Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Spicy Sriracha Ketchup Shrimps...

I grew up on Ketchup shrimps with my mom serving this popular Chinese dish many a nights. She always left the shells on so we can suck the sauce from the crispy aromatic shells, and it's how I like to prepare it for my family, except I love to add an element of heat. I had read recently on Canada's leading food market magazine Canadian Grocer that Vietnamese cuisine's table condiment sriracha chili sauce, made from a paste of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt, exploded in popularity last year! Christine Couvelier, whose Culinary Concierge company helps clients around North America keep ahead of market food trends says the flavour combination of sweet and heat are also on her radar. "Think of things like chili and honey. Think of the punch of flavour, not the explosion of heat. Think of things like sriracha, which is so big, but sriracha with maple syrup as a combination.” Also, chef Chuck Hughes, French-Canadian chef, television personality, and restaurateur partnered with Neal Brothers to create Srirachup kettle chips to add to their chip line. Hughes chose to add the all-time kitchen staple, ketchup to his favourite hot sauce, to sweeten and soften the flavour profile and create a Canadian favourite with a kick, with garlic and chili pepper heat! Gotta go and try it... But for now, try a contemporary spin on ketchup shrimps at home with tangy spicy sriracha...

Spicy Sriracha Ketchup Shrimps
Makes 4 servings

1/2 lb. medium to large shell-on deveined shrimps, thawed
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. oil
1 medium onion, chop into 1-inch pieces
1 green onion, white part cut into 2-inch pieces and green part chopped, reserved for garnish
2 slices ginger
1/2 coloured bell pepper, chopped (optional)
2 -3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. Chinese cooking wine
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. sriracha hot sauce (adjust to your family's taste preference)
1 tsp. soy sauce 
salt and ground pepper to taste

Mix shrimps with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 cup water with your hand for one minute. A bubbly grey foam will appear. Run cold water into the bowl and rinse well until the foam disappears and the water is clear. Drain and pat shrimps dry. Coat with cornstarch and mix well.

Heat oil in wok or skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Sauté onions and ginger for two minutes. Add pepper (optional) and continue to stir-fry for two minutes until onions are soft and peppers crisp-tender. Add shrimps and garlic and cook for a few minutes until they turn pink and their shells golden.

Drizzle in the wine; let cook for one minute. Add ketchup, sriracha and soy sauce; stir-fry constantly, then add some water and let it thicken from the cornstarch until shrimps are done. Top with chopped green onions and serve hot with a bowl on the side to collect the shells :)

Ketchup & Sriracha is a great combination that makes these shrimps burst with flavour!


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