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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tea Shrimp on Cellophane Noodles

I'm toying with the idea of going gluten free...just toying with it.  For the past few years there have been some symptoms that may suggest I have a gluten intolerance.  I've been avoiding admittance on this because of the implications; this is not a small undertaking and my hats go off to anyone dealing with this disease.

So I've decided to make a few dishes that are gluten free to have in my recipe box just in case. As I mentioned, this is a huge undertaking. For instance, I did not buy a true gluten free soy sauce for this recipe- but it is available. I think the key to gluten free is to find substitutes for the basic needs- like noodles, pasta and bread.

Bean thread, or cellophane noodles, are a great option. The second key is getting creative with flavor.  In this recipe, the use of black tea gives a great flavor dimension.

I may continue to keep eating pasta and bread until I can fully commit to an idea of gluten free; but count on seeing more GF recipes on this blog just for the fat and happy health of it.

Tips and techniques:  Timing is important on this recipe, so chop the leek, garlic and mushrooms before you begin. Having all the ingredients ready will help to avoid overcooking the noodles, shrimp or mushrooms.  Try to find fun mushrooms rather than using a button or crimini mushrooms.   I found a great mixture at Whole foods that combined alba and brown clamshell, Trumpet royale and forest namakos.

Tea Soaked Shrimp with Garlic Bean Thread Noodles

Black tea, 2-3 bags
6 shrimps, deveined
1 leek, chopped into about 1 inch pieces
1-2 cups mushrooms (see note above)
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbls soy sauce (gluten free)
1 tbls honey
Chives, a few sprigs for garnish
Red pepper flakes
Sriracha sauce
2 nests of bean noodles
Fresh black pepper

Steep 2-3 bags of tea in pot with 6 cups of hot water.  Pour most (about 4 cups) of the water into a large bowl and add a handful of ice cubes.  Add the bean noodles to the bowl, set aside to soak for 10 minutes.  Pour 3/4 cup tea into a container, set aside  Add another 2 cups of water into the tea pan, leave the tea bag(s) in the pan and bring to a boil.

 In a fry pan, add a little olive or canola oil to the pan and the chopped leeks, saute until leeks begin to soften and caramelize.  Add the garlic, toss and saute another minute.  Add the mushrooms, toss and saute for 2 minutes.  Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, fresh black pepper and reserved tea, simmer.

At this point, your noodles should be done soaking and your tea boiling.  Add the noodles to the boiling tea for 30 seconds, remove using a tongs or small strainer and add to the leeks. Turn off the tea and now add your shrimp to the hot tea pan.  Cook for about 2 - 3 minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink.  Remove the shrimp from the tea and add to the leek pan.  Toss and plate.

Serve with a drizzle of Sriracha sauce, a sprinkling of red pepper flakes and chopped chives.

*note, I also label this as vegetarian because you could easily modify this recipe to leave off the shrimp and still have a wonderful vegetarian dish.

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