Since many of us are still in the pandemic lockdown, self-imposed or mandated, deciding what to cook has become a chore. Many of us are probably planning out weekly menus to cut down on grocery runs, which many of you know can be a daunting experience with masks, lines, and empty shelves; and I won’t even get into disinfecting all the groceries we bring home! Such is our new “normal” at least until this scourge passes.
Another main concern for many of us is a disrupted food chain caused by virus outbreaks at many of the meat packing plants nationwide. Not only is this virus causing meat shortages, but it puts plant employees considered essential workers, and their families at risk. I know we all want to do our part to stop the spread and also hopefully keep folks from hoarding meat. (Remember the Toilet Paper back in March? I don’t think the factories have caught up yet!) Anyway to show our support for meat packing plant employees and hopefully lessen the demand for meats workers’ advocates are calling for Meatless Mondays. So you might want to plan your weekly menus to include at least one meatless day, it’s good for your health as well as one small step in stopping the spread. So I thought this month I’d share some meatless recipes with you.
One of my favorite seafood dishes is Salt & Pepper Shrimp, we used to order it every time we dined at a Chinese restaurant. Since I found a recipe for it we can enjoy it at home. I modified it to fit our tastes and I think made it a bit simpler to make. Served over steamed white rice it’s yummy!
1 lb. Medium to Large shrimp – peeled and deveined
1 tbls. sea salt
1/2 cup corn starch
2 tbls. ground white pepper
2 tbls. ground black pepper
1 tbls. garlic powder
3 tbls. chopped green onions
2 tbls. minced garlic
1/4 + cup peanut oil
Place shrimp in a small bowl and cover with warm water
Add sea salt and let soak for 30 minutes to 1 hour
In a shallow bowl mix together corn starch, 1 tbls. each of white and black peppers, and garlic powder
Drain shrimp and lightly pat dry with a paper towel
Heat peanut oil in wok or large frying pan on medium heat until hot
Coat each shrimp in cornstarch mixture and place in wok
Cook until shrimp turns pink – turn halfway for even cooking – you may need to add more peanut oil if it gets too dry
Place cooked shrimp on paper towel to drain – Do not turn stove off
If pan is dry add a tbls. more peanut oil – add mince garlic and stir until it starts turning golden
Add fried shrimp back into pan
Add chopped green onions and stir til green onions turn bright green and starts to soften
Fusion Cuisine has become very popular lately. Top restaurants and chefs tout their newest creations which is usually 2 or more types of cuisine and cooking traditions combined to create a “fused” dish. Some are actually delicious like my favorite LA street food, Korean Beef Tacos; other combinations I’m not so sure about like Sweet and Sour Chicken Pizza. I love pizza, but I like to keep it simple, the topping of Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken was interesting at best. I’m sure there are fans of it out there, I’m still uncommitted.
Recently our family headed to Chili’s for a quick meal, it had to be quick the 19 month old twins were with us! My favorite dish at Chili’s is their fried shrimp tacos. I was so disappointed when I ordered the tacos and got tiny shrimp that was marinated in some Tex-Mex concoction and thrown in a corn tortilla. When I asked our server what happened to the “good” shrimp tacos I was informed that it had been changed to this new version. Good thing I ordered a taco trio and was able to enjoy the Prime Rib tacos. But I went home determined to create my own version of a crispy shrimp taco.
I came up with this delicious taco! I adapted my Salt & Pepper Shrimp recipe (Asian Fried Shrimp) and used that to fill fresh white corn tacos. Garnished with shredded cheddar, lettuce, salsa, and sour cream it was super yummy! In fact we liked it better than Chili’s old shrimp tacos!
These Crispy Salted Pepper Shrimp Tacos have just the right flavor and the perfect crunch that complements the white corn tortilla. It has become a new family favorite and I’m so excited to share it with you!
Makes 4 tacos
12 Jumbo Shrimp
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Corn Starch
1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Ground White Pepper
Oil for frying
4 White corn tortillas
Shredded cheddar cheese
Peel and de-vein shrimp.
Butterfly the shrimp by lightly slicing the back about 1/4 of the way thru.
Dissolve salt in water and soak the shrimp in it for 15 minutes.
Mix garlic, pepper, and corn starch together.
Pour 1″ of oil in frying pan and heat.
Drain shrimp and pat dry with a paper towel.
Roll shrimp in corn starch mixture.
Fry shrimp until the coating turns golden and shrimp is pink.