Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Boiled Live Shrimps (Sua He)
Guess what? My daughter has come full circle in the Chinese calendar officially today. She is twelve. Next year, I will have a teen. Should I be excited?
Last night, her daddy bought live shrimps from the market, specially for her. Let it be stated that my darling Hubby very rarely drops by the market. But this is a special case. You see, steamed live sua-he (shrimps) is our daughter's favorite food in the world. We always order this in Chinese restaurants. But since it is a weekday, and it is the exam week, too. We cannot go out to celebrate. He wanted to surprise her (and me as well.)
This is actually a very simple dish to prepare. If you can find live jumping shrimps in the markets, that is. I am also surprised that many of my friends do not know how to prepare these shrimps. Primarily because you have to cook them alive. And most people are squirmish about cooking things still jumping around in the market bag. How are you going to steam them if they will jump out of the plate or steamer basket before you can even try to cook them? That is why I do not even try to steam them. I boil them instead. It is an easier way to get the same taste we always wanted.
If you do find the courage to try cooking live, jumping shrimps, I promise you, it is one of the best tasting, fresh tasting dish in the world!!! The taste is incomparable!!! You have got to try this at least once in your lifetime!!!
600 gms live shrimps
4 slices of ginger (harvested from my balcony garden)
1 T salt
1 T oil
8 C water
1. Boil water with salt, oil and ginger.
2. When it boils. Carefully open your bag and drop all the shrimps in. Cover at once. This way, once they are in contact with boiling water, they will cease to jump around. Unlike in steaming, where the cooking process is slower, they can still jump around.
3. Shrimps are cooked when they turn pink. Discard the cooking water. Serve the shrimps immediately, as is or with dipping sauce.
for the dipping sauce:
1 T rice vinegar
2 T soy sauce
1 T minced garlic
1 T finely chopped onion
1 T sugar
1 t grated ginger
1 stalk of cilantro, chopped finely (harvested from my balcony garden)
Mix all the ingredients together and serve with the boiled shrimps.
Here is another picture of the boiled shrimps taken under another light.
And yes, you serve these shrimps as is, with shells and heads and tails. The diners are supposed to take off the head first, suck the juices of the head. Does that sound yucky to you? But this flavorful juice is what most Asians look for in freshly cooked shrimps! Then, slowly peel off the shells. The tail will come off easily if it is fresh. An extra empty bowl is placed on the table to put in the discarded heads and shells.
Sharing this dish with the Grow Your Own community, launched by Andrea of Andrea's Recipes, to feature foods we grow or raise ourselves and the dishes we make using our homegrown products. This edition is hosted by my fellow Pinay blogger Gay of A Scientist in the Kitchen. To see last edition's delicious round-up, please click on Chez Us.
More of daughter's birthday dishes coming soon! :)