Indonesian-Inspired Sauteed Shrimp

Indonesian-Inspired Sauteed Shrimp

While I was living in a graduate international dorm in Hawaii, I got to taste a lot of different Asian and Pacific cuisines.  This dish is inspired by my Indonesian friends, Nina and Jo, who prepared it one evening and invited me to join them for dinner.  I did not get a recipe but do remember that I loved the flavors.  I also remember that funnily enough, they called this dish their "Westernized" version of sauteed shrimp (because of the Worchestershire Sauce).  If you know what it’s called and have the real recipe, please do share with me.

In the meantime, I tried to recreate this dish from my memory of it (which is pretty faulty and it was over 10 years ago).  I remember distinctly that it had a sweet and tangy flavor from the "W" sauce and there was garlic and green onions in it.

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Chopped Shrimp Waldorf Salad

We were in the car, heading home from the farmer’s market, and discussing what to have for lunch. I wanted a salad, but Annie said that we didn’t have very much Romaine lettuce left. Undaunted, I started calling out some salad ingredients: avocado? Got. Feta? Got. Chicken? Not much. Ham? Nope.

Then Annie said, "Hey, we’ve got grapes and apples from the farmer’s market. And celery in the fridge. How about we make Waldorf salad? I have a recipe from Fine Cooking magazine that I’ve been meaning to try, the same one that featured the Chopped Mexican Salad and Chopped Greek Salad."

Sounds good to me!

Chopped Shrimp Waldorf Salad

Chopped Shrimp Waldorf Salad

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How do You Top Mum’s Popiah? With Kuih Pie Tee

I heart Pie Tee!

Kuih Pie Tee with Prawn

Kuih Pie Tee

No, this has nothing to do with tea, which is something else I heart a lot! Kuih Pie Tee or “Top Hats” (because the shape is sometimes like a top hat) is an appetizer that is popular in Malaysia. It is a wonderful treat–crisp shell, sweet and slightly crunchy vegetal flavors of jicama, carrots, and green beans, and meatiness from pork and shrimp.

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Vietnamese Summer Rolls

What is the difference between a spring roll and a summer roll?

A spring roll is a roll filled with meat and vegetables, wrapped in a skin usually made from wheat flour, and fried crispy. You commonly find it served with a thick, sweet-sour sauce. King Eggroll in San Jose has built a thriving business on the quality of its spring rolls.

A summer roll is a roll filled with meat and vegetables, wrapped in a skin made from rice paper, and uncooked. (The Vietnamese name, gỏi cuốn literally means “salad roll”.) It is served with a hoisin-peanut dipping sauce. Most Vietnamese take out places, like Huong Lan on Tully Rd., sell various kinds of summer rolls.

Of course, if you have the ingredients, you an assemble them at home yourself. Here, we used shiso, mint, and Thai basil leaves plus rice vermicelli noodles and bean sprouts. Cooked shrimp was the protein of choice for this one. There are lots of choices for different ingredients – use your imagination!

The real trick is in the wrapping. The rice paper sheets are very delicate once they get wet. You quickly dip the skin into a bowl of warm water then immediately move it to the assembling plate. Layer the ingredients, then gently wrap and roll.

To make the dipping sauce, I mixed some hoisin sauce, some chunky peanut butter, a little sesame oil, some water to thin it and some sriracha chili sauce for spiciness.

Annie is much better than me at wrapping summer rolls. Once, in order to save time, I piled a bunch of dry rice paper skins on a plate and poured water over the whole bunch to soften them. Of course, I got a soggy mess, especially with the bottom skins that sat the longest in the water. Good thing these skins are relatively inexpensive! Now, I just leave the wrapping to her.

Aloha, Nate

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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