Tuesday, December 28, 2004

steamed shrimp with garlic over bean sprouts

husband saw wifey going wacky with the christmas stuff so he volunteered to make this for a weekday dinner, one of our favorite shrimp recipes.
a couple of years after we moved to this hardworking class Boston 'burb, a Chinese food take out joint opened just down the hill and of course we had to support this business venture. the owner turned out to be husband's old elementary school friend, and the chef! ooh la la ay ya! he churned out Hong Kong style food (fresh, even things-not-from-the-menu-but-he'll- cook-for-you-on-special-request kind of dishes: Iron Chef stuff!...ooh maybe i'm just oversentimentalizing...is that a word?).
anyway. we were crestfallen when they had to close shop (matthew said he was exhausted). he had been a lifesaver when our daughter was born, as i slowly recovered from the complicated delivery. we didn't have to battle the expressway traffic and parking crunch of Boston Chinatown to get great tasting take-out.
some days when husband had to wait for our order, matthew would proffer a steaming bowl of wonton soup, the memory of which makes this tough guy swoon. to this day. Matthew Tam is gone and we have been looking for him. please let me know if you know where he is. this dish is a replica husband came up with, in his desire to rekindle a tastebud memory. it comes pretty darn close...

peel, devein, rinse, and salt a pound of large shrimp.
in 4 tbsps. of vegetable oil saute 6 large cloves of finely minced garlic. add a pinch of salt and cook till pale golden brown. scoop out garlic and let cool.
set shrimp on a heatproof platter that fits over a steamer. pour cooled sauteed garlic over and steam until pink-firm and done (about 4-5 minutes). remove from heat.

in a wok heat 2 tbsps. of peanut or vegetable oil and add a thin slice of ginger. add bag of bean sprouts (about 2 cups) and saute briefly (add thinly sliced scallions if you like). add a drop of sesame oil and salt to taste. spread out bean sprouts into serving platter and pour shrimps and garlic on top.