Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Shrimp, Snow Pea and Lop Cheung Chow Mein

Shrimp, Snow Pea, and Lop Cheung Chow Mein
What to make for dinner isn't usually hard for me to figure out, but in the last few days, I just haven't had the cravings that send me in a particular direction. Nor has Ann. And so it was that I found myself at FoodMaxx yesterday before coming home, wandering the store quite aimlessly trying to figure something out. I know the guys stocking the produce were wondering why I, who generally gets in and gets out in 10 minutes, was wandering back and forth for 45 minutes.

I knew I wanted something fresh and crunchy but fairly light. I selected some snow peas even though they are woefully out of season knowing that Ann loves them so. For myself, I would have used gai lan, Chinese broccoli. Then I spied a beautiful orange Bell pepper and a bunch of garlic chives with buds, which for some unkown reason FoodMaxx labels Q Flower.

Over in the freezer case, I needed to see if I could find some lop cheung (sweet Chinese sausage) that didn't contain pork for a dinner I am doing later in December. No such luck: all five brands contain pork. While that means that I am going to plan B for my upcoming dinner, I did get introduced to a new brand of lop cheung from California Sausage. This sausage looks really nice and different from the other brands, so I put it in my basket to try.

Then back to the produce aisle where a few shiitakes caught my eye. Then I wandered to the seafood counter where they had beautiful large white shrimp at a great price. Into the basket with them. Meanwhile a stir fry of some sort was materializing in my mind and as I wandered by the noodles, I grabbed a package of udon thinking then about chow mein. I grabbed udon because I prefer them to the Chinese-style noodles that FoodMaxx stocks.

Back home, the assembly was easy. While Ann peeled the shrimp, I prepped the vegetables, a lot of fresh ginger, a big mound of slivered garlic, and thinly sliced lop cheung. Then I mixed some soy sauce, agave nectar, crushed red pepper flakes, and Chinese Zhenjiang black vinegar (Chinkiang brand).

I fried the noodles en masse in a skillet and then flipped them to crisp both sides. The resulting pancake I slid onto a platter where it waited while I stir fried the topping and then added the sauce and reduced it.

After all the work I put into figuring out what to have for dinner, I think I got it right! It was just what the doctor ordered. And the new brand of lop cheung was fantastic, the best I've ever had!

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