Steamy Kitchen Recipes | RSS Feed http://steamykitchen.com Steamy Kitchen Food Blog: fast recipes, simple recipes, with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals. Wed, 22 Apr 2015 19:27:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2 Shrimp and Zucchini Stirfry with Crispy Basil http://steamykitchen.com/1278-shrimp-and-zucchini-stirfry-with-crispy-basil.html http://steamykitchen.com/1278-shrimp-and-zucchini-stirfry-with-crispy-basil.html#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2008 17:05:21 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/?p=1278 New friend, Deb Puchalla, who is Editor in Chief of Martha Stewart Living Magazine, is hosting a Zukes and Cukes party and this is what I’m bringing! Instead of just stirring in basil leaves at the end like I normally do, this time I deep fried the basil leaves to create airy-light, brittle-crisp basil that elevates this dish to another ...

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New friend, Deb Puchalla, who is Editor in Chief of Martha Stewart Living Magazine, is hosting a Zukes and Cukes party and this is what I’m bringing!

Instead of just stirring in basil leaves at the end like I normally do, this time I deep fried the basil leaves to create airy-light, brittle-crisp basil that elevates this dish to another level.

Describing Perfectly Cooked Shrimp

Previously, I asked you guys to describe the TEXTURE of perfectly cooked shrimp. In Cantonese, my Mom uses the phrase that’s pronounced “song chuy,” Japanese “puri-puri,” Singaporeans “QQ.”

There’s no English equivalent. Bummer.

The texture of perfectly cooked pasta is “al dente,” and we need to come up with a concise way to describe the texture/mouthfeel of perfectly cooked shrimp.

Here are my favorite entries:

Jules: “I always describe the best prawns – esp in eg a CKT [sorry, Char Kway Teow] – as “bursty”. As in, they just burst in your mouth with luscious crunchy sweetness of juices.”

Amanda: “I always thing of shrimp as “bursty” with a crisp exterior – a texture similar to grapefruit, but with a crisp edge.”

Ed: “I was thinking that perfectly cooked shrimp are “bubble-crunchy”, like if one were to bite into a firm-enough orange. In Japanese, the word that best fits this texture is ‘puri-puri'”

Mia: “It sounds pretty unappetizing, but the word I thought of was “turgid,” which describes something that is swollen or distended. The shrimp should be cooked such that the outside feels like it is pulled taut over the juicy, delicious, inner flesh…but, um, succulent seems to be the more appealing descriptor.”

Spencer: “I believe the Chinese saying Jaden is referring to roughly translates to “Playfully Dances in the mouth” or something to that effect. There is no equivalent in English which made this rather challenging.I was going to suggest succulent as well, but Betty beat me to the punch so my alternate suggestion is “voluptuously supple”, but from a layman’s perspective, most would relate better with “crunchy and juicy texture.”

Maple: “Perfectly cooked shrimp have a bouncy bite.”

JustNancy: “It would be: “tsuay” (all-one-syllable) with a downward accent and it means all those adjectives all in one – crispy, bouncy, firm…”

Macsarcule: “I’m goin’ for buoyantly crisp, or tenderly springy.”

Keropokman: “for the word, i dunno if it’s a word, it’s a letter that I would use. “Q”. or sometimes use it in double “QQ”. hehe… we use that at home.”

And the winner of the $25 Amazon gift card is Maple’s “Perfectly cooked shrimp have a bouncy bite” and I’ll add the word “bursty” to that:

Perfectly cooked shrimp should have a bursty, bouncy bite.

What do you guys think? Any more ideas to describe the texture of perfectly cooked shrimp?

***

How to prepare shrimp for that bursty, bouncy bite

My Mom has always taught me to brine the shrimp to get that perfect texture.

Shrimp prep Shrimp prep
Brine the peeled shrimp in 1 tsp kosher salt, 3 cups water and 1 cup ice Drain, pat very dry on paper towels
Shrimp prep Shrimp prep
Marinate shrimp in pinch of salt, 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil Get your wok or pan super-hot. You want the shrimp to instantly sizzle upon contact. Keep shrimp in one layer, let fry untouched 1 minute to get nice sear and carmelization. Don’t touch it! Leave it alone.
Shrimp prep To read other stir-fry secrets, see my post on Chinese Stirfry Shrimp, Peas and Eggs.
Flip and let the other side fry for an additional 1 minute. Remove shrimp, keeping as much oil in wok as possible and continue with stirfry. You’ll add the shrimp back in later.

