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.

Salmon Caviar (Ikra)

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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 little pieces of bread with caviar 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!

Butter Garlic Shrimp

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I have made this dish on many occasions, and it is one of my favorite ways to cook shrimp. I start with medium-size fresh headless shrimp (I usually get them from T&T – it’s an Asian supermarket chain in Vancouver). Don’t use the peeled, precooked and frozen shrimp – the results just won’t be the same. Ideally, shrimp should be peeled and de-veined, but I often skip this step to save time and let everyone peel their own shrimp! The delicious garlicky sauce that’s left behind after shrimp is cooked can be used to add flavor to other dishes, such as sauteed vegetables or mushrooms.