From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite... Mark Bittman is one of my food heroes.I love the clarity of his writing and the no-nonsense approach he takes to food. I miss his weekly column in the New York Times and he is one of the few food writers whose recipes I keep in a shoebox in my pantry. The box is probably overkill, but I don't really trusts computers, despite the fact I made my living with working with them. As a matter of fact, I have recurring nightmares in which agitated systems programmers converge on a computer room with manuals in hand and my personal computer lies in an intensive care unit trying to fight off a fatal virus which has made it through every firewall known to mankind. It's enough to send chills up and down my spine. So, I bookmark, backup and keep paper copies of certain things, among them Mr. Bittman's recipes. I've been working Chinese black beans and wanted to share his shrimp and black bean stir-fry with you.It is fast and easy and really, really tasty. Bok Choy is now available in supermarkets and the black beans can be found in any Asian grocery store. I do hope you'll give this recipe a try. If you have all the ingredients ready to go before you start to cook, you'll find this really easy to do. My only caution is not to overcook the dish. The stems of the bok choy should retain some crunch and the shrimp should be pink but still tender. If you like a slightly thicker sauce for your stir-fry, you'll want to make a light slurry of cornstarch and water and add it just before serving the shrimp. Here's the recipe.
Stir-Fried Shrimp With Black Beans and Bok Choy...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Mark Bittman
2 tablespoons fermented black beans, sold in Asian markets
2 tablespoons dry sherry or white wine
1-1/2 pounds uncooked shrimp, in the 20 to 30 per pound size range, peeled
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar, divided use
2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided use
1 clove garlic, sliced, and 1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil, divided use
1 pound bok choy or other cabbage, trimmed, washed and dried
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil, divided use
1 tablespoon peeled and minced or grated fresh ginger
3/4 cup chicken stock or white wine
1/4 cup minced scallions
1) Soak black beans in sherry, wine or water.
2) In large bowl, marinate shrimp in 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, sliced garlic, salt and 1 teaspoon sesame oil.
3) Separate bok choy leaves from stems; chop stems into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces, and roughly chop leaves.
4) Preheat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil and raise heat to high. When it begins to smoke, add minced garlic and, immediately thereafter, shrimp and its marinade. Cook shrimp for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon it out of wok or skillet.
5) Put remaining peanut oil in wok or skillet and, when it smokes, add ginger, followed immediately by bok choy stems. Cook, stirring, until bok choy is lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes, then add leaves. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add 3/4 cup water, stock or white wine and let it bubble away for a minute.
6) Return shrimp to wok or skillet and stir; add black beans and their liquid, scallions, and remaining sugar and soy sauce. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Turn off heat, drizzle remaining sesame oil on top, and serve. Yield:3 to 4 servings.
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