Yuliya's Blog: Russian Food for Lazy Cooks and More

fish and seafood

Spicy Stir-Fried Shrimp

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This recipe makes perhaps the tastiest spicy shrimp I ‘ve ever had, and I’m proud to say that I came up with it all by myself :) It only takes about 15 minutes to make. When I created this recipe, I was striving to achieve a classic balance of flavors – salty-sour-savoury-sweet. I added Sriracha for heat and a touch of curry for complexity and aroma. I hope you enjoy it too.

There is a “special ingredient” in the stir-fry sauce that may be not as familiar as the rest. Mirin is a sweet Japanese cooking sauce made from rice wine. It adds a touch of sweetness and a subtle fruity aroma. Mirin may be sold in an Asian food section of your supermarket, or Chinese or Japanese ethnic food stores. Here in Vancouver, I get it from T&T Supermarket. If you can’t find this sauce, a sweet sherry makes a good substitute. In a pinch, dissolve 1 teaspoon of sugar in 2 tablespoons of white wine.

Spicy shrimp is shown here served with a simple refreshing cucumber, tomato, and avocado salad.

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Salmon Caviar (Ikra)

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I know I posted a caviar recipe two years ago, but I just made a new batch and could not resist posting again with a MUCH better cover photo! I, as most Russians, could rave about caviar for a very long time. As I mentioned before, I’m lucky enough to live on the West Coast of Canada where salmon roe is easily obtainable during salmon runs. I’m actually double time lucky because my home town in Russia is located not far from the Pacific Ocean, on the river Amur, which gets salmon runs that rival those of British Columbia. So I pretty much grew up eating salmon dishes and caviar.

Salmon caviar is good for you. It’s almost all protein, which is used by the body to make muscle tissue. The famous Russian figure skater and Olympic champion Ekaterina Gordeeva mentions in her autobiography that Soviet athletes were given salmon caviar during training to boost strength. Caviar also has all the healthy omega fatty acids normally found in fish. It is very filling, so if you eat those 4 canapés in the cover picture for breakfast, and it can easily take you through half a day! Not to mention a sensational gustatory experience when those vibrant salty granules pop against your tongue!

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