***

How to deep fry basil

Start with about 1 loosely packed cup of basil leaves. After washing your basil, run them through your salad spinner to fling some of the surface water off. Then blot them on layers of paper towels to further dry the leaves. This is an important step, as water droplets + hot oil will make the oil splatter.

In a wok, deep fryer, or whatever cooking vessel you use (the smaller diameter of pot you use, the less oil you’ll need but then you can only do a few leaves at a time) heat about 2 inches of cooking oil (peanut/canola/veg) to 375F.

Have a splatter screen, tongs and a rack for draining ready. Fair warning – the oil will splatter, so please be careful! Using tongs, carefully add a few basil leaves to the oil. They should crisp up in about 10 seconds. Sccop ’em up and let drain.

The leftover oil is now beautifully infused with basil! Strain any basil bits out, let cool and store. You can use this oil for cooking.

Shrimp and Zucchini Stirfry with Crispy Basil

Shrimp and Zucchini Stirfry with Crispy Basil

For the shrimp:
1/2 pound peeled, deveined shrimp (tail on or off, up to you)
1 cup ice
3 cups cold water
1 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons cooking oil
fresh chili pepper, sliced
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
2 large zucchini, sliced
handful of deep fried basil leaves (see above)

For the light sauce: (combine in bowl)
1 1/2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Fill a medium bowl with 1teaspoon of salt, ice and water. Add the peeled shrimp and let soak for 15 minutes. Drain and pat very dry on paper towels. Empty the bowl, wipe the bowl dry and return the shrimp, the remaining 1/8 teaspoon of salt, sesame oil and cornstarch. Stir to coat the shrimp.

Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add the cooking oil, swirling to coat the wok. Add the shrimp and immediately give each shrimp its own space on the wok, so that they aren’t touching. Let fry, untouched for 1 minute. Flip shrimp and let fry for an additional minute, or just cooked through. Remove from wok, leaving as much oil in wok as possible.

You should still have 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in the wok. If not, add more cooking oil. Return the heat to medium-high and let the oil heat up. Add in the chili pepper and garlic and fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add in the zucchini slices and stirfry for 1 minute, tossing every 15 seconds, until zucchini is just barely soft in the middle but still firm on the outer edge.

Pour in the soy/sugar/oil mixture. Toss to coat zucchini. Now add in the cooked shrimp. Toss vigorously until all ingredients and flavors are dancing and jivin’ together.

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Citrus-Soy Fish Fillet with Soba Noodles + Free Kampachi Drawing! http://steamykitchen.com/297-kampachi.html http://steamykitchen.com/297-kampachi.html#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2008 12:35:33 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/?p=297 Buying fish at the supermarket is one of those things that make me nervous. First off, the only thing I can ever afford is farm-raised tilapia from who-knows-where and whatever the fishmonger has on sale. Secondly, cooking fish is finickier than chipmunk in heat – 60 seconds is all that separates...

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Citrus-Soy Fish Fillet with Soba Noodles

You will LOVE this free drawing, my friends…read on!

Also in the Tampa Tribune

Buying fish at the supermarket is one of those things that make me nervous. First off, the only thing I can ever afford is farm-raised tilapia from who-knows-where and whatever the fishmonger has on sale. Secondly, cooking fish is finickier than chipmunk in heat – 60 seconds is all that separates a moist, tender fillet from a dry, tough, overcooked rain jacket. Do I risk $16.99/lb for a grouper or $24.99/lb for monkfish? If the fish isn’t sushi-grade, is it ok to cook medium-rare? What if the recipe I found in the cookbook sucks and I end up with an inedible dinner? What if I misjudge my timing?

