Shrimp with Lobster Sauce

Let’s face it, we have pretty bad Chinese food in the greater Milwaukee area. Granted, if I had to chose a restaurant for takeout or dine in, it would be Fortune Chinese Restaurant in West Allis. I say that because the first time my wife and I entered, we were completely out numbered by Chinese patrons. As a matter of fact, I think we were the only caucasians in the place, and the place was packed. After dining in a few times, I came to realize they had the American-Chinese menu, and the bad ass Chinese only menu. With that said, there are American-Chinese dishes that we have known to love, and this is one of them, the shrimp with lobster sauce.

Shrimp with Lobster Sauce

The name itself is a bit misleading, especially if it is your first time ordering it. The dish itself has no lobster whatsoever, but it is is typically a chicken stock with simple ingredients, that have eggs mixed in to make it a creamy whiteish/yellowish based sauce. A sauce so comforting, and creamy, that goes perfect with shrimp. As my wife really loves shrimp hong sue, I figured I would knock out this recipe and she how she liked it. Let’s say she just fell in love with this one.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 lb shrimp, (16-20’s), peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing wine
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • Jasmine rice, cooked

Start by adding a few cups of water to a sauce pan, and bring to a simmer. Add in the ground pork, and cook for about 5 minutes. This gets out any of the meat scum (if you will), and creates a cleaner sauce in my opinion. After 5 minutes, strain and rinse. Add the pork to a small bowl and reserve for cooking in a few minutes.

Next, get a large skillet out and bring to a medium-high heat. Add in the canola oil, and toss in the garlic, ginger, ground pork, and shrimp. Stir for a few minutes until the garlic is nice and fragrant but not browned.

Next, toss in the chicken stock, salt, pepper, sesame oil, and Chinese wine. Stir, and let this come to a simmer.

How to make Shrimp with Lobster Sauce

During this time, add the corn starch with the water, and stir until the corn starch is completely incorporated. This is called a slurry, and helps thicken sauces. It’s a hidden weapon in American-Chinese cooking, trust me.

Once you have a nice simmer, add in the slurry and continue to stir until the sauce thickens. Toss in the peas. You should have this awesome looking sauce that will remind you of all American-Chinese cooking. Next, add in beaten egg and continue to stir. The sauce should darken a bit when the egg is incorporated.

Shrimp with Lobster Sauce Recipe

Now you are ready to serve.

To a serving bowl, add some rice, and ladle in some of the shrimp with lobster sauce. Garnish with sliced green onions and dig in.

The end result is nothing short of comfort food. You get this awesome smooth sauce, succulent shrimp, that is balanced by subtle hints of garlic and ginger. It’s a quintessential dish that should be served more times than none. I hope you enjoy!

Shrimp with Lobster Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Chinese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 lb shrimp, (16-20’s), peeled and deveined
  • ½ lb ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing wine
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dark sesame oil
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup of frozen peas
  • Jasmine rice, cooked
Instructions
  1. Start by adding a few cups of water to a sauce pan, and bring to a simmer. Add in the ground pork, and cook for about 5 minutes. This gets out any of the meat scum (if you will), and creates a cleaner sauce in my opinion. After 5 minutes, strain and rinse. Add the pork to a small bowl and reserve for cooking in a few minutes.
  2. Next, get a large skillet out and bring to a medium-high heat. Add in the canola oil, and toss in the garlic, ginger, ground pork, and shrimp. Stir for a few minutes until the garlic is nice and fragrant but not browned.
  3. Next, toss in the chicken stock, salt, pepper, sesame oil, and Chinese wine. Stir, and let this come to a simmer.
  4. During this time, add the corn starch with the water, and stir until the corn starch is completely incorporated. This is called a slurry, and helps thicken sauces. It’s a hidden weapon in American-Chinese cooking, trust me.
  5. Once you have a nice simmer, add in the slurry and continue to stir until the sauce thickens. Toss in the peas. You should have this awesome looking sauce that will remind you of all American-Chinese cooking. Next, add in beaten egg and continue to stir. The sauce should darken a bit when the egg is incorporated.
  6. Now you are ready to serve.
  7. To a serving bowl, add some rice, and ladle in some of the shrimp with lobster sauce. Garnish with sliced green onions and dig in.

