Saturday, October 22, 2011

Stir-Frying (Velvet Shrimp) to the Sky's Edge

Before I got a review copy of Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge, I never thought about stir frying anything with eggs. I mean, okay, eggs in fried rice ... but certainly not in a shrimp dish.

For me, that's a great reason to try a recipe. I always like to try new things, whether it's a new technique or a new flavor combination, or a new gadget. Stir frying eggs and shrimp was a new idea and sort of a new flavor profile. I've had shrimp in egg foo yung, but that's a different concept.

Velveting is a Chinese technique, but these aren't velveted in the traditional sense. The result, though, is similar. Yet another new technique to add to my arsenal.

When I went shopping for shrimp, I was faced with some interesting choices. This recipe called for small shrimp, and of course small is a relative term. But the small shrimp were all from countries I prefer not to buy seafood from. There was one option for US sourced shrimp, but they were large shrimp. Interestingly, when I looked at the price per pound, it was actually a better deal than for all but the really miniscule shrimp. So I bought the big ones.

For many recipes, large shrimp seem preferable. Or at least they look more generous. But with a stir-fry recipe, timing is important. You don't want to have big pieces of shrimp that take too long to cook. So I cut them into pieces that I thought would approximate the small shrimp the recipe called for. Problem solved.

Stir-Fried Eggs with Velvet Shrimp
Adapted from Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge by Grace Young

4 oz. small shrimp, peeled, deveined, and patted dry
4 large eggs, 1 teaspoon egg white reserved
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
2 1/2 teaspoons Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
1/8 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/3 cup chopped scallions
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/3 cup frozen peas

Combine the shrimp, 1 teaspoon of egg white, cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon of rice wine, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl. Stir until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Stir in one teaspoon of the oil.

Put the shrimp in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Remove it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature - about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs, pepper, remaining 2 teaspoons of rice wine, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.

Heat a 14-inch wok or 12-inch skillet on high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of hitting the pan. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, add the scallions and ginger, and stir fry for 10 seconds, until the aromatics are fragrant.

Add the shrimp and stir fry for one minute, until the shrimp start to turn color but isn't fully cooked. Add the peas. swirl the egg mixture into the wok, and stir fry for another minute until the shrimp are cooked through and the eggs are just set but still moist.



Sherri M said...

This sounds delicious. I've never met an egg or a shrimp I didn't like, so this combo seems great. Can't wait to try it.

Drew said...

Is there something missing from this recipe? Where/when does the egg white/corn starch mixture come into play?

Donna Currie said...

Drew, the reserved egg white and the cornstarch are in the first step. You combine that with the shrimp.

Anonymous said...

Did not know that Ms. Young has a new book out. She's been my go-to Chinese author for years and spot-on. For the shrimp, you might ask your fish monger for OREGON Bay Shrimp. Fresh or frozen, they are a US product and just a tad larger than canned shrimp, IOW very small. Their flavor screams fresh and a bit biney, but rinse them a second time if necessary. I think they would work Very Well in this egg-based dish.
Thanks. I'll order Grace Young's new book as she is a trusted source around here. -Craig

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