Crispy Shrimp with Chinese Noodles And Spicy Garlic-Soy Sauce

People tell me I must have some Chinese ancestry way back in my past. Why else, they ask, would I have so many restaurants that serve Asian-inspired food, including Chinois, WP24 and The Source?

To put it simply, I have always felt very attracted to the flavor and excitement of Chinese cuisine.

We try to include ingredients that are considered to bring good fortune to those who eat them. And two of the most important of those ingredients are featured in the recipe I share with you here for Crispy Shrimp with Chinese Noodles and Spicy Garlic-Soy Sauce.

Long, slender noodles are believed to bring long life to those who eat them at the start of the year. You can find fresh Chinese egg noodles in Asian markets and even some well-stocked supermarkets. But don't worry if you can't, because thin dried spaghetti works well, too.

Shrimp is believed to bring good luck because the word -- xia in Mandarin and haa in Cantonese -- sounds like laughter. So eating shrimp is believed to bring you happiness. (I don't know about you, but I'm always happier when I eat shrimp.)

Look for good-quality shrimp from a seafood store or the supermarket fish counter. Even if they've been frozen and defrosted, as they often are, they should have a fresh, clean scent. If they haven't already been prepped at the market, peel off their shells and remove the heads, if still attached, and tail fins. Then, devein the shrimp by making a shallow slit along the outer curve and pulling out the gray, veinlike intestinal tract. Quickly frying the shrimp with a light flour coating makes them crispy on the outside and tender and juicy within, perfect to go with the noodles, vegetables, and sauce.

You'll find the sauce ingredients in Asian markets or the supermarket's Asian foods aisle. Adjust the level of spiciness to suit your own taste. If you'd like it more fiery, add a little minced jalapeno or serrano chili, or a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, toward the end of sauteing the garlic. Double-blanching the garlic beforehand removes some of its bite and sweetens it.

And I have only one more word of advice for preparing this Crispy Shrimp with Chinese Noodles And Spicy Garlic-Soy Sauce recipe: Wear something red when you cook or eat it, because in Chinese tradition that color is believed to help ward off evil spirits!

Crispy Shrimp with Chinese Noodles & Spicy Garlic-Soy Sauce

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook time: 20 minutes

    Yield: Serves 4

Crispy Shrimp with Chinese Noodles & Spicy Garlic-Soy Sauce Ingredients

    Peanut oil or vegetable oil for deep-frying

    2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil

    3/4 cup sliced Double-Blanched Garlic (recipe follows)

    2 tablespoons sugar

    1 cup Chinese rice wine

    1/4 cup rice vinegar

    2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

    4 ounces organic carrots, peeled, trimmed, and cut into thin julienne strips

    4 ounces thin French beans (haricots verts), trimmed, immersed in boiling water for about 30 seconds, instantly cooled in ice water, and drained

    4 ounces, green onions, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces, cut lengthwise into thin strips

    2 teaspoons hot Asian-style chili sauce, such as Sriracha brand

    12 ounces fresh Chinese egg noodles or thin spaghetti

    1/2 cup all-purpose flour

    1 pound large fresh shrimp, shelled, tails removed, deveined


    Freshly ground black pepper

    1/4 teaspoon toasted Asian-style sesame oil

Crispy Shrimp with Chinese Noodles & Spicy Garlic-Soy Sauce Instructions

    Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil.

    At the same time, pour 3 inches of peanut oil or vegetable oil into a deep, heavy pan and heat to 375 degrees F. on a deep-frying thermometer.

    Meanwhile, make the sauce.

    In a large skillet or saute pan, heat the 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the sugar and continue stirring until the garlic begins to turn caramel brown, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Add the rice wine, rice vinegar, and soy sauce and stir and scrape with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan deposits. Add the carrots, green beans, and half of the green onion. Stir in the chili sauce and continue cooking until the liquid has reduced by about half, 5 to 7 minutes.

    Meanwhile, add the salt to the boiling water and cook the noodles until al dente, tender but still slightly chewy. Drain the noodles well and stir them into the sauce until well coated and mixed with the vegetables. Set aside.

    Put the flour in a bowl. Season the shrimp all over with salt and pepper and toss lightly with the flour. Shake off excess and, in 3 or 4 batches, put the shrimp into a wire-mesh deep-frying basket or a long-handled wire skimmer and carefully lower them into the hot oil. Fry until golden-brown, 1 to 2 minutes, and remove to paper towels to drain while cooking the remaining shrimp.

    Divide the noodle-vegetable mixture among 4 large warm plates or shallow serving bowls.

    Arrange the shrimp over and around each portion.

    Garnish with the remaining green onions and drizzle with the sesame oil.

    Serve immediately.

Double-Blanched Garlic



Fill a mixing bowl with ice cubes and water. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and add a light sprinkle of salt.

With a small, sharp knife, trim both ends from as many garlic cloves as you need. Carefully drop the cloves into the water and boil for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge into the ice water. Return the cooled cloves to the boiling water for 30 seconds more, and then immerse in ice water again.

Drain the garlic and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels. The peels should slip off easily. Cut the garlic lengthwise into thin slices and use as directed.

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