Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hoisin Glazed Shrimp with Crispy Noodles


I'm a sucker for some good Chinese food, which is why I like to make it a lot here at home! Granted, it's not nearly as good (or bad for you) as you what you would get in the restaurant, but I'm not Chinese and I don't have all of the fancy cooking tools and ingredients they use, which is probably why mine is a little more figure-friendly! Let me just say that I will never try to compete with the regular Chinese's just too good! But making fake-out take-out from home is definitely a nice substitution in many ways (especially for your budget and health)!

I pulled this recipe from Every Day with Rachael Ray. Now I know that a lot of people don't care for her and while I used to profess my undying cooking love for her once before, that love has fizzled out a bit. I don't watch her show anymore and I've never really had any luck with her cookbooks. That being said, however, I do enjoy picking up her magazine every month.

Enough of that....back to the recipe! So, I don't think that Rachael actually came up with this recipe. I think that it came from someone else as it seems a lot of the recipes in there do. But, I found it tucked in with an article about trying to re-create flavors you taste in restaurants (hence the idea of fake-out take-out)! That is one thing I love doing and what a lot of people commend me on...going to a restaurant and figuring out the flavors in a particular dish, sauce, dressing, etc. and then going home to try it out and keep trying it out until I've finally mastered that same flavor (or close enough to it).

This dish was good. But, it's definitely not at the top of my list as one of my favorites! This Mongolian Beef, however, was. But it really was good. There was a lot of sweetness going on with the pineapple and hoisin and the shrimp was a nice combination to throw in, but I think it needed more garlic. I always think something could use more garlic! You can never have enough garlic! I did, however, have some problems with the noodles. Basically, they're Ramen noodles cooked and fried. Now this recipe says to cook the brick of noodles whole and apparently it's supposed to stay in it's form, but not for me it didn't! It completely fell apart. But, I made do and fried them anyway and they eventually adhered together and worked out the same way. Problem resolved. My next problem was the texture! They were crispy and crunchy on the outside and soft and noodl-y on the inside, which was kind of weird when I first tried it. But the more I ate, the more I found I liked it and I ate it all! In fact, I'm planning to have leftovers today! So I guess it wasn't really a problem after all, but I bet it'd be really good over rice as well. This may be a recipe you like and it may not. I can tell you that I will probably make it again, I'm sure, and maybe with a few tweaks I'll like it even better, but it's certainly not worth 5 stars!

Hoisin Glazed Shrimp with Crispy Noodles

1 - 10oz. pkg. Ramen Noodles
1/2 cup Hoisin Sauce
1 - 20oz. can Pineapple Chunks
1/2 cup Pineapple Juice (reserved from chunks)
Vegetable Oil
1 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1 - 10oz. bag Frozen Green Beans, thawed
1 lb. Shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cloves Garlic, minced

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Drop in the brick of noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain and let sit to dry off a bit.

In a medium bowl, stir together the hoisin, pineapple juice, 2 tablespoons of oil and red pepper flakes; set aside.  - Note: the amount of red pepper flakes in this recipe adds quite a bit of heat, so you may want to reduce the amount you use or omit altogether if you don't like it.

In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over med-high heat. Slide the noodles into the pan and begin to fry until golden brown (approximately 5 minutes per side). Also use a spatula sprayed with non-stick cooking spray to help press noodles down into pan and also for flipping.

Meanwhile, in another large skilled, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over med-high heat. Add the pineapple chunks and green beans, sauteing until slightly browned (approximately 5 minutes). Transfer to a plate and let sit.

Add in shrimp and garlic to the same pan and cook until shrimp become pink (stir frequently to prevent the burning of garlic). Stir in the hoisin mixture and add pineapple and green beans back in; tossing to coat. Reduce heat to low and cook until heated through (about 2-3 minutes).

Cut off a large chunk of the crispy noodles and place on a plate. Spoon shrimp mixture and sauce over the noodles and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 Servings
Source: Adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray


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