Friday, September 24, 2010

Putting that extra harvest to good use
recipe #34: shrimp with cucumber

The weather in Northern California is unsually cold this year, especially during the mornings and evenings. As a result, many plants will fail to sprout. At nurseries, there are very few varieties of plants. We tried planting pickle and Japanese cucumbers, but they would not grow. We visited nurseries but did not find any on sale. The only thing we found were American cucumbers, which we had never heard of before.

Out of four plants, one of them was eaten by bugs during the first week. The remaining three nearly froze over. Only until the weather warmed up during a few weeks in July and August did the plants suddenly grow. And when they did, there were piles of cucumbers!

The cucumbers carry a light fragrane, which pairs well with that of shrimp. This dish is light and refreshing.


1. 3/4 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and divided
2. 1 lb. cucumbers
3. 1 small apple, cored and sliced
4. 2 Tbsp. olive oil
5. 2 large cloves of garli, finely chopped
6. 1 Tbsp. chives, chopped
7. 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
8. Salt and pepper to taste
9. 1 tsp. cooking wine
10. 1/2 tsp. corn starch


Clean shrimp and put in small bowl. Add wine and corn starch, and mix well. Put in refrigerator for about half an hour.


1. Slice cucumbers in half lengthwise, cut each piece into thirds and cut every resulting piece into 1-1.5" "sticks." (If the seeds are too tough, you an remove them with a spoon; this step is not necessary for tender seeds.)
2. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil.
3. When oil is slightly hot, add cucumbers and apples, and saute for a minute.
4. Add garlic and continuing sauteing.
5. Add shrimp to saucepan and sautee until shrimp turn pink. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Transfer to plate and add lemon juice. Sprinkle chives.


1. As you've probably guessed, we use Japanese sake for the cooking wine.
2. If you have pickled cucumber, you can use the exact same ways. For Japanese cumbers, which are finer, you can only have to cut the halves into halves, not thirds.
3. You can use parsley or dill instead of chives. They have their own special fragrances.
4. The reason for putting the shrimp in the refrigerator is to give them a crispy texture. They will also look more clear.
5. If you don't have white shrimp, you can use prawns instead. Prawns have a stronger taste, so you may want to use parsley or dill.
6. You can use other fruits instead of apples, such as peaches and apple pair for white shrimp.

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