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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sizzling Rice with Shrimp in Chili-Garlic and Tomato Sauce - Outdoor Wednesday



When you look outside and see a scene like this, it's time to head into the kitchen to make this specialty that hails from Shanghai. It comes with a story of its own. I can't vouch for its veracity, but I do love its moral. As told to me, the cook of a wealthy merchant was dragged from bed one night to prepare a meal for his drunken master. The cook, enraged by the indignity, stirred fiercely hot chili sauce into leftovers, and then to make his revenge complete, scraped the rice crust from the bottom of an unwashed rice pot into hot oil. The sizzle made when the sauce hit the rice and its sweet-spicy taste so delighted the merchant, that he declared the dish a masterpiece and richly rewarded the cook.



This is a bit of a bother to make. If you live outside a major city chances are you'll have to make your own rice cakes. Its not hard to do, but it does require time. A true rice cake is the crust that forms at the bottom of a rice pot or cooker. It is scraped from the bottom and then refrigerated until it can be used for other purposes. When deep fried, the cakes are called sizzling rice because they sizzle on contact with other hot liquids. Until a few months ago, I was able to buy the cakes at my Asian markets. I no longer have that option, so I had to learn how to make them. Here's the first of today's recipes. You will need the rice cakes to proceed with the Shrimp in Chili-Garlic and Tomato Sauce.





Sizzling Rice

Ingredients:

1-3/4 cups medium grain white or sushi rice
2-1/2 cups water

Directions:
1) Place rice and water into a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom. Cover pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to lowest possible setting. Cook, covered, for 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Do not remove cover. Let sit for 10 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9x 13-inch baking pan with oil or non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
3) Spread rice over bottom of prepared pan. Pat down as best you can. Place pan in the oven and leave to dry overnight. Remove from oven. Let cool. Break into to 2 to 4-inch pieces. Your rice squares will bare no resemblance to their commercial counterparts. Not to worry! Set aside if using immediately or store in an airtight container. Yield: about 12 pieces.



Sizzling Rice with Shrimp in Chili-Garlic and Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil + oil for deep frying
2 teaspoons dark toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 (8-oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and rinsed in cold water
1/4 cup red bell pepper, cut in 1/4-inch dice
1-1/2 tablespoons peeled and finely julienned fresh ginger
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup frozen peas and diced carrots, thawed
1/3 cup tomato ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons garlic-chili sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup chicken or fish stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: 2 tablespoons sliced green onion tops

Directions:
1) Preheat a deep-fryer to 375 degrees F.
2) Heat a wok or high-sided frying pan over high heat. Add vegetable and sesame oil. When it shimmers, add onion, water chestnuts, bell pepper, ginger, pepper flakes and garlic. Stir-fry until crisp tender, about 1-1/2 minutes. Remove vegetables from wok.
3) Return wok to high heat. When oil shimmers, add shrimp and stir-fry just until firm and shrimp are beginning to turn pink. Add peas and carrots and stir-fry 1 minute longer. Add reserved vegetables, ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic-chili sauce and sugar and stir just until combined, about 30 seconds. Mix cornstarch with stock. Pour into pan and cook, stirring slowly, until sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat but keep warm.
4) Add rice cakes to hot oil and fry until golden and crisp. Rice cakes will poof a bit as they cook. Use a slotted spoon to lift and drain them from the oil. Quickly place cakes in one large or individual serving bowls. At the table, pour shrimp mixture over hot rice and listen to it sizzle. Top immediately with green onion tops and serve. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.


This is being linked to:
Outdoor Wednesday - A Southern Daydreamer

48 comments:

Lisa said...

What a great story! It looks like a delicious dish! Seems whenever I make rice it sticks to the bottom of the pot. That's cool that there is actually a recipe where you want it to do that!

Rinkly Rimes said...

When I saw your very chilly photo I thought maybe you intended to eat outdoors!
Your Word Verification is 'TRANCE'. Is that what you go off into when you're cooking?

theUngourmet said...

This looks divine! I went with my son and his class on a field trip today to the Chinese Botanical Gardens, the House of Louie for lunch, and then to on to the Portland Art Museum for their China Exhibit. My son loved it! One of his favorite parts of the day was lunch. He asked me tonight when we could order Chinese Take Out. He's so cute! I should make him this instead!

Maggie B said...

The scenery here looks a lot like your photo, log fires have been keeping our chills away but this fab sounding dish could do the trick too.
Have a great OW.
Maggie

Jamie said...

An amazing dish and I wish I had your patience to prepare it. It looks so flavordul and delicious besides being a combination of two of my favorite things: Asian cooking and shrimp. Beautiful! And if I looked out my window and saw that fairytale landscape I'd cry with joy!

MaryMoh said...

Thanks for showing how to make sizzling rice. Looks interesting. This is such a gorgeous dish....just mouth-watering!

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Thats so sweet-love reading all ur sweet stories-and this looks utterly elciciously fantastic....

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Thats so sweet-love reading all ur sweet stories-and this looks utterly elciciously fantastic....

mbkatc230 said...

This looks and sounds delicious. What a perfect dish for cold weather. And I love the story! Kathy

LDH said...