 

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Cajun Style Split Pea Soup

Nearly once a year I always make split pea soup. I’m probably the biggest fan of it in my household, and I’m fine with that. There is something special about this soup, and it may come from the smokiness of the ham, but ultimately it is not only satisfying as it is truly comforting. So this past Christmas, my mother-in-law offered me the ham bone as she typically always does, and I never decline. I’m a fan of the ham bone as well, and I know exactly what I am going to do with that ham bone every year, and that is to make a split pea soup! This time around however, I decided to change things up a bit, and add a few additional items to the soup and turn it into a Cajun style split pea soup. I’m glad I did, because this just elevated the wonderful flavors.

Cajun Style Split Pea Soup

Lets get started.

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups of chicken stock
  • 4 whole carrots, roughly chopped
  • 4 ribs of celery, roughly chopped
  • 3 whole onions, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 ham bone, with ham to spare
  • 1/2 pound of split peas, washed and reviewed
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 whole links of Andouille sausage, sliced into chunks
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 6 whole shrimp, deveined, peeled

Start by adding your stock and hambone to a soup pot. Make sure you are able to have enough stock to submerge the ham bone, if not, add some water. Toss in 2 carrots, 2 ribs of celery, and two onions. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 4 hours. I actually started mine in the evening and just let it cook down overnight.

After the four hours, or overnight cook, remove the ham bone and any of the large pieces of ham that might have fallen off, and set to the side. Strain the rest, reserving all of the stock. I mash every little bit ensuring that I get all of those flavors into the stock. I love this part because it allows me to use my chinois strainer!

How to make Cajun style split pea soup

Next, lets get the soup started.

Clean your soup pot, then return it back to the stove. On medium heat, add the stock back to the pot, and add in your split peas, the remaining carrots, celery, and onion. Season with a bit of salt, and cracked black pepper. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook.

To a skillet, add the oil, and bring to a medium heat. Toss in the garlic and Andouille sausage. Cook the sausage until it gets some nice color on it.

Shred any remaining ham, and add that to the stock mixture. Add in the bell peppers to the stock as well.

Once the sausage is cooked, add the garlic and sausage mixture to the stock. Give a good stir, and continue to cook.

Cook for about 1 hour, then taste your peas. You want them tender, but not mushy.

Cajun Style Split Pea Soup

Once the peas are tender, add in the cleaned shrimp and cook until they are just opaque.

Now you are ready to serve!

Get out your bowls and ladle in the Cajun style split pea soup, making sure you get a bit of everything.

The end result is awesome. It’s everything you love about a split pea and ham soup, but you get the great additions of sausage, shrimp, and a bit of heat. I’m hoping my mother-in-law keeps on the tradition of providing me that ham bone because I know this is going to be my go to split pea soup from here on out! I hope you enjoy!

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Shrimp Larb – ‘Larb Goong’

I will tell you that one of my favorite flavor combinations has to be that of the flavors of any Thai larb, or what some refer to as laap. Someone from Thailand, or from the Thai culture please chime in and let me know which it is, larb or laap. Please. I typically make pork or chicken larb as my kids totally love picking up the minced meat mixture with sticky rice, or placing it in lettuce wraps, but you can definitely go way beyond pork or chicken, and recently I decided to go with shrimp.

