No one else but Kylie Kwong has motivated me to cook simple Chines stir fries at home. Using fresh herbs and tossing the ingredients quickly to get the best of flavors. Her vegetables stir fries, simple soups, vegetables and seafood fried rice recipes and one sticky eggs fried rice have often inspired me to cook simple flavorful Chinese meals at home. Earlier it used to be the Indian-Chines or Chinjabi food that we sometimes had at restaurants and tried to emulate the same at home, during the childhood days. I used to cook even then, all my siblings still love cooking.
It was a phase of watching TV after my marriage that I got to find a channel like TLC and saw so many wonderful cooks luring me to cook good food from all around the world. It was the time I had dropped out from my research to live with the husband, sitting at home watching TV was no fun but the food shows caught my attention. And Kylie Kwong left an indelible impression. Celebrating fresh ingredients and clean flavors was never so easy. Love the way she goes on tossing this and that into the wok creating flavors to dive into.
I have never followed her recipes to the T as I always depend on whatever fresh is available. Especially the greens. Also, I pick up my spices according to my mood of the day, this happens all the time. But whenever I toss up a mean stir fry I emulate her style in my wok. She is on my mind while cooking such things definitely.
The pictures here are not great as we had this shrimp and cashew stir fry for dinner and I wanted to have it warm. Few quick shots to share on the blog was intended.
(2 servings, cooking time 6-8 minutes)
Shrimp (Prawns) 250 gm ( I used frozen, de veined, clean properly if using fresh), smaller size preferable
cashew nuts about 40 halves
finely diced ginger 1 tbsp or more
finely chopped garlic 2 tsp
sliced shallots (or baby onions) 1 cup
chopped coriander greens with stems and all 3/4 cup
one inch piece of cinnamon stick broken
half a star anise broken
4-5 dry red chillies broken
Hua jiao (schezuan pepper corn) powder 1 tsp
black pepper powder 1/2 tsp (optional)
tomato ketchup 1 tbsp or to taste
dash of vinegar if required
salt to taste
Sesame oil 1tsp
Heat the oil in a deep pan or wok. Add the Cashew halves and fry them on low flame till they turn pinkish.Tip in the ginger and garlic and let them get pinkish brown too, keep stirring. The cashew wouldn't get more browned as we add more ingredients one after the other.
Add the sliced shallots and the cinnamon and star anise together. This way the spices do not get exposed to too much heat and diffuse the flavors well into the other ingredients.
Fry the shallots with a little salt added, on medium to high heat, till they just get pinkish.
Tip in the cleaned Shrimps and toss and stir to mix everything together.Keep stirring on medium to high flame till the Shrimps are pinkish.
Add the powdered spices and tomato ketchup. Adjust seasoning , add vinegar if required and toss well to mix.
This can be had like finger food as well if a little bigger Shrimp are used. Could be a nice appetizer served with pickled chillies and a little red pepper sauce. Best enjoyed on the higher side of chilly heat. The ketchup sweetness is there to balance out.
We had it with fresh thin chapatis and loved it. The Indo-Chinese love is still there apparently.
Mostly it is enjoyed as is and I have made it for a crowd as well. Such easy to stir up recipes come in handy when you have to cook a formal dinner. A popular dish with guests.
Would be great with some rice noodles or plain boiled rice as well. In that case you might like to make it a bit saucy.