I’ve been trying to figure out why my blogging has slowed down lately, when I realized that I did the majority of my writing late at night–the same as I did all the way through high school, college and law school. Only now I have to get a kid to school by 8:45 am–and while I realize this may sound really late to some of you morning people (and believe me I do appreciate the later start time), getting up at 7:30 am every weekday is a shock to my system. It is 10:31 pm right now, and I am actually half asleep as I write this. So I apologize for the slower posts–and any typos–but believe me, I am still cooking and baking, and I am planning to share the successful recipes.
I whipped–and I do mean whipped–this up last week when my mother in law was visiting. I took advantage of her great grandma skills and left the kids with her and collapsed into a 2 hour nap (yikes), rolled out of bed at 4:15 pm, stared blankly at the recipe in a fog for a good 10 minutes or so, and had this on the table by 5:20. By my standards that’s whipping–especially because I don’t buy any ingredients pre-chopped, etc. And you could make the sauce in advance if you needed to spend even less time in the kitchen.
This is adapted from a Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook recipe that was intended for tofu and does not use fish sauce. The sauce did not taste right to me until I added fish sauce–but if you always sub soy sauce for fish sauce I doubt you will have any problems with it. I used shrimp because it was simpler–and because my mother in law loves shrimp. It matched the dish perfectly, and we were very happy with the results. The leftovers were gone by lunch the next day.
- Tamarind Sauce:
- 2 T tamarind concentrate
- ¼ cup dark soy sauce
- 2 T light soy sauce or fish sauce (I would use fish sauce next time)
- 2 T minced ginger
- 2 T minced garlic
- 2 T fresh lime juice
- sambal oelek to taste, optional (I left out and served on the side)
- 2-4 T brown sugar, to taste
- 1 T cornstarch dissolved in ¼ cold water
- The Stir Fry:
- 1 head of cauliflower, broken into small pieces and blanched just until tender
- 1-2 T vegetable oil
- 2 large shallots, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups chopped napa cabbage
- 4 small-medium ripe tomatoes, sliced into quarters
- 1½ lbs medium sized shrimp
- ½ cup roasted cashews (salted is fine)
- ¾ cup tamarind sauce, to taste (see above)
- ¼ cup Thai basil
- 2 T chopped cilantro
- Combine all of the tamarind sauce ingredients expect the cornstarch in a small saucepan. Whisk over medium heat and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cornstarch dissolved in water and whisk. Return to a simmer, and simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally. Set aside or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and stir fry until golden and fragrant. Add the napa cabbage and stir fry until it has wilted some but it still bright green. Add the cauliflower and toss it in. Add the shrimp and toss it into the cabbage--because of all of the cabbage and cauliflower, it will take longer than usual to cook. Toss until it is starting to turn pink, and add the tomatoes, cashews and the sauce. Toss until the shrimp is cooked through; add more sauce if you like it wetter. Mix in the fresh herbs and serve over jasmine rice.