Shrimp Larb Recipe

I’ve had larb with raw, minced beef (which was a bit of a shock but delicious), as well as cooked beef, and I will admit, however you want your larb, trust me, they are all freaking delicious. I say this because the fresh herbs and dressing that mixes into the larb is really the star of the show. I could just eat that stuff by the spoonful, or simply drizzle onto some rice, and I would be happy.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

 

  • 8-10 medium sized shrimp, peeled, and deveined
  • 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves, torn
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar, or honey
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce, (I like Red Boat, or 3 Crabs brand)
  • 2 tbsp roasted rice powder
  • 1/2 cup of shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 Thai bird chilies, diced, stems removed
  • Small wedge of green cabbage
  • 8-10 fresh green beans, trimmed
  • Roasted Peanuts
  • Sticky rice, optional
  • Water

Start by adding your shrimp to a skillet. Add in water, enough to come half way up to the shrimp. Bring the heat to a medium, and simmer the shrimp, only cooking until slightly firm, and cooked through. This should only take a few minutes. Once cooked, strain and set the shrimp to a mixing bowl.

To another bowl, make the sauce.

How to make shrimp larb

Add the lime juice, shallot, Thai chilies, palm sugar, and fish sauce. Mix well until the sugar gets dissolved. Once dissolved, taste, and adjust any seasoning if you prefer. You might want a bit more fish sauce, sugar, or lime. The goal is a sweet, sour, spicy. Once you have achieved this, add in the mint, cilantro, and toasted rice powder. Give this a good stir.

Toss in the shrimp, and get ready to plate.

To your serving dish, add the peanuts, cabbage, and green beans. Add the shrimp larb to the other side, and eat by adding a bit to your green cabbage leaves, topping with some green beans for a slight bitter flavor, and eat with the peanuts.

The end result is nothing short of amazing in flavor. It packs the perfect punch in texture, spice, and overall balance, plus it is super fresh and healthy to boot. This is a perfect dish for any party or any day of the week. Hope you enjoy!

 

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Vietnamese Spring Rolls

One of my wife’s favorite Asian appetizers, besides Filipino lumpia is probably shrimp spring rolls. They are always a big hit at family gatherings, and they are pretty awesome as they are essentially a salad roll. What is also great about these, is that you can pretty much make them however you want, and I love that about them. Vietnamese spring rolls are typically served with a dipping sauce, either a peanut based sauce or nuoc cham which is the sauce that I prefer to eat with the spring rolls.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

The spring rolls do take a bit of preparation as you have to slice carrots, and rinse and dry your fresh herbs and lettuce, but trust me, it’s worth the time.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of spring roll rice paper
  • 4 bundles of Asian vermicelli noodles, cooked in hot water for 3 minutes, placed in cool water, drained
  • 1/2 head of red leaf lettuce
  • fresh mint leaves
  • fresh basil leaves
  • fresh cilantro
  • bean sprouts
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, julienne sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, julienne sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled, julienne sliced
  • 1 pound of shrimp, tails removed, deveined
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 large bowl warm water
  • Lightly moistened paper towels

Again, the prep takes a bit of time, however if you have any helpers, you can always reward them in a short period of time.

Start by adding the soy sauce and lime juice to a bowl. Stir, then toss in the shrimp. Stir again, and let this marinate for about 20 minutes or so, covered in the refrigerator.

Next arrange all of your vegetables and herbs.

Strain the cooked vermicelli, and gently squeeze out any excess liquid.

Heat a large skillet on medium-low heat. Add in the canola oil, move it around, then add in the shrimp. Cook the shrimp until just orangish in color and opaque on both sides, about 4-6 minutes. Remove the cooked shrimp from the skillet, and set aside on a plate to cool.

Once cooked, slice each shrimp in half, lengthwise.

Now the fun part, wrapping.

How to make Vietnamese Shrimp Spring Rolls

Get a large bowl of warm water ready.

Get a wrapping buddy if you can as it will make this go by a lot quicker. I enlisted by son who had a blast.

Take a spring roll wrapper, and gently submerge it in the warm water for about 30 seconds.

Add the wrapper to a plate and let it sit for about 45 more seconds. The coating on the wrapper that was once hard, will soften and allow you to begin working with it. I like to keep an edge of the wrapper slightly off of the plate so that I can start the folding process a lot easier.

If you let the wrapper sit in the water too long, it will get too soft and not easy to work with.

