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Red peppers sweeten shrimp saute

After reaffirming a love of good-quality shrimp in this blog’s previous post, I may next have to acknowledge a budding tolerance for red bell peppers.

While rigorously avoiding any dish with green bell pepper, I’ve made peace over the years with red, yellow and orange varieties. This primarily is accomplished by roasting their astringent skins into submission, stripping them off and dicing or slicing the softened, sweetened flesh inside. Raw red pepper has remained a firm “no” in the vast majority of cases.

But I recently found myself enjoying the crunch of raw red bell pepper — diced very small — alongside tender olives and slightly assertive scallions in a spicy, homemade cocktail sauce for Shrimp Cocktail Salad. Find the recipe in a June post to this blog, or see a demonstration in an upcoming episode of “For the Love of Food.”

I suppose it’s about time I started to welcome more bell peppers into my kitchen, given my younger son’s adoration, which has caused me to keep mini sweet peppers on hand for snacking. I’ve tried incorporating them, very thinly sliced, into some of our meals. This recipe — another featuring shrimp — perhaps would please us both.

Tribune News Service photo

Shrimp With Soy, Garlic, Ginger and Lemon

12 ounces shrimp, shelled but with the tail left on if possible

1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon, plus 3/4 teaspoon, peeled and minced fresh ginger, divided

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons medium-dry sherry

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons oil (not olive)

1/2 cup diced or sliced sweet red peppers

1/2 bunch watercress with bottom 1 inch of stems cut off (optional)

Hot cooked rice or Asian noodles, for serving

In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the ginger, the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of the garlic, the pepper and sherry. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Drain shrimp, retaining marinade.

Mix 1/3 cup water with the cornstarch and reserved marinade; stir well to dissolve cornstarch. In a small saucepan, bring mixture to a boil and cook, stirring continuously, for 1 minute. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add shrimp, remaining 1 teaspoon garlic and remaining 3/4 teaspoon ginger. Stir fry over high heat for 30 seconds. Add the sweet red peppers and cook, stirring, for another 30 seconds. Add sauce and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat and immediately add the watercress, if using. Serve at once over rice or Asian noodles.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe from “The Frog-Commissary Cookbook” by Steven Poses, Anne Clark and Becky Roller.