I was craving curried shrimp this week like the shrimp I had during a trip I took to Ruidoso, New Mexico over Christmas. I was there for a deployment to work on the Mescalero Apache reservation and we were staying at the Inn of the Mountain Gods. While the inn was nice enough, the food was limited to the big buffet with so many choices nothing could stand out, although they did have a nice spicy basil seafood dish. There was also a pub back in the casino with some pretty good sandwiches and such and I managed to finally order something good–a chicken quesadilla, but nothing compared to the taste of the curried shrimp at a Chinese restaurant in town. I would never order something like curried shrimp in a Chinese place since I would normally eat curried foods in Indian restaurants or make my own version of Japanese curry, so when Maurice Sheehan ordered it, and asked for it extra spicy, I tuned it out. When my dish,“ants climbing a tree”, or noodles with meat, arrived it was shiny with oil and rather gloppy, too much, too cooked, too salty. Maurice was kind enough to share his dish with the rest of us and I was surprised to taste a light, very spicy, just enough curry, and plump, tender shrimp with slightly crunchy pieces of onions and peppers. I wanted to eat the whole thing, but it was his dish so I refrained. I knew when I returned home I would either order the dish at my local Chinese restaurant (and I even looked on the web to see if it was on their menu and it was), or make it myself. I’ve been home for three weeks now and finally getting back to normal somewhat, at least back in the kitchen cooking nearly every night. I searched around the Internet for a basic Chinese curried shrimp recipe and found one I could use to get started. With my pound of excellent gulf shrimp, purchased a few days ago, on special at Central Market in Ft. Worth,cleaned and coated with a little cornstarch, salt and pepper, I proceeded to cut and prepare the other ingredients. With stir-fried food it’s important to have everything ready to go. I chopped onions, pepper, sliced ginger, and measured out ingredients for a sauce. The sauce consisted of chicken stock, Chinese wine, soy sauce and a little sugar, and then a mixture of curry powder combined with water into a paste. After cooking the shrimp by itself with the slice of ginger, and setting it aside I was ready to saute the onions and peppers. After cooking the shrimp in the curry sauce, plating it, and finally sitting down to taste it, I was so happy. It tasted just as good, if not a little better, than the curried shrimp I ate in New Mexico. The sauce was so tasty my husband scraped his plate to get every last drop. Although this recipe uses “curry powder”, it’s still a fine way to enjoy a spicy, healthy, and delicious meal in a short period of time. A food snob might scoff at the use of the already blended curry powder but I found an organic blend that is quite acceptable. This is a quick, weeknight dinner and time is of the essence.

Curried Shrimp (or use any protein you like–tofu, beef, chicken, pork)
1 lb. Peeled, deveined Gulf shrimp (or fresh as you can get it)
1 tsp cornstarch
½ tsp salt
dash of pepper
Combine above and cover shrimp with it, set aside.
Sauce
½ c chicken stock
2 tsp Chinese cooking wine (or sherry)
2 tsp Tamari (dark soy sauce)
½ tsp sugar
medium onion, large dice or sliced
large carrot, large dice, or sliced (par-cook by steaming or in microwave)
bell peppers, red, yellow or green, large dice, or sliced
(can also add peas, chunks of potato, any vegetable) (par-cook potato in microwave)
1 T canola oil
1 slice ginger
2 tsp Chinese wine
2 T curry powder, the best you can find, I use Morton & Bassett
Sambal, Sriracha, or crushed red peppers
Preheat skillet or wok on high heat, add ½ T oil, add ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Discard.
Add shrimp and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, adding the wine during cooking. Remove and clean
wok or pan.
Add ½ T oil, add onion and curry paste, cook 2 minutes. Add carrots and other vegetables, add
shrimp, add sauce, return heat to high, bring to boil and cook for 3 minutes, stirring. Add
Sambal or crushed red pepper to bring to heat to your taste.
Serve with rice.
You will love this!