- Date: Sunday, November 2, 2008 -- 7pm
- Location: Bloomington, IN
- Kitchen: My Apartment
- Dining Companion: Matty
- Recipe Rating: B+
After eating restaurant food all weekend in Indianapolis, my special gentleman and I were looking for something light and simple to have for dinner on Sunday night when we got back. I picked this recipe so that I could also make some progress on the always lagging Fish and Shellfish section. Several years ago now, Chris bought me a bamboo steamer as part of a Christmas gift. The intention of the gift was not for me to steam things, but rather for me to stack and carry pies. Many years ago, when it was apparently more common for people to make multiple pies and then carry them around, there existed an object in which you could stack a bunch of pies safely on several tiers, and then carry the whole thing by a handle. Unfortunately this item no longer exists, and I can't find an old one anywhere. Chris heard my complaints and bought me the next best thing: a bamboo steamer. Indeed, pies can be stacked on the layers of the steamer, and then transported safely, protected by the hard bamboo exterior. So while I have used my bamboo steamer to cart around pies, I had never actually used it to steam anything. Strange, I know. This recipe was exciting because it gave me an opportunity to use not only the bamboo steamer from Chris, but also the wok that Mike got me last spring.
The method was very simple. The shrimp were marinated in a mixture of minced scallions, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, sugar, salt, and oil. Then they were placed in a heatproof dish nestled in the rack of the bamboo steamer, sitting in a wok of boiling water. I put the lid on the steamer and let the shrimp steam for about 8 minutes. To complete the dish, I sprinkled the shrimp with some scallion greens, drizzled with sesame oil, and served them over rice. This dish had just what we were looking for: nice clean flavors without a lot of oil or butter. I like butter-laden food just as much as the next person, but sometimes it is nice to have a dish that tastes light. This one is about as light as a shrimp preparation is going to get. The recipe accounts for this nicely -- the flavor you would normally get from browning the shrimp in fat is replaced by a very flavorful marinade. As the shrimp steamed, a bit of sauce (essentially the marinade and water) formed in the dish with the shrimp. The Book doesn't mention this at all -- but we saved that sauce and poured it over the rice. It was thin, but delicious! It added a lot to the dish to have that extra flavor in the rice. This was a quick, simple dish that my special gentleman and I both enjoyed.
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