Wednesday, August 27, 2014

XO Braised Straw Mushrooms with Shrimp & Crabstick

This is actually a variation of my favorite Seafood and Mushroom Medley.  Basically, it's a simpler (scaled down) version.  The original medley uses an extensive mix of seafood and mushrooms, but this simple version is just with shrimp, crabstick and straw mushrooms.  What sets it apart is the XO sauce, which is a spicy seafood-based condiment in Chinese cooking.

We got the fresh straw mushrooms from the weekend market.

Here's the recipe:

about 300 to 400 grams fresh shrimps, cleaned and shelled
5 pieces crabsticks (sashimi quality)
500 grams fresh straw mushrooms

1 thumb of ginger, sliced thinly
1 small onion, minced finely
2 to 3 teaspoons XO sauce, or to taste
1 tbsp. glutinous rice wine
2 tbsp. light soy sauce
2 tbsp. premium oyster sauce
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
cornstarch slurry

Saute ginger and onions.  Add XO sauce and stir fry a few seconds.  Add the shrimps.  Splash with rice wine. When the shrimps are halfway done, add the mushrooms.

Season with soy sauce and and oyster sauce, as welll as salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer a few minutes.  The mixture should turn "soupy" (from the mushrooms), otherwise, add some hot water or vegetable stock.  Add the crabstick; stir gently until the crabstick breaks apart.  Thicken with cornstarch slurry.  Adjust seasonings.

As always, I recommend being cautious with sauces (soy and oyster, or even the XO sauce) because different brands may have different levels or saltiness, spiciness, etc.  It is always better to season lightly and add if it needs it because it is really difficult to reduce or fix excessive flavors.

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