Much to my family's chagrin, I've been saving all my shrimp shells for over a month now waiting for the day when I had enough shells to make my very own shrimp stock. Along with the shrimp shells, my freezer was packed with corn cobs, chicken carcasses, and other various things that seem like waste to those who "just don't get it."
Thankfully I don't have to explain myself to you. I know you understand all my kitchen shenanigans and what's even better is that I also know that you're up to some kitchen shenanigans of your own. It's these things that make me love you that much more! Well, that and the fact that I don't have to explain myself to you, which, let's face it....I quit explaining myself several years ago when I turned thirty. After all, there should be some rewards in getting another year older every year.
Speaking of rewards, shrimp stock smells like heaven and is ultimately rewarding. I couldn't wait to use it in a recipe and wanted to put it to use right away for fear of forgetting about it in the vast confines of my freezer. When I saw Jamie Oliver's recipe for Asian Chicken Noodle Broth in his Food Revolution book, I immediately knew I wanted to make a shrimp variation using my homemade shrimp stock. Here it is in all it's glory....and I will say that it was pretty glorious.
Asian Shrimp Noodle Soup
Adapted from Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution/Asian Chicken Noodle Broth
1 quart shrimp stock (*recipe below)
1 cup of shrimp (peeled & deveined)
2 teaspoons five-spice powder
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger root
1/2 - 1 fresh red or green chile, to your taste
4 ounces rice sticks or vermicelli
a handful of snow peas
1 -2 radishes, sliced thinly
6 fresh baby corn or 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
2 tablespoons soy sauce, plus more for serving
juice of 1 lime
a small handful of spinach leaves
cilantro, for garnish
Put a large saucepan on high heat. Fill the saucepan with the shrimp stock, heat until very hot, and put a lid on it. While this is happening, season your shrimp with the five-spice powder and a good pinch of salt and pepper and stir. Add a little olive oil to a saute pan and saute the shrimp until cooked through, tossing every now and again.
While the shrimp is cooking, peel and finely slice your ginger and slice your chile. Take the lid off the pan with the shrimp stock and add half the chile, all the ginger, your rice sticks (or vermicilli), snow peas, asapargus, and corn with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Bring it to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring. Halve the lime and squeeze in the juice. By the time the rice sticks (or vermicelli) and veggies are done, the shrimp will be cooked. To serve, divide the spinach leaves between your bowls and pour over the broth, rice sticks, and vegetables. Divide the shrimp over the soup and scatter with remaining chile and cilantro.
Michael Symon's Homemade Shrimp Stock
Adapted from Live To Cook
Makes About 1 quart
Shells from 1 pound of shrimp
1 onion, quartered
1 Two inch piece of peeled fresh ginger, sliced
1 carrot, thickly sliced
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Combine the shrimp shells, onion, ginger, carrot, coriander seeds, bay leaf, salt, and 2 quarts cold water in a pot. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, skimming away any impurities that rise to the surface. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours, continuing to skim impurities as necessary. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the solids.
Notes/Results: I am a huge fan of any Asian-inspired noodle soup and this one was one of my favorites. Spicy, vegetable-packed, full of noodles, and with wonderful flavor from both the shrimp and the shrimp stock, it was a truly wonderful and fragrant meal. You can bet that I will continue to save all of my shrimp shells from now on and I urge you to do the same.
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