WW wokking through Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge
by Grace Young
Background photo credit: JT Photography
This wonderful recipe comes from Mei Chau of Aux Epices, a French-Malaysian restaurant in New York City's Chinatown.
She grew up in Malaysia, and at the age of thirteen began cooking for her family (she being the youngest of eleven siblings), while her mother worked several hours away, which kept her from coming home regularly.
She is quoted in the book that she "felt pressure to make the food delicious" for her family. I'm sure she succeeded, for she certainly has today, with this recipe.
Mise en place.
Bowl 1: Garlic, shallots.
Bowl 2: Shrimp, chilies, curry leaves, turmeric, pepper, sugar.
Bowl 3: Salt
My little bag of curry leaves.
The Malaysian influence in this stir-fry comes from the use of chilies, turmeric, and fresh curry leaves.
I had never seen nor heard of fresh curry leaves before this recipe. When I read or hear of curry, I think of the dried spice, which is made up a combination of several different spices. After posting a quick question on the WW Facebook page, I found they are available at most Indian markets. Lucky for me, I recalled seeing an Indian market from one of my bike rides, just a couple of cities away - so I had my next bike ride planned out for me.
The curry leaves have a wonderful scent, and impart an interesting flavor that I just can't describe. It is noted in the book that they infuse a fresh citrus flavor; this is not what came to mind. I was thinking more of an earthy flavor (dude did say they were curry leaves, when I asked about them).
The recipe calls for shrimp with the shells on, slit, deveined, and legs removed; however, I failed to read the recipe through (once again), and purchased peeled and deveined shrimp. I do have the tails on though!
This dish looks amazing when made with shrimp with shells. Check out my friend Karen's page to see how this dish is supposed to look. Gorgeous. Just gorgeous.
The shrimp marinates for a short time with the chilies, curry leaves, turmeric, and pepper, with sugar stirred in at the end.
After a quick stir-fry of the aromatics, the shrimp is added and allowed to obtain a sear before tossing until they start to turn orange, sprinkled with some salt, tossed for another couple of minutes, the wok removed from the heat and covered, allowing the shrimp to sit for a half minute, and stir-fried again until they are cooked through.
I would love to visit Mei's restaurant in New York City. This tasting as delicious as it did, made by me, I can only imagine how amazing her food at the restaurant must be.
Thank you Mei, for sharing such a wonderful recipe, and Grace, for including it in you book!
We have been asked not to post the recipes here on our blog. If you would like the recipe, you will find it on page 153, of Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge, which you can purchase at your local bookstore or find it at your local library. I highly recommend purchasing the book - you won't be disappointed.
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