The other day I wrote about the trove of clipped recipes I’ve managed to amass over the years. In my effort to separate the wheat from the chaff, I’ve decided to pluck a recipe at random from time to time and post it on the blog if I deem it to be “scissor-worthy.” Today, courtesy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch (and the McClatchy-Tribune news syndicate), I bring you what I’m calling “Salt and Pepper Shrimp.” The original title is “Wok-Flashed Salt and Pepper Shrimp” but since John and I need to purchase a wok, I made this in a skillet instead. It worked just fine.
The recipe as published in the paper was adapted from one created by television chef Ming Tsai. I’ve made a minor adjustment of my own, which I’ll explain in a moment.
This recipe is supposed to serve two people, but John and I—hearty eaters both—found that we had enough left to have for lunch today. (I did use slightly more than a pound of shrimp, which I purchased at my favorite seafood store, Yellow Umbrella. I also bought shrimp that was already cooked.) I should add that whenever a recipe gives me a choice between a dried herb or spice or its fresh incarnation, I always opt for fresh. The tartness of the lemon zest in the rice is enhanced by the wonderful intensity of the minced ginger in this dish.
Salt and Pepper Shrimp
1 pound large, easy-peel shrimp
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
6 scallions, thinly sliced
Place shrimp in a bowl of water to soak while you prepare the other ingredients. (This step isn’t necessary if you’re using cooked shrimp, although I always give seafood a rinse under the tap.)
Mix the cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Remove shrimp from water (if uncooked) and add to the cornstarch mixture. Toss well to make sure all of the shrimp are covered with the mixture.
Heat the oil in a wok or skillet on high heat. When the oil is smoking, add the shrimp, ginger, garlic, and scallions. Stir-fry four to five minutes until the shrimp have turned pink. (The timing will be the same if using shrimp that has already been cooked; just be sure to stir the shrimp well while the other ingredients are cooking so they don’t burn or stick to the skillet.)
Serve over Lemony Rice and Peas.
Lemony Rice and Peas
1 package microwavable white rice*
1 teaspoon canola oil
Zest of 1 lemon (grated skin) plus 1 tablespoon juice
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Cook rice according to package directions for the microwave, or use my method for Basmati rice below. Measure one and one-half cups of rice into a bowl (I used about 2 cups), saving any extra for another meal. Add the oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and peas. Toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
*Here’s where I veered from the recipe. I’m not a fan of using the microwave for anything other than melting butter, warming coffee, heating leftovers, or making popcorn—with kernels, not the packaged kind. Instead, I prepared 1 cup of white Basmati rice in a pan on the stove:
(1 and 3/4 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon of butter. Bring all to a boil, turn the gas down low and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Simmer for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat for about 15 minutes more.)
Serve with Salt and Pepper Shrimp.