WHAT CARA AND KARLA ARE COOKING
So many people requested recipes for the food we served at our grand opening party for Six Fishes Neighborhood Acupuncture, that we decided to share the recipes with everyone.
Since our party coincided with the Autumn Moon Festival in China, we wanted an Asian theme. We knew all the food had to be room temperature, so that pretty much determined what we made.
Karla and I are well matched in the kitchen. We are both experienced cooks with a similar food sensibility. We also didn’t really measure anything. So be flexible with the quantities.
Shrimp & Veggie Rice Noodle Salad
1 pkg thin rice noodles
1 bag frozen cooked peeled deveined shrimp or precooked shrimp from the seafood counter (you can always save money by cooking, peeling, deveining yourself)
2 red bell peppers cut into strips
1 pkg crimini or baby bella or fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced (you can use dried shiitake mushrooms if you soak them in boiling water until soft)
1 pkg snow peas, sliced to make 2-3 long strips out of each pea pod
3 carrots, julienned into thin matchsticks about 4 inches long
1 small or ½ large daikon, julienned into thin matchsticks about 4 inches long
½ pkg mung bean sprouts
1 bunch scallions, white and green parts sliced into diagonal slices ¼” wide
1 bunch cilantro, tear by hand or roughly chop with knife
1 bunch basil (Thai or purple basil is nice), tear by hand or roughly chop with knife
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4-cup rice vinegar
½ cup Ponzu bottled Asian citrus juice (do not use the Ponzu flavored soy sauce as it will be too salty) or 1/3-cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. sriracha chili sauce (more if you like spicy)
3 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup or agave syrup
You could use any assortment of vegetables you like in this dish, but this combination has a lot of color and flavor. This recipe is easy, serves a large crowd, and mostly involves chopping and slicing.
Start to boil a big stockpot full of water and put the shrimp out to thaw while you are preparing all the vegetables. When everything else is ready you will prepare the noodles last to finish the salad (they will turn sticky if you prepare them too early and let them sit, although if you must prepare them ahead, keep in a bowl with plastic wrap on top and rinse them under cold water again to loosen before you mix the salad).
Sauté the mushroom slices in 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. You can start chopping other veggies while the mushrooms cook, just stir occasionally to turn over until they are softened and just turning brown, at least 10 minutes Remove and let cool.
Wash and slice all the veggies and then the herbs last so they don’t wilt. Put all the veggies, mushrooms, thawed shrimp and chopped herbs into the largest bowl you have to mix the salad.
Make the dressing now, just stir the ingredients in a bowl until dissolved together.
Turn off the boiling pot of water and put the rice noodles in the water, leave for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Drain in a colander and then run under cold water to stop the cooking. Put drained cool noodles into the large bowl over all the veggies. Pour on the dressing and completely mix the salad together with your hands (it’s easier than tongs or spoons). Taste it and see if you want more dressing or to adjust the flavor. If you want it a little more sweet, sour (citrus or vinegar) or salty (fish sauce or soy sauce), add a little more of that ingredient.
You can julienne, grate or shred any veggies you like including Napa cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, broccoli stems, etc. We bought pre-shredded bag mix of broccoli slaw at the grocery store.
Make the dressing:
½ cup rice vinegar, 1/4 cup lime juice or bottled Ponzu, 1 tsp. fish sauce, 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. ground white pepper or black pepper, 2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup or agave syrup.
Toss in sliced scallions and chopped cilantro
Stir to combine and dissolve dressing, then toss with veggies. Taste it and if you want it a little more sweet, sour or salty, add a little more of that ingredient.
Cucumber Radish Tomato salad
3 regular cucumbers or 6 baby Persian cucumbers
1 bunch radishes
1 container cherry or grape tomatoes
½ bunch cilantro, hand torn or roughly chopped
½ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup honey or maple syrup or agave syrup
1 tsp. fish sauce or soy sauce or tamari
Peel the cucumbers but leave 4-6 thin very strips of green peel spaced around the cucumber to look nice. Slice the cucumbers ¼ inch thick. If you use large cucumbers, cut them in half lengthwise first, then lay the flat side down and slice.
Slice radishes very thinly 1/8 inch slices.
Cut the grape tomatoes in half.
Mix the dressing ingredients together in a bowl, dissolving together. Pour over the salad vegetables. Squeeze a little fresh lime or lemon juice over the salad if you like.
Let it soak at least 15 minutes before you serve it, and you can keep it in the refrigerator for several days until you finish eating it.
Asian marinated chicken wings and drumettes
This was the fastest cheat:
I combined a bottle of Asian sweet chili sauce with about ½ cup sushi vinegar and marinated the wings for a couple of days.
You can bake or broil the chicken or do both. Either way use a 2-piece broiler pan covered with foil for easier cleanup, and do poke holes or slits in the foil to allow drainage of the juices into the bottom part of the broiler pan.
Don’t crowd the wings on the baking sheet; cook multiple batches if you are preparing large amounts. You want the wings browned and not soggy. We baked the wings first for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven to help the insides cook, then put them under the broiler to brown. Depending how close your oven rack is to the broiler; you could broil from 4-9 minutes each side, and then turn over with tongs to brown the other side. You will need to watch them and check every minute for the first batch until you know how your oven setup works for this.
Put the wings on a serving platter and garnish with lime wedges and a few cilantro or parsley sprigs.
Cucumber Shiso Lemonade
1 organic unwaxed cucumber
I cup Simple Syrup
I cup Shiso Leaves
Note: this beverage can be made without the shiso leaves. I just have them growing in the garden and have been using them in creative ways. We also had about 20 cucumbers ready at the same time, so I pureed them and then froze it.
Puree the cucumber, skin, seeds and all. Combine 2 parts lemonade with one part cucumber puree.
To make simple syrup: heat equal amounts of sugar and water until melted. Add a large handful of Shiso leaves (or fresh mint) and simmer until the syrup has a lovely green color. Pour into a clean jar and cool.
Add it to taste to the cucumber lemonade. Tequila optional.