Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Recipe: Fiery Black Bean Shrimp

Anybody who believes that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach flunked geography. – Robert Byrne

Whoo. Pass the milk. This recipe is fiery!
Photo: Wiki CC
I thought when I was making this dish: “I can take some heat. No problem.” So I measured out what I knew the recipe should take – and then threw in more sriracha sauce. Just so you know, that ended up being almost double what I have written in the recipe below.

I now rue my decision. My lips have that tingly feeling that only hot chilli pepper can induce and small beads of sweat are on my forehead.

I'm no baby when it comes to spicy food, but sriracha sauce is not to be trifled with. This still tasted really good, though...once you got past the burn.

Why pass the milk you may ask? 
This cure works for any food that derives its heat from hot capsicums, or peppers.

From Wikipedia:
Capsaicinoids are the chemicals responsible for the "hot" taste of chilli peppers. They are fat soluble and therefore water will be of no assistance when countering the burn. The most effective way to relieve the burning sensation is with dairy products, such as milk and yogurt. 

A protein called casein occurs in dairy products which binds to the capsaicin, effectively making it less available to "burn" the mouth, and the milk fat helps keep it in suspension.

Sriracha is the American version of traditional Thai hot chilli sauce. Sriracha is a liquid-like paste of chilli peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. That's all it is… so be wary.

I knew full well, and still ignored to my little inner voice. If you feel so inclined, increase it, but do so at your peril. You’ve been warned!

Fry the shrimp until almost done before adding the green
tops of the bok choy.
Fiery Black Bean Shrimp
Total time: 25-30 minutes  | Serves 4
7 dried chinese mushrooms, sliced
1 cup long grain rice
2 cups water
1-1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1” fresh ginger, peeled and diced
5 tsp salted black beans (dry)
1 tsp sugar
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp sou sauce
1 tbsp sriracha sauce (or more if desired)
6 baby bok choy, white sliced and greens chopped large
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
1 tsp cracked black pepper
salt to taste

Toss the rice in well to combine. Then taste for salt.
Slice the mushrooms while still dry and add to the water in a small saucepan. Add some salt to the water. Bring to a boil and stir in the rice. 

Cover, reduce heat to simmer and let cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 more minutes.

As soon as the rice is covered, heat the oil in a wok and add the onion, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften slightly.

Mash the black beans and salt together with a fork. Add in the black beans and fry for a further minute until fragrant. Mix together the hoisin, soy and sriracha sauce and add to the wok.

Clean the shrimp and reserve in a bowl. Chop the bok choy by slicing the white part into large pieces, up to the green leaves. Chop the green parts separately.

Add the white part to the wok and stir fry for another minute. Then add the shrimp and cook until almost cooked through. Toss in the bok choy greens and cook until the shrimp are done.

Finally, add in the mushrooms and rice and toss everything together well. Finish by adding the pepper and cilantro (if using). Taste for salt and adjust. (Remember, the soy beans are salted and the soy is high in soduim.)

Serve with a little sesame oil drizzled on top.


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