Friday, August 10, 2012

Stir-fried bok choi with dried shrimps and cabbage salad

The weather this week has been so torturing for me. I don't know how everyone else handling the heat, but for me, I don't do very well in it. I have always preferred the cold over the heat simply because I can't function in this weather. I feel like my whole body shutting down and every movement that I make take a tremendous effort to do so. 
We are reconstructing our patio cover in the backyard soon, so I hope the heat will not last too long. Hopefully, I will be able to sit and enjoy the evening breeze with our dinner once we get more shades for the patio. For now we have to refrain ourselves from any outdoor activities until the heat has subsided. Anyway, in this weather, the best things to eat are anything green and refreshing such as these two dishes that we had for dinner yesterday. Not only that they are healthful for the body, colorful for eyes, but also delightful and tasty for the taste buds. 
Actually, there is a secret behind this cabbage salad. It's supposed to be a Thai green papaya salad, but I didn't have any green papaya on hands so I did a little improvisation. With a quarter of the cabbage head left in the fridge, I thought why not substituting it for the shredded papaya? So except for replacing the main ingredient, green papaya, with shredded cabbage, I pretty much kept all other ingredients the same from my previous posted recipe for the green papaya salad. The verdict? My husband said he liked it more so than the traditional green papaya because the crunchiness of the shredded cabbage added more texture to the salad and together they blended so well. I hope you all will enjoy my new creation as much as we did!

1. Shredded cabbage salad with dried shrimps:

1/4 of a cabbage head (shredded)
1/2 cup of dried shrimps
3 Chinese long beans or 10 green beans (cut into 2 inch long pieces)
1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes
6 heaping teaspoons of palm sugar or brown sugar
5 tsp fish sauce
2 cloves of garlic
1 Thai red chili pepper (more if desired)
Juice of 1 lime
Roasted peanuts (coarsely ground)
Chopped mint leaves

Soak dried shrimp in some lukewarm water for 15 min, drain. Deep fry the dried shrimps in oil for 5-7 min until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oil and drain in paper towels.

In a mortar, pound garlic, chili peppers, sugar, lime juice and fish sauce with the pestle until it forms a slightly thick concoction.

Toss in long beans, cherry tomatoes and bruise them slightly with the pestle. Finally add in shredded cabbage, pound gently enough to combine the vegetables with the dressing.

Dish out the salad in a plate, sprinkle with mint leaves. Top it off with crispy dried shrimps and ground roasted peanuts. 

2. Stir-fried bok choi with dried shrimps: 


- 1 lb of Chinese bok choi (cleaned)
- 1/4 cup of dried shrimp (soaked in warm water for 15 minutes)
- 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 2 tsp of fish sauce
- 1 tsp of mushroom seasoning
- 1 tsp of oyster sauce
- Canola oil and black pepper

Soak dried shrimp in some lukewarm water for 15 minutes and drain. Deep fry the dried shrimps in oil for 5-7 min until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oil and drain excess in paper towels.

In a large wok, add 2 tsp of oil and minced garlic. Stir until the garlic is fragrant and slightly brown, then quickly add in the bok choi. Season with fish sauce, mushroom seasoning, oyster sauce and stir quickly so the bok choi can be cooked evenly.

 After a couple minutes, turn off the heat and dish out the bok choi. Top it off with the crunchy dried shrimps, sprinkle with some black pepper and serve immediately with steam rice.

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