Chinese cooking is very simple and easy to make. In authentic Chinese cuisines, the use of meat is more for flavoring than being main ingredient and the emphasis is on locally grown vegetables. The authentic Chinese cooking bear no resemblance to the salty & greasy sauce floats we normally see in restaurants across US.
The background star of this dish is Shallots. These have this sweet delicate flavor when cooked that reminds me of the onions that we get back in India. Until very recently, I used to think, like many, that shallots are a variety of onions. But shallots grow in clusters like garlic versus single bulb like in onions. Shallots are very commonly used in South Asian cooking. Although these are little pricey compared to onions here in US, its worth trying them. Anyways, most recipes call for small quantities of shallots only.
The sweet, delicate flavors of shallots and sugar snap peas compliment the kung pao sauce and shrimp.
What you need:
20-25 large uncooked Shrimp, cleaned, de-veined
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
3 or 4 fistfuls sugar snap peas, cleaned
1/2 cup baby corn, cut into 1 inch pieces (optional)
1/4 - 1/3 cup kung pao sauce
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons good quality sesame oil
Salt, if needed (i.e, if the salt is not enough from the sauce)
Freshly ground black pepper for taste
Bring four cups of water to boil in a saucepan. Add sugar snap peas, cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, drain well and place sugar snap peas in ice water to stop further cooking. Once cooled well, drain and keep aside.
How to make:
- Heat oil on high heat. Add garlic and shallots. Stir-fry for few seconds until the sweet aroma comes out of shallots.
- Add cleaned shrimp. Stir-fry until the shrimp is opaque. Add the sauce, baby corn and ground pepper. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Note: Add sauce in a quantity that is suited your taste.
- Add sugar snap peas, mix well. Check for salt and add if required. Stir fry for few more seconds, add the scallions (green onions) and remove from heat.
Note: As you can notice, my sugar snap peas are cooked a little too much. I've adjusted the time in the recipe given here. The peas should be crunchy and should not form wrinkles (an indication of overcooking).