Happy Chinese New Year!!!
We are celebrating Chinese new year day with probably my first venture into Chinese cuisine. I decided to go with Szechuan region, which is known for the hot'n'spicy dishes. I had to make my own version of a Szechuan sauce to work with the ingredients that I had in my pantry and to stick to my quicknhealthy standards. I also made another even simpler everyday Chinese dish which is Chinese Okra and Egg Stir Fry, both served with rice. That is for another day and another post :-)
- Rice - 1 Tbs (soaked for a few hours)
- Red chilly - 4-5
- Garlic - 3-4 cloves
- Nama shoyu - 2 Tbs
- Toasted sesame oil - 2 Tbs
- Apple cider vinegar - 1 Tbs
- Sea salt - as per taste
- Using a mortar and pestle, crush/grind the soaked rice, garlic and red chilly to a paste. You can add a couple of tablespoons of water to aid the process.
- Transfer the paste to a small bowl, add the remaining ingredients and whisk well.
- Wild caught shrimp - about 10
- Cauliflower - about a cup (cut into small florets)
- Fresh ginger - 2 Tbs (chopped fine)
- Cashew nuts - handful (optional)
- Green chilly/scallions - for garnish
- Sesame oil - 1 Tbs
- Heat sesame oil on a pan/wok on medium high heat. Saute the chopped ginger till browned.
- Add shrimp and a tablespoon of the Szechuan sauce and saute flipping the shrimp halfway thru, till shrimp is no longer pink. This will take only a couple of minutes.
- Add cauliflower florets and saute on medium heat till they are half cooked, about 4 minutes.
- Add all the remaining sauce and cook stirring frequently till cauliflower is cooked enough but still crispy. If the sauce is sticking to the pan you can add a couple of tablespoons of boiling water to scrap everything together.
- Ideally should be served immediately with rice.
- Soaked rice - can be substituted with a tablespoon of rice flour.
- Apple cider vinegar can be substituted with rice vinegar or white vinegar.
- Nama Shoyu is unpasteurized Soy sauce (Recommended using good organic brand for any soy products - This is the one I use)
- For a vegetarian option, just omit the Shrimp and double the quantity of cauliflower or use a combination mixed vegetables.