Interesting story and delicious looking recipe sure to warm you up on a snowy day!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Very interesting story and I'm cold just by looking out your window. I enjoyed knowing about rice cakes. Very good post Mary.
Sam

Donna-FFW said...

What a beautiful snowy scene.. and the most perfect dish to accompany such!

Amy said...

I love the story that goes with this recipe. Priceless. It does look wonderful!!! Thank you Mary.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

That is a wise story, and a great reminder at the start of a new day. And the Sizzling Rice looks smokin!

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

I love ordering Sizzling Rice Soup, for the sound and the taste. This looks like a perfect meal to make on a cold day when the kitchen needs warming up and so does my belly.

Mary, thanks for the advice on substituting pork in your chili recipe from yesterday.

Bellini Valli said...

This sounds like a great recipe for anytime of the year.

George Gaston said...

Mary, that is a beautiful view from inside ~ glad I don't have to go out and shovel. But, I like you, would stay in and cook.

Great story and glad the master's cook was rewarded for his efforts, because no one likes to be awakened from their sleep.

The Shrimp-Chili-Tomato recipe is wonderful. Great balance of spice!

Lea Ann said...

YUM

La Table De Nana said...

The scene caught my eye:) Then the dish..I just read about the crusty rice..2 in a row..very interesting and I bet wonderful!

Di said...

Mary, beautiful photo with the Doug fir border and a pergola which welcomes!

You simply keep my taste buds active! This recipe sounds delicious, but I just got the chuck roast yesterday in order to make the chili. I'll never be able to keep up. ;) lol

Foley said...

Sounds wonderful but I doubt if I could make my own rice cakes! I can just smell it cooking...anything shrimp is a winner!!
Loved the story that went along with the dish!!!

Cathy said...

What a wonderful dish, Mary. The rice cakes look like they are easy to make, and the shrimp mixture over the top...fantastic. Can't wait to try this.

Kathleen said...

Great story and recipe! Thanks, Mary!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Ohh yum! This had to be awesome!

Chef E said...

The flavors ring out in my head, and I love to learn new things like the rice cake info! This is going on my 'to do' list!

A Year on the Grill said...

a very funny story... i can picture cooking in anger. But when i do, nothing this good comes out...
saving this recipe

chubskulit said...

I can't live without rice and this is a very unique recipe for me. Thanks Mary!

Icicles for Outdoor Wednesday

Light and Voices said...

Shrimp is delicious! This recipe sounds interesting to try. Neat story behind the recipe.
Joyce M

noble pig said...

Wasn't the snow beautiful! This dish is too. Your rice turned out great!

Katherine Aucoin said...

My rice eating family would love the sizzling rice along with the Shanghai Shrimp!

Wonderful story too!

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm only fearless around hippos, I'm afraid.

Ms.Daisy said...

Mary,
I love the snowy scene outside your window...how lovely it is (especially when we can be warm and snug inside!) The story of how this recipe came to be is a great one. Thanks for posting.


~Jean

A Little Of This And That said...

Sounds yummy.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

That does sound yummy.. and labour intensive.. maybe I will just come to your house!

Juliana said...

Oh! My mom used to make this dish, but I never attempted :-) Yours look fabulous...indeed great for the kind of weather that you are experiencing...love the pictures :-)

Katy ~ said...

Beautiful snowy scene; it looks like a postcard.

And what a great story to go with that delicious recipe!

Claudia said...

I love recipes that come with stories - don't they all?Somewhere? Love rice cakes and sizzling rice and spicy shrimp - so this is a delicious keeper.

DailyChef said...

I love both sizzling rice and shrimp! Plus I keep on finding recipes with shrimp in them...I think it's a sign to stop being lazy and go buy some :)

Mary said...

Juliana and Dayle, welcome to One Perfect Bite. I hope you both will become regular readers.

KathyB. said...

Oh this looks soooooooooo good, and I just knew there had to be something to do with the crusty rice on the bottom of my rice cooker besides feed it to my dogs. I will be making this so soon and my husband and i laughed at your story of this recipe's origin!

Debinhawaii said...

What a wonderful looking dish--I love the sizzling rice!

My Little Space said...

The shrimp dish looks awesome and about that sizzling rice... that is one of the Chinese traditional recipe. After giving birth mothers are encourage to take it for belly warming.

Anita said...

Your dish looks delicious! I don't see snow when I look out the window today, just lots of cold rain.

JG said...

The Shrimp dish looks so good! A tasty meal on a chilly evening. That is an interesting background story.

Fifi Flowers said...

YUM! I wish you were my neighbor!

Lori said...

Okay so I have to ask, what happened with the rice cakes at your Asian market? Curious minds want to know.

I know that I would love this dish. When I make fried rice I love scraping the stuck rice and eating it. A little treat for the chef. Certain perks involved in cooking like the oyster on the turkey. ha ha

Mary said...

Lori, I think in a response to the economy they simply stopped stocking them. The shelves in the store are emptier than they were in the past. I think they are trying to control inventory.

free online adventure games said...

I love the sweet, sour and spicy sauce that Chinese food is so known for, and I think this must be a lovely recipe to create that! I think the dish might be good even with plain rice.

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