Friday, August 13, 2010

Shrimp and Rice-Noodle Stir-Fry

The other night I was craving shrimp, but I wasn't sure exactly how I wanted them prepared. I considered grilling them, but I knew I needed to eat something besides just grilled shrimp. So I thought I might fall back on one of my old favorites, Linguine with Shrimp Scampi, but I wanted something new, something different.

That'w when I remembered seeing some rice noodles in a friends cupboard recently and decided to start from there. Actually, I had never prepared rice noodles before, but I had eaten them at restaurants and figured they couldn't be too hard to fix, and it turned out I was correct. They start out dry and stiff  (pictured above) just like regular semolina noodles, but rather than boiling them, you can just soak them in water, and then cook them a few minutes longer in broth, in a stir-fry, or you can boil them.

Once I had decided to use rice noodles I grabbed some veggies, frozen shrimp, seasame oil and worked up my attempt at an Asian stir-fry. The results were good and I was excited to find a new noodle to work with in the future. Just one note, this recipe is a bit spicy, so if you want to tame it down a little try leaving out the red pepper flakes.

Shrimp and Rice-Noodle Stir-Fry
Recipe and Pictures by Caroline
Serves 2

4 ounces rice noodles
20 frozen, cooked, tail-off shrimp
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
½ tablespoon water
salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 or 3 large white mushroom, thinly sliced
6 oz bean sprouts
1 head bok choy, leaves removed and bulb cut into thin slices
1 bunch green onions, whites and ½ greens, sliced on an angle
1 cup chicken broth

1. Soak rice noodles according to package instructions.
2. Meanwhile, thaw shrimp; drizzle 1 teaspoon sesame oil over shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Swirl 1 tablespoon olive oil in wok to coat evenly. Stir-fry garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, mushrooms, bean sprouts, and 1/2 tablespoon water until just tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and season with salt.
4. Swirl another tablespoon olive oil in wok; add bok choy and stir-fry until just barely tender. Add green onions and salt to taste until bok choy is crisp-tender. Add to the mushroom mixture in set aside bowl.
5. Add remaining olive oil to pan and heat until just smoking. Stir-fry shrimp until just heated through; transfer to vegetable bowl.
6. Add broth to wok and bring to boil. Stir in noodles and boil until tender and most of the broth is absorbed, about 4 or 5 minutes.
7. Return shrimp and vegetable mixture to wok and stir-fry until heated. Stir in remaining sesame oil and salt to taste. Serve warm.

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