The poor fishmonger watches as I stand in front of the glass case, wringing my hands, calculating the price/risk index for each fish on display. Most days, I’ll opt for nice hunk of salmon, as my pocketbook is comfortable with the ratio of $9.99 per pound x high-fat content that it almost impossible to overcook.

A couple of weeks ago, a company called Kona Blue, overnighted to me a few pounds of a fish called kampachi to try. It’s Hawaiian yellowtail, sustainably raised off the coast of Hawaii at their farms. Like salmon, it’s chock full of Omega 3 oils, so it’s succulent, firm and rich. The best part is that it’s raised in a clean, controlled setting and it’s sushi-grade.

The kampachi fillets were one of the most beautiful, moist fish I’ve ever cooked at home. The true test was that I even accidentally overcooked the fish, because the moment the timer went off, something called, “sibling rivalry” screamed from the other room and demanded my immediate attention.

The price/risk ratio? Well, it’s expensive if you mail order from Kona Blue. $17.00/lb for fillets plus $35 for FedEx. Ouch. But some of the best restaurants in town and a handful of markets carry the fish. Here is a partial list of retailers and restaurants.

Tampa & Sarasota Readers: Tampa, FL restaurants are not listed there, but you can find Kona Kampachi at Roy’s, Bern’s, Sidebern’s, Mise en Place, Lakeland Yacht Club, Grand Hyatt Tampa and the Tampa Yacht Club. I just visited Whole Foods in Sarasota and they LOVE Kona Kampachi. Call or visit them and tell Ryan the fish manager that you want him to order! They have it sometimes, but the more people who ask, the more available the fish will be!

It’s certainly a fish that I’d beg or bribe my local fishmonger to carry.

Free Kampachi Drawing

But, my dear friends, I’ve got a surprise for you. Kona Blue has graciously given me some prizes to give away – packages of super-fresh Kona Blue Kampachi overnighted to 3 randomly chosen lucky winners. The fish is packed with tons of ice packs, and will arrive on your doorstep fresh as ever. I don’t know how much they are sending to you, but I have a feeling it will be more than your entire family can eat in one sitting.

Oh, and since it’s sushi-grade, you can eat it like sashimi with some soy and wasabi.

All you have to do is comment below! Accepting entries until Saturday morning after my morning coffee lunchtime…whenever that will be. Oh, and for my international friends, I don’t think Kona Blue can ship overnight internationally, but enter anyways, and if you win, I’ll personally ship you something nice….a box full of Steamy Kitchen goodies. Maybe some wonderful American spices, sauces, gadgets, books? Dunno yet, but I’ll send something extra special.

:-)

Citrus-Soy Fish Fillet with Soba Noodles

While I used kampachi in this dish, you can certainly substitute with any fish fillets – your timing will be dependent on how thick your fish is. For thin fish like sole, fry 2 minutes, flip and then turn off the heat and let the residual heat finish the cooking. For thicker fish like salmon and kampachi, follow recipe below. Salmon fillets would work wonderful in this dish, as the bright citrus pairs perfectly with the fattiness of the salmon.

A note on the soba: when you boil the water for the noodles, generously salt your water, as you should any pasta. If the soba is well seasoned during cooking, you shouldn’t need much sauce. I don’t like my noodles drowning in sauce – the sauce should just lightly coat the fish and noodles, like in my photo. Now, if you do like a saucy noodles, just double the Citrus Soy Sauce recipe.

serves 4

4 fish fillets
salt & fresh ground pepper
6 oz. dried soba noodles

Citrus Soy Sauce:
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tbl lemon juice
2 tbl honey
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice wine or dry sherry
1 tsp lemon zest

Boil soba noodles according to directions on package, remember to generously salt your boiling water. Drain, set aside. While soba noodles are cooking, combine sauce ingredients in small saucepan and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. The sauce should be bright, sweet and slightly tart. Season fish fillets generously with salt and pepper. Heat a large, non-stick pan with 2 tbl cooking oil over med-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add fillets and fry 3 minutes. Flip fish and fry another 2 minutes, take a quick peek by poking the thickest part of the fish and add another minute if needed. Serve fish over bed of soba noodles. Pour Citrus-Soy over fish.

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