Asparagus Shrimp Stirfry
My son would say I am just contrary and I am sure he would be right. I find it an irritation being inundated with advice, recipes and suggestions for any given holiday meal to the point of becoming overwhelmed with the options before it is even time to start thinking about what I want to do. Here it is the day before and I am feeling like the train has left to station I am so saturated with the pre-holiday hype that I really don’t care if I cook or not.
That is probably just me. Just my family who care much less about the food than I do and the mere act of getting us together somehow has become burdensome. How much easier to text or wall post a “Happy Holiday” than to meet up in “real life.” Somehow it seems that we’re loosing the connection when holidays were exciting events that have devolved into a chore. Is it the distance in space and mind as kids grow into their own with their set of priorities, our elders gone or going and extended family scattered to the winds that has created this separation? How different from when I was a child and the massive gatherings of relations joyously amassed to celebrate with my grandmother Julia at the helm, keeping us all together. In that time we wouldn’t consider not showing up for fear of missing something. Families age, drift. It happens. The nostalgia of looking at the world through my inner child’s eyes reflects back little of what was for what is.
Inspite of all of that, my heart compeles me to keep on trying to hold the foundations of the bridge together. Relationships and connection take effort and as much as you need to feed your sourdough starter, you need to care and feed the people in your lives with your genuine self, from your heart. So I plan, call and coerce because being physically together is when the smiles, hugs and stories make it all the better. Perhaps different, but the best we can do at keeping us a family.
So today you will not get a fluffy cake, gorgeously decorated cookies or glazed ham with all the fixings. You get what made me feel comfortable and happy as spring emerges and daylight brings the blossoms of renewal, hope and joy. And that my friends is why my son calls me contrary.
- Vegetable oil for stirfrying
- 1 - 1 ½ pounds asparagus
- 1 pound prawns (21-25 count), shelled, deveined, tail-on
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ cup yellow bell pepper
- ¼ cup green onions
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar (or sake or rice wine)
- ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Oyster Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Fish Sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ½ teaspoon garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- Wash asparagus to remove any sandy grit. Snap off wooden ends and slice on the diagonal into 1 ½” to 2” pieces.
- Julienne yellow bell pepper.
- Wash, trim green onions and slice on the diagonal into 1” pieces.
- Set vegetables aside.
- Clean, shell and devein shrimp. Pat dry with paper towels to remove any moisture (makes them better for stir frying.)
- Whisk sauce ingredients together in small bowl.
- In a hot wok or fry pan add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to coat surface. Add minced garlic and quickly cook before it browns (remove before that happens or the garlic will taste bitter.) This step is just to flavor the oil.
- Add prawns to wok and quickly stir fry for 2 minutes, with constant tossing and stirring. Add 1 tablespoon of sauce to glaze. Remove shrimp when they are opaque and pink. They will continue cooking as the rest.
- Add 2 tablespoons oil to wok and let it come back to temperature. Add the asparagus, onions, and bell pepper and fry for 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of sauce and continue cooking until fork tender -- another couple minutes.
- Add shrimp and toss to combine with vegetables.
- Sprinkle with rice wine vinegar, and ground black pepper to taste.
- Add chopped cilantro, remove from heat and serve.
- Any remaining sauce could be used for dipping.