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Vietnamese Caramel Shrimp and Sauteed Sesame Vegetables

We had friends over for dinner last night, two of whom don't eat gluten (foods containing wheat) and one vegetarian (who will eat seafood). I was a little tired of the risotto route, so thought I'd go for some Asian influences. Whole Foods had Maine shrimp on sale, a seasonal delicacy that's great to take advantage of. Vietnamese caramel sauce is a peppery sweet-and-sour sauce often used for simple Vietnamese dishes. There isn't much sauce to this dish, just enough pungent liquid to glaze the shrimp. You can make the caramel sauce well in advance, and store it in the fridge for quite a long time. I served the shrimp with brown rice and sesame sauteed vegetables.

IMG_2637.JPG

Shrimp Simmered In Caramel Sauce (Tom Kho) (Adapted from "Into the Vietnamese Kitchen")
Serves 4 (I doubled the amounts to serve 7)

1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. fish sauce
3 Tbs. sake, rice wine, or dry white wine
2 tablespoons Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tsp. red chili flakes, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
2 scallions, green part only, chopped
2 Tbs. chopped cilantro

In a shallow saucepan or a skillet, combine oil, teaspoon salt, fish sauce and Caramel Sauce and bring to a vigorous simmer over high heat. Add onion, chili and pepper and give mixture a big stir to distribute the ingredients evenly. Continue cooking another 10 minutes, until onions are cooked. Be sure to stir often. Add wine and shrimp, cook another 3-4 minutes until done. Sprinkle with cilantro and scallion and serve.

Caramel Sauce: http://www.sgvtribune.com/rds_search/ci_4432122?IADID=Search-www.sgvtribune.com-www.sgvtribune.com

Sauteed garlic and sesame vegetables

1 Tbs. canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, sliced thinly on the diagonal
2 handfuls thin green beans
10 mushrooms, sliced
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup snow peas
1 red or yellow pepper, sliced
Salt to taste
1 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds
1 Tbs. toasted Chinese sesame oil
Heat a large skillet, and pour in oil. Briefly saute garlic, but don;t let it brown. Add carrots, mushrooms and beans, let cook 3 minutes while you stir every now and then. Add yellow pepper, cook another 3 minutes. Add broccoli and snow peas, cook until broccoli is crisp-tender. Sprinkle with salt, sesame seeds and oil, and serve.

Comments (8)

Kim:

Okay - have to admit that process to make the caramel sauce intimidates me.

Amy:

Kim, it's really about the same process as it was to make the caramel for the salted butter caramel ice cream. No biggie.

Amy - this looks delicious. I am going to put this into the 'rotation'.

Oh this looks good. I'm with Kim - the caramel looks dangerous. I didn't make the ice cream but I have made a caramel for pralines before - I have the scars to prove it. Heee...

I'm going to also see if I can find something similar in Malaysian. Even if I don't - I'm going to try it.

Kim:

I never made that ice cream :(. Okay - maybe when I'm stronger.

Amy:

You know, I wonder if the Kho (caramel sauce) can be bought in an asian grocery. I'll look for it!

Cool Amy,this is right up my alley.

Barb Cabot:

Amy, this looks so good!

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