This was originally going to be a Slow Food, FAST post. And in truth, we had this for dinner on a Thursday, not for lunch on a Sunday. Yet despite the fact that both Howard and I were happily content with this seemingly small bowl of steamed rice topped with prawns/shrimp, I became insurmountably concerned that many of you wouldn’t consider this to be a complete dinner.
And so I acquiesced to my concerns and relegated this filling, aromatic and deliciously satisfying dinner to lunch status. I’ll continue to wrestle with this decision cop-out while the rest of you move on to the next page, and the quick story about how this dish came together.
The first thing I did was get some rice going. I’m a brown rice person, while Howard is decidedly decided on white rice. So in the spirit of marital compromise, I started mixing the two a couple of years ago. To tell you the truth, I don’t even think Howard noticed that his white rice was actually 1/2 brown. When I pointed it out, he shrugged and replied, “I thought it was a little nutty.” (Which is very funny in an English accent — trust me.)
Where was I? Oh yeah, rice. I cooked 1/2 cup white Indian Basmati with 1/2 cup brown Indian Basmati with just under 2 cups of water, a pinch of salt and 2 teaspoons of butter (olive oil works too). It takes about 30-35 minutes to cook. When done, I fluffed it with a fork, and set it aside with a cover to keep it warm.
While the rice cooked, I marinated 12-18 medium sized shrimps in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic and a pinch each of chili flakes and salt. Then, I crushed 3 or 4 more large garlic cloves with the side of my chef’s knife, removed the skin and heated them in 1/2 cup of olive oil in a large cast iron (or any other) heavy skillet over medium-low heat. The garlic sizzled slowly, and when it just began to brown (about 10 minutes), I removed it from the oil and discarded it ate it on the sly with a sip or two of white wine, and turned the element to just above low — to keep the oil warm, but not smokin’.
photo by su-lin
While the garlic sizzled, I followed the recipe for David Chang’s Ginger Scallion Sauce at YouFedABabyChili? and found myself with the biggest bowl of raw aromatics I’ve ever seen. This sauce is killer. It’s so full of raw ginger and green onions that it’s like adding a salad to your rice — except it’s good.
If you’ve got pretty good knife skills, the ginger-scallion sauce with go together without much effort. If you and your knife aren’t the best dance partners, it may take you a little while. But practice makes perfect, right? (And it’s really only the ginger that can be a pain in the ass to mince by hand.)
Once the sauce was together and the rice was fluffed, I quickly cooked the shrimp. The heat under the garlic oil went to med. high and, when it was smoking, I added the shrimps. Sixty seconds, and one flip, later they were cooked.
To serve: Stir some of the ginger scallion sauce into the rice — to your taste, then top it with some shrimp, some of that amazing garlic oil, and a little more ginger scallion sauce. Done.
The rest of the ginger-scallion sauce will continue to improve with age over the next 3 days. Try it on noodles, sushi or whatever takes your fancy — lunch or dinner.