In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

A Quick Shrimp Stir Fry.

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One of my weaknesses when it comes to food when I’m on the islands is definitely Chinese. I just love the unique way through the years our “chinee” food evolved to what it is today. Be it the use of local ingredients or the influence of the many other culture/races that make up Trinidad and Tobago, but I assure you that you will not find the same sort of Chinese dishes elsewhere (taste). I guess Trinbagonians will also the say the same thing about KFC ?

As a youth Saturdays my dad would take me and my brother to see Kung Fu movies in San Fernando and besides being excited about seeing all the fighting scenes we’d try to emulate when we got home (on each other), it also meant food from some of the popular Chinese restaurants on Mucurapo (sp) street. There’s this sort of rum shop/restaurant on the corner or Lord and Mucurapo street, which I still visit to this day as they have the best fried pork (Chinese style) I’ve ever had. With just the right amount or fat and crispy skin that goes well with the pepper sauce they top the sandwiches with. All on “hops” bread.

Yes, the cuisine of Trinidad and Tobago and many of the Caribbean islands are heavily influenced by the Chinese, in case you’re wondering why you’re finding a stir fry recipe on this site. Over the coming months I try my best to share some of those dishes I grew up craving.

You’ll Need…
1/2 lb shrimp (peeled/deveined)
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
3 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 carrot sliced thin
christophene (“chocho” to my Jamaican friends)
snow peas
bell peppers (orange, green and red – anything to add some colour)
baby pak choi (bok choi)
large onion
3 tablespoon soya sauce (dark)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon Oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional – to give it a kick)
fresh ground white pepper (optional)

* You can control what vegetables you add and how much you actually use. In this recipe I used about 1 1/2 cups of each and I tried my best to cut them in similar sizes so they cook uniformly. The finished dish could easily be enough for about 4-5 people using my recipe.

* It’s very important that you have everything prepped, including the sauce mixture before you gets started. I’d also like to mention that since I’m using soy sauce I didn’t have the need to add any additional salt to the dish, but this is entirely up to you as I’m sure your love for salt will be different than mine.

Start by prepping the vegetables and shrimp (peel and devein). Remember to try and keep the vegetables the same size when dicing.

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I forgot to take a pic of the cleaned shrimp, but we’re ready to get started. I was hyped at using my new wok for the first time. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in the wok or pan on fairly high heat, then add the shrimp. Cook for a couple minutes then remove from the wok. Add the additional 2 tablespoons of  oil and toss in the onion, garlic and ginger. Let that cook till the onion is soft (about 2-3 minutes). The entire kitchen should already start smelling good.

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Now it’s time to add all the other ingredients (vegetables) and stir as you add to allow everything to hit the bottom of the wok and start cooking. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes, then add back the shrimp and fresh ground white pepper if you have some.

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In a small bowl I added the soy, Oyster and Hoisin sauces, as well as the Sesame oil and pepper sauce, gave it a good stir with a whisk, so now I can pour it over the vegetables and stir well. Basically all you’re doing now is heating the sauce and allowing it to coat all those wonderful vegetables. I like my stir fry with a bit of a crunch, so I don’t cook it much longer than this. So about 2-3 minutes after I add the sauces I remove it off the heat. Remember to check for salt.

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If shrimp is not your thing, you can certainly use chicken or go vegetarian. I think I saw some vegetarian oyster and hoisin (simulated flavor thing) in the local Asian store I went to. I had a huge plate of this immediately after it was done, as the longer it stay in the pot or if you cover after making, it will continue cooking and go soggy. Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

happy cooking


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