Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Shrimp and Edamame Stir Fry with Basil - WHB

Shrimp and Edamame Stir Fry with Basil

When I was writing up this recipe, I realized I didn’t know the difference between a saute and stir fry (did I saute or stir fry the edamame?), besides the fact that one is French and the other is Chinese. I’ve been using the two terms interchangeably. If I make something Asian I call it a stir fry, something Western, then it's a sauté. Simple enough. But my curiosity got the better of me and I looked up the two terms on Wikipedia (I love Wikipedia, it has everything). “Stir fry” is actually a catch-all term that includes two different techniques, “chao” and “bao”. Both methods employ the traditional wok but less oil is added when using the “chao” method. The wok is heated to a high temperature for both techniques, but to "bao", the pan is heated much hotter, to a dull red (something home kitchens aren’t equipped to do, and I’m glad because it sounds frightening). After this bit of research, I discovered that the only main difference between a “chao” stir fry (the method I use at home) and a sauté was... *drum roll please*...

The type of pan used (sauté pan vs. a wok). Yup, that's right. Just the pan. Very anticlimactic right? The gist is, food is cooked over direct heat in a minimal amount of oil and stirred often. After this quest for knowledge, I actually ended up back on square one. So since I used Asian ingredients, I'm calling this a stir fry. Even with something as simple as naming a dish, I tend to overcomplicate things, but at least I learned something new.

- This is a really simple, healthy, and quick dish, so it's perfect for a weeknight meal after a long day at work.

Shrimp and Edamame Stir Fry with Basil

1 lb medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 C edamame/soy beans (frozen is fine), rinsed and drained
1/2 C lightly packed basil leaves, chopped or chiffonade
2 Tbsp Shao xing rice wine
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp corn starch
1/4 tsp white pepper (or more to taste)
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Mix the shrimp with rice wine, soy sauce, white pepper, and cornstarch in a bowl. Let it marinate in the fridge for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the edamame and some salt and stir fry for 1 minute.

Add the shrimp and all of the marinade. Stir fry for about 30 seconds, then cover the skillet and cook covered until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Stir in chopped basil off heat, salt to taste, and enjoy over white rice.

Serves 4.

I used some basil in this dish so it’s perfect for Weekend Herb Blogging. Weekend Herb Blogging is hosted this week by the amazing Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen, creator of this great event.

My Previous WHB Recipes
Lavender – Honey Lavender Brioche
Thyme – Chicken Provencal
Dill – Tzatziki Sauce
Parsley – Chicken Marsala
Green Onion – Green Onion Pancake

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