To the wrapper, add a bit of the cooked noodles, a couple of carrots, a couple of bell peppers, a couple of cucumbers, some fresh herbs, the lettuce, and  bean sprouts. Fold over, then fold over the edges. Take two of the sliced shrimps and place in the center, then continue to fold.  You can also fold them this way should you prefer. After a couple of them, you will get the hang of it.

Place these onto a plate of platter lightly moistened paper towels. This prevents the wrappers from hardening up.

Next, repeat.  Once you have another layer, add the lightly moistened paper towels once again.

Vietnamese Shrimp Spring Rolls

Serve alongside nuoc cham, or if you want, make the peanut sauce. I like mine with a bit of that great garlic spice with fish sauce and vinegar, hence the nuoc cham.

If you want, go ahead and slice them in half, or serve them whole. Either way, spoon a bit of the sauce into the spring roll, and dig in. It truly is a perfect bite with the noodles, fresh herbs, vegetables, and shrimp, heck even my kid who is skeptical of vegetables, especially red bell peppers, was devouring them.

If you are looking for something to bring to your next party, give these a shot. They are a real crowd pleasure, and pretty to boot! Hope you enjoy!

Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Author: 
Recipe type: appetizers
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 25
 
Ingredients
  • 1 package of spring roll rice paper
  • 4 bundles of Asian vermicelli noodles, cooked in hot water for 3 minutes, placed in cool water, drained
  • ½ head of red leaf lettuce
  • fresh mint leaves
  • fresh basil leaves
  • fresh cilantro
  • bean sprouts
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, julienne sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, julienne sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled, julienne sliced
  • 1 pound of shrimp, tails removed, deveined
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 large bowl warm water
  • Lightly moistened paper towels
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the soy sauce and lime juice to a bowl. Stir, then toss in the shrimp. Stir again, and let this marinate for about 20 minutes or so, covered in the refrigerator.
  2. Next arrange all of your vegetables and herbs.
  3. Strain the cooked vermicelli, and gently squeeze out any excess liquid.
  4. Heat a large skillet on medium-low heat. Add in the canola oil, move it around, then add in the shrimp. Cook the shrimp until just orangish in color and opaque on both sides, about 4-6 minutes. Remove the cooked shrimp from the skillet, and set aside on a plate to cool.
  5. Once cooked, slice each shrimp in half, lengthwise.
  6. Now the fun part, wrapping.
  7. Get a large bowl of warm water ready.
  8. Get a wrapping buddy if you can as it will make this go by a lot quicker. I enlisted by son who had a blast.
  9. Take a spring roll wrapper, and gently submerge it in the warm water for about 30 seconds.
  10. Add the wrapper to a plate and let it sit for about 45 more seconds. The coating on the wrapper that was once hard, will soften and allow you to begin working with it. I like to keep an edge of the wrapper slightly off of the plate so that I can start the folding process a lot easier.
  11. If you let the wrapper sit in the water too long, it will get too soft and not easy to work with.
  12. To the wrapper, add a bit of the cooked noodles, a couple of carrots, a couple of bell peppers, a couple of cucumbers, some fresh herbs, the lettuce, and bean sprouts. Fold over, then fold over the edges. Take two of the sliced shrimps and place in the center, then continue to fold. You can also fold them this way should you prefer. After a couple of them, you will get the hang of it.
  13. Place these onto a plate of platter lightly moistened paper towels. This prevents the wrappers from hardening up.
  14. Next, repeat. Once you have another layer, add the lightly moistened paper towels once again.
  15. Serve alongside nuoc cham, or if you want, make the peanut sauce. I like mine with a bit of that great garlic spice with fish sauce and vinegar, hence the nuoc cham.
  16. If you want, go ahead and slice them in half, or serve them whole. Either way, spoon a bit of the sauce into the spring roll, and dig in. It truly is a perfect bite with the noodles, fresh herbs, vegetables, and shrimp, heck even my kid who is skeptical of vegetables, especially red bell peppers, was devouring them.

 

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