Spiced Eggs with Shrimp
Scrambled eggs with shrimp is one of those fairly common combinations in Chinese cuisine that can easily be served as a light repast, or as one of several dishes in a more substantial meal. The recipe here, builds on the basic theme by drawing from different Asian cuisines and enhancing the main ingredients with garlic, and the fiery and umami-rich flavors of Sambal Oelek and Fish Sauce.
The Basic Method for making Spiced Eggs with Shrimp
The shrimp in this recipe are marinated with garlic and white pepper for flavor, and tossed with cornstarch to five them a nice texture in the finished dish.
The rest of the flavoring ingredients are beaten with eggs for extra flavor. A little cornstarch slurry is added in order to make nice fluffy ‘curds’ when the eggs are scrambled.
The addition of Sambal Oelek, or other chili substitute, rather speaks for itself, but the addition of Fish Sauce to the mix may strike some westerners as being a bit odd. Don’t worry, though, the addition of this particular ingredient is a bit like using a little anchovy paste when making a pasta sauce. It just gives the finished dish an umami depth without betraying its presence with any sort of ‘fishy’ taste.
The shrimp get quickly fried first to slightly brown them at the edges for additional flavor, and to let the cornstarch coating for the improved texture of a nice light crust.
The peas and onions are added next and only need a very brief stir-frying. Frozen peas thaw and cook in seconds, and you only need to cook the onions until they start to become translucent and soften slightly.
The egg mixture is added last. Once poured into the pan, you should avoid stirring for a little bit until the bottom of the egg starts to set. When this happens, the idea is to very gently stir and fold the egg mix to allow nice fluffy curds to form. If you are too vigorous with this, you end up with mealy fragments.
Don’t overcook the eggs. It is best to remove the pan from the heat and plate for service while the egg curds are a bit most and almost underdone. The residual heat will finish cooking them to perfection by the time you get them to the table.
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Spiced Eggs with Shrimp
- ½ lb. medium Shrimp peeled and deveined;
- ½ tsp. Garlic Paste;
- 1 pinch White Pepper;
- 2 tsp. Cornstarch;
- ½ a small Onion sliced in thin sections vertically;
- 1 cup frozen Peas;
- 3 – 4 Eggs;
- 1 tsp. Sugar;
- 1 tbsp. Fish Sauce;
- 1 tbsp. Sambal Oelek or chopped red chili.
- Stir the garlic paste and pepper into the shrimp and then mix in one teaspoon of the cornstarch. Allow this to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- In a bowl, mix the remaining cornstarch with enough water to make a slurry and then stir in the sugar, fish sauce and Sambal Oelek. Add the eggs and beat until well mixed and slightly frothy.
- Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a pan over moderate heat and quickly stir-fry the shrimp until just cooked through.
- Add the onion and peas, continuing to stir until the onions are just beginning to soften and the peas are heated through.
- Pour in the egg mixture and begin to slowly ‘fold’ the contents of the pan to make curds of the egg, and remove from the heat just before the eggs are completely set.
- Plate and serve immediately.