Sunday, August 20, 2006
Shrimp Stir-fry Tip
The other week my husband and I unintentionally had a fabulous meal. I needed to make something quick so I decided on a shrimp stir-fry with walnuts (any excuse to use those fresh walnuts my mom gave me).
I remembered that back in college a friend had recommended coating the shrimp in tapioca starch before frying. I tried it and was impressed with the crispness it provided not to mention how easy it was to coat the damp shrimp in the starch (no egg or flour needed!).
You can find tapioca starch at your local Asian market. Just coat the shrimp in the starch and stir fry in your wok for approximately 2 minutes per side; add the walnuts towards the end so that they toast lightly. Drain on a paper towel while you stir-fry your vegetables and some thin slices of fresh ginger. Be sure not to overcook the vegetables and add the sauce (I recommend a simple sauce of 2 T. soy sauce, 2 T. Shaoxing rice wine, and 2 tsp. of brown sugar) right before serving. Don't let vegetable steam in the sauce for too long or they will get mushy.
I served the shrimp separately from the stir-fried veggies so that they stayed crisp. We piled the shrimp and vegetables on top of a mound of jasmine rice.
It was the simplest and most delicious meal that I have ever prepared that quickly. The tapioca starch not only makes the shrimp crispy but it adds a subtle nutty flavor that's not too overpowering. We ended up eating the entire dish despite the fact that I had made enough for 4 people.
(not the most appetizing picture but you get the idea)