Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Sweet and Sour Shrimp, hold the cherries

This is an excellent take-out dish that you can make in your own kitchen for a fraction of what it would cost to purchase. I love the mix of heat and sweet... except for those cherries. As pretty as they look, I picked them out. Maraschino cherries belong in the bottom of a cocktail. Possibly garnishing a banana split. But not in sweet and sour shrimp.

But the rest is fantastic! I recommend fresh pineapple, it really does make a difference. I also recommend increasing the garlic and hot pepper flakes. But then I always recommend increasing them. I'm fun like that.

Sweet and Sour Shrimp
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, Food Network 2003

    4 servings


    * 6 tablespoons chicken stock or water
    * 3 tablespoons ketchup
    * 3 tablespoons sugar
    * 3 tablespoons pineapple or orange juice
    * 2 tablespoons vinegar
    * 2 teaspoons soy sauce
    * 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (use more!)
    * 2 teaspoons cornstarch
    * 1 pound shrimp
    * 2 teaspoons minced ginger
    * 2 teaspoons minced garlic (use more!)
    * 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
    * 1 cup thinly sliced onions
    * 1 cup 1-inch chunks green bell peppers
    * 1 cup pineapple chunks
    * 12 maraschino cherries
    * 6 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
    * Hot white rice, accompaniment


To make the sauce, in a bowl, combine 1/4 cup of stock, the ketchup, sugar, juice, vinegar, soy, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper flakes. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with the remaining 2 tablespoons of stock and stir to dissolve. Set aside.

In a bowl, toss the shrimp with the ginger, garlic, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes. Set aside for 10 to 20 minutes.

Heat a large wok over high heat. Add the oil, swirling to coat the sides and bottom of the pan. Add the shrimp, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry until pink, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan. Add the onions and peppers and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the sauce and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Add the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil. Return the shrimp to the pan and add the pineapples, cherries, and green onions. Cook until the sauce is thick, about 1 minute.

Remove from the heat and serve over rice.