Spicy Shrimp with Wine Rice
Perhaps you’ve perused the fridge at Kam Man or some other Chinatown grocery store and seen jars of this crazy awesome mushy liquid that looks like rotting rice in cloudy water. It’s sweet and boozy, a tasty precursor to more refined sakes. You can brew your own using Chinese wine balls (actually, yeast balls), but personally, I just buy it by the jar.
This recipe was adapted from Ken Hom, who has become my go-to source for quick and easy weeknight dinners. (I can’t believe I’m writing this. Since when do I prioritize quick and easy? Honestly, I still don’t, but once in a while when we get home late it really is nice to be able to throw something together in a rush.)
I’ve never eaten anything else like this. That’s really the point. It tastes almost as alcoholic as Dave’s chocolate mousse, with that gorgeously savory spiciness from the chili bean paste. Dave (my partner) is trying to avoid nightshades nowadays, which didn’t stop me from making a whole batch of this to eat myself over the next week. So worth it, even for me alone.
2008: Rhubarb Soup with Nicoise Olive Cookies
2007: Sour Cherry Braised Lamb Shanks
2006: Pear and Basil Tart
Spicy Shrimp with Wine Rice
(adapted from Chinese Technique by Ken Hom)
1 lb ground pork
1 lb large unshelled shrimp
2 tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp minced garlic
4 dried birdseye peppers, crushed
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 C thinly sliced scallions (circles of the green parts only)
for the marinade
2 tbsp shaoxing
1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
for the sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp shaoxing
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp chili bean paste (I use Lee Kum Kee brand Chili Bean Sauce (Toban Djan))
1/2 C chicken stock
1 1/2 C fermented wine rice
1. Mix the ground pork with the marinade ingredients and set aside.
2. Devein the shrimp, but leave the shells on; you can just slice through the shells easily when deveining.
3. Here’s the trick for making sure the shrimp are nice and crunchy instead of mushy – stir in 1 tsp kosher salt and let sit for 1 minute. Rinse with cold water. Repeat two more times (three salt/rinse cycles, total), then pat dry.
4. Heat your wok until it feels like a hot radiator with your palm 2-3 inches above the bottom, then add about 3 tbsp safflower oil and swirl it around to coat the inside of the wok. When it’s almost smoking again, add the shrimp and stir-fry until they are opaque. Remove from wok and set aside.
5. Add a bit more oil to the wok, maybe 2 tbsp or so, then stir-fry the ginger, garlic, and crushed birdseye chilis for a minute, until fragrant.
6. Add the ground pork and stir-fry until it no longer looks raw.
7. Add the sauce ingredients and stir thoroughly as it boils for a minute or two.
8. Add the shrimp and cook for a moment longer, then turn off the heat and stir in the sesame oil and scallions.
9. Serve with rice.