I have been thinking a lot about my father lately. It is coming up on the third anniversary since he passed away. I still miss him and remember the things he used to repeat to us countless times (at the time we would roll our eyes of course, but now I am so thankful that he repeated the things he felt were important for us to remember).
My father’s way of showing how much he loved his daughters was by providing for us…often in the form of meal preparation.
One of his favorite dishes to make was tofu shrimp. I recently made this and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to prepare. It was of course a very sentimental meal to create, yet I felt so comforted once again hearing my father’s instructions on how to prepare the meal coming out loud and strong, after having them tucked and filed away for so long in the deeper parts of my subconscious mind.
Tofu Shrimp Surprise (serves 2-3 people)
– 1 block of medium firm/ extra firm tofu (approx. 500 g)
– 10 fresh or defrosted large sized shrimp
– 3-5 tbsp of sesame oil
– 3-5 tbsp of tamari or soy sauce
– 1 cup cooked quinoa/ brown or white rice
– 1 green onion
– 1 clove garlic
– lightly steamed vegetable of your choice (e.g. baby bok choy, yu choy, asparagus, broccoli, kale)
-Cook quinoa or rice in 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa/ rice. Once combined, bring pot to a rolling boil on high heat then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside.
– preheat oven to 375 degrees Farhenheit.
– slice tofu into 1 inch pieces and place flat in oven safe dish.
– add 1 fresh shrimp to the top of each slice of tofu.
– pour sesame oil and soy sauce on top
– bake in oven for 30 minutes.
– lightly steam vegetables
– Optional: fry quinoa or rice with green onion and garlic.
The other day we had a dear old friend come by for a visit. As my prep time for cooking is limited these days with two young ones always on the go, I briefly entertained the idea of ordering in from our favorite Thai restaurant: http://www.goldenthai.ca
However, looking in my fridge, I saw that we had an exceptional amount of cilantro left over from our Front Door Organics delivery http://www.frontdoororganics.org
So, to task I went. The small amount of effort it took to buy a few extra staples was relatively painless and the minimal prep time and results made this a definite culinary success.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious dish:
Ingredients (serves 2-3 people):
1 whole package of flat rice noodles
1 whole package of fresh or frozen wild caught “flying”/regular shrimp
1 slightly under-ripe, green mango
1 cup of bean sprouts
1/2 package of firm tofu
1/2 red pepper
1/2 yellow onion
1/4 cup of peanuts/cashews
3-5 tbsp of fish sauce
3-5 tbsp of thai chili sauce
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2-3 sprigs of cilantro
2-3 lemon wedges
Boil pot of water. Turn off element.
Soak rice noodles in boiled water for 3-5 minutes until softened. Rinse noodles and set aside.
Turn element on to high setting, add olive oil once pan is very hot. Turn heat down to medium setting, and add garlic and onions. Stir fry for approximately 3-5 minutes until onions are slightly golden in colour. Add fresh or defrosted flying shrimp and diced tofu to pan and stir fry for an additional 8-10 minutes until shrimp is a nice pinkish colour all around and has been cooked through. Add rice noodles, then fish and chili sauce and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
Transfer dish onto plates. Add thinly sliced red peppers, as well as finely chopped peanuts or cashews, and finish with a few sprigs of cilantro on top. Place large but thin slices of mango, bean sprouts, and a lemon wedge on the side.
Serve meal with a cool refreshing beverage such as sparkling lime cordial, some jazzy dinner music, and light up the night with some natural beeswax candles and your own effervescent self. Happy entertaining!