Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pineapple Shrimp

First and foremost I would like to announce that, with the help of The Bakers' Hotline over at King Arthur Flour, I have rectified my sourdough problem and successfully baked two baguettes this weekend. Hopefully, with a little practice, I will perfect my dream version of sourdough. I'm also really happy to know that my readers believe in emergency chocolate. It really can work miracles, no?

Moving on. In this recipe, I used a vegetable with which many people may not be so familiar: Kohlrabi. I acquired my first kohlrabi last week when I told my dad to bring me back some interesting vegetables from the Vietnamese market. We see them everywhere, so he decided to pick one up. If you haven't tried kohlrabi before, give one a try the next time you're in an ethnic market--it's as unoffensive as vegetables can get. So, what exactly is Kohlrabi? According to its Wikipedia article, Kohlrabi is actually a specially cultivated form of cabbage despite the fact that it looks like a large round turnip the color of green tomatoes.  It is also not a root. It's very common in ethnic markets, and is the top vegetable in Kashmir. Once you get past the outside skin, its texture and taste are similar to broccoli stems, but it's a bit heartier. You can eat it raw or cooked, sauteed or fried, and mixed into soups and curries. It seemed like the perfect addition to tonight's food--nice and crunchy.

The following recipe also contains something that you will almost never see me use: canned fruit. I'm not a big fan of frozen or canned food unless it's an essential that's only packaged that way. I don't eat frozen meals, and the only frozen foods I really do eat are waffles, fruit, ravioli/tortellini and the occasional pizza. Oh, and ice cream and the things I freeze. I think frozen vegetables are kind of gross and cook up all soggy, and that canned vegetables are even worse. I'll eat canned beans so long as they haven't been refried. And I'll eat canned tuna (without mayonnaise) and soup on occasion. Canned fruit? Not so much. My one exception is pineapple in its own juice. I find cutting pineapples to be a big pain and feel like I'm paying for the rind and nothing else. But canned pineapple? It's pretty damned good and available year round. It also prevents me from doing all  that work (read: scratching up my hands) and ending up with sour fruit. Very little is worse than spending money and time on food that you can't eat. If you want to take the risk, please go ahead. I'm just going to sit over here in my world of canned pineapple and eat food I know tastes good. iheartgiraffes

Ingredients (Serves 4-5)
1 pound shrimp, deveined & peeled
1 can pineapple chunks or the equivalent in fresh pineapple
Steamed rice or vermicelli noodles

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
3 scallions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. pineapple juice
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt

2 medium carrots, julienned
1 medium onion, julienned
1 kohlrabi, julienned (or use 2 zucchini or 3 smaller summer squash)
3 baby bok choy, julienned
other vegetables, such as broccoli, mushrooms or peppers, julienned
2 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
reserved marinade from shrimp
salt, to taste

1. Two hours prior to dinner (or that morning), mix marinade. Place in large bowl or large ziplock bag along with cleaned shrimp. Make sure shrimp is fully coated. Let sit in fridge for at least 2 hours.

2. At some point, julienne your vegetables. I don't have a mandolin and am afraid of cutting off my fingers cutting hard vegetables like carrot and kohlrabi, so I used the coarse side of a box grater. If you don't have kohlrabi, use squash. I would have if I had any. And if you are going to julienne bok choy, fold the leaves under the stem and press down. This way you cut the leaves and stem at the same time.

3. If using rice, start cooking the proper amount of time prior to mealtime. If using vermicelli, follow directions on the back of packaging. Vermicelli is normally boiled for 3-4 minutes, drained and then placed in cold water to cool down. Lukewarm noodles make this dish much nicer in the summer.

4. About 10 minutes before your base is done, heat one large saute pan (or wok), and a smaller one for the shrimp.

5. Remove shrimp from marinade and mix in with pineapple chunks. Take remaining marinade and mix in with vegetables, 2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce, and a tablespoon of red pepper flakes. Don't salt to taste yet--there was raw shrimp in the liquid!

Veggies in sauce.

6. In small pan, place shrimp and pineapple chunks. Meanwhile, start sauteing the vegetables in your larger pan.

7. Cooking time should take approximately 5 minutes. Watch your shrimp, flipping when cooked on one side. The vegetables should be hot, but maintain their crunch, so don't overcook.

8. Serve vegetables and shrimp on top of the rice or noodles.



Lauren said...

This looks so good, and like nothing I ever make... What brand of teriyaki do you use? I've taken to using it when grilling onions and peppers for sandwiches instead of simple sugar, to speed up the process and create a quick-and-almost-caramelized effect...

Great. Now I want teriyaki onions.
Sometimes I wish your leftovers magically appeared in my fridge.

- Lauren, Lauren's Little Kitchen

Ms. WhitePlates said...

Oh. I want this right now. I've been craving Chinese food (or some incarnation of it) for a bit but I can't just walk down to the awesome restaurant on the corner because of the whole gluten thing. I do believe I'll be making this soon though!

My parents started growing kohlrabi a few years ago but they didn't know what it was because they get compost from a friend who owns a greenhouse and random things keep popping up in their garden. I'm kind of worried that one day I'll go visit and there will be a massive pot plant in the front yard.

Rachael said...

Looks YUMMY! :)

jen cheung said...

that looks delicious! looks like some kind of vietnamese food i tried in the past :)

jen said...

I am hungry already by just looking at the photos!

Shree said...

I agree! Canned pineapple is not too bad at all, even though its canned :))) Thats somehow not the case with other canned fruits.

lisaiscooking said...

Sounds like a great mix of vegetables with the shrimp, and the marinade sounds delicious!

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

I love that you are so adventurous in your cooking! I had no idea what kohlrabi was so thanks for the introduction :)

Biren said...

This looks really good. Kohlrabi is actually a pretty tasty vegetable. I tried it when friend harvested hers from her vege plot.

The Cilantropist said...

Oh this looks really good, I love shrimp and I bet sweet pineapple makes them taste really great! Plus, it has been so long since I ate kohlrabi, you are taking me back to my childhood days... My mom used to grow it in her garden and we would eat them fresh, just sliced with salt on them. So delicious and healthy!

MaryMoh said...

This is a lovely dish. I love prawns and pineapples so I'll love this dish, good especially with rice. I always use fresh pineapples. With a sharp knife, it's actually fun and easy to cut the skin and eyes off, and still cheaper than canned ones. Just in case you would like to try, I have written and shown it at

Baking Barrister said...

Wow! A lot of you know what kohlrabi is.

@MaryMoh - wow your pineapple looks awesome. Unfortunately, pineapple in the US is generally pretty pricey most of the time. The next time they're on for a good price I'll have to try cutting one that way. At the very least it will be an experience.

@Rachel & Jen - that's because it was yummy! And I love me some Vietnamese food (and was there in August)

@Lawyer - gotta be adventurous SOMEWHERE. the law lacks it most of the time.

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