In the meantime, here’s another dish that was simple to prepare and one that came packed with big, spicy flavors. This is from The Slanted Door book by Charles Phan, and this is a book I purchased back around the holidays. I read the book right after purchasing it and marked a lot of pages of things to try. I tried the Crab with Cellophane Noodles for my birthday in March and loved it. I’ve been meaning to try the Vegetarian Spring Rolls and Vegetarian Imperial Rolls, but sadly, they both would be easier to construct with more work space than I currently have. Other recipes marked include Vietnamese Chicken Salad, Spicy Lemongrass Soup, Seared Scallops in Vietnamese Beurre Blanc, Shrimp and Long Beans, Cashew Chicken with gingko nuts and Chinese dates, and the luscious-looking Vietnamese Chocolate Tres Leches Cake. When I get settled in my new kitchen, I plan to spend a couple of days cooking through these pages. For now, I’ll stick to simpler dishes like this stir-fry.
In the book, it’s made with only squid, but I added shrimp as well. The squid tubes were cut into rings, and the shrimp were cleaned and deveined. I chopped a pineapple into chunks and prepped the bell pepper and jalapeno. The cooking goes very quickly, so everything should be prepped and ready. First, the squid and shrimp were cooked in batches in a hot wok over high heat. Cooking a few pieces at a time ensure the heat in the wok doesn’t drop too much as the seafood is added. Each batch of the squid and shrimp was removed after cooking for a minute or two and set aside. Next, pineapple chunks, bell pepper strips, jalapeno slices, a split serrano chile, and a couple of tablespoons of sake were added to the wok. This mixture was cooked for a couple of minutes before the seafood was returned to the wok. Thai basil leaves and fish sauce were added and stirred to combine. I served the stir-fry with steamed jasmine rice and more Thai basil.
I’ve mentioned before my love of spicy chiles and sweet fruit with seafood, and I was delighted with it here. With the sliced jalapeno with seeds left in place, this was a dish with definite heat as it was intended. The sweet pineapple balances the heat well. This could easily become part of our regular meal rotation. Spicy stir-fry for Friday dinner works for me in any kitchen.
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