Our group was supposed to divide up and each family bring parts of a taco salad. I knew MM wouldn’t like it the raw “salad” part, and so, instead of having her eating just the ground beef and the taco chips, I put the dumplings in her thermos, and she ate it all up.
Just as I patting my own back for clever planning, someone brought out the desserts: a big sheet cake smothered in thick sugar frosting, apple cookies, and a blueberry pie. Of course it was a big struggle for MM when I carefully explained that we should scrape off the frosting, and then had to enforce what I requested. I’d liken it to waiting a big bottle of whiskey in front of an alcoholic, and then tell the person that the drink was not to be had. What can I say? I know I’m on the narrow road.
Fortunately, the later part of the afternoon was a bit brighter. MM got to play with her friends. And then after we got home and played a little bit. MM watched me making the rice stick/noodle dish, and helped with shelling the shrimps. She was rather pleased with her own usefulness. This was a nice dish to make after the dumplings, since I was able to add in the unused dumpling fillings. And we enjoyed the dinner, too. As usual, I made a huge pot, enough for 2 – 3 meals plus preschool lunches.
Stir-fried Rice Stick
Okay, sorry if the title is a little misleading. I thought the colors in this dish make this name appropriate. Not a complicated dish to make after a long day at work, and the aroma in the kitchen is mouth-watering while the shrimps are being cooked. A tip to stir-frying shrimps is to brine them first in lukewarm water with added salt. It really gives a pleasant “springy-ness” in the mouth.
rice wine – 2 1/2 tablespoons
salt – 3/4 teaspoons
egg white – 2
corn starch – 5 tablespoons
shrimps – 30 medium-sized
olive oil – 4 teaspoons
garlic – 2 cloves
chopped scallions – 2 tablespoon
minced ginger – 2 tablespoon
dried Shiitake mushrooms or “Wood Ears” – 8 ears
shredded carrots – 2 cups
broccoli crowns – 5 or 6 cups
water – 1/4 to 1/2 cups
rice wine – 1 tablespoon
sesame oil – 1 teaspoon
salt – to taste
coarse ground black pepper – to taste
Remove the shells and devein the shrimps. Brine them in salted water. Squeeze the shrimps until the liquid becomes foamy. Discard the liquid and repeat. Then discard the brining solution again, and marinate the shrimps for at least 20 minutes.
Soak the dried Shiitake mushrooms in a small bowl of water until soft. Slice the softened mushrooms.
Heat the pan and add 2 teaspoons of olive oil until the oil is hot. Add garlic into the pan. Stir until it’s slightly colored. About 1 minute. Now add shrimps (discard the marinade) and stir-fry them until they’re cooked through. Then take the shrimps out to a plate.
Heat 2 teaspoon of olive oil again, then add the scallions and ginger. After about 2 minutes, add the rest of the vegetables (mushrooms, carrots, broccoli). Add just enough water to keep the vegetables from getting too dry. When the stir-fry is about half-way done (the broccoli is starting to soften, but still a little tough), add the rice wine and sesame oil. When the vegetables are just soft enough (not mushy), sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Then add the shrimps back into the pan and mix them before serving.
This is enough to last through two or three meals for our family of three.