Asian-inspired shrimp pasta

Served up

A few months back my dad came visiting us in London. That usually means two things: our fridge will be filled to the brim and I’ll get some time off from doing the cooking. My dad is a great cook and I always like what he makes even though he rarely follows recipes. For this dish I think he just chopped up all his favourite ingredients and threw them in a pan. That makes it a bit difficult for me when I want to recreate the meal, it never seems to be as good when I make it. But now, I think I have managed to make a really good dish that is quick enough to just throw together on a week night. As I am a nutrition student I try to make fairly healty dinners and incorporate as much vegetables as possible. Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables per day is generally recommended in all countries. This recipe yields about 1-1.5 portions of vegetables per person, depending on how many portions you make (I think you should try to add more carrots if the recipe is made to serve more than three people).

My little sister will eat anything that is put on a plate in front of her. You wouldn’t know from looking at her, but she can eat like any grown man. However, there is one thing she will never eat; coriander / cilantro. Now, if any of you have a crazy-person like this in your family, simply swap the coriander for some flat leaf parsley.

I really like garlic and ginger and I never think there is enough in most recipes. Understanding that not everyone feels the same I have made this recipe to suit my boyfriend’s taste; a little milder than I would normally make.

The sauce

Recipe (serves 3)

250 gr pasta

4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

0.5-1 chili, finely chopped

2×3 cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 small red onion, chopped

3 medium carrots, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

200 gr cooked, peeled shrimps

150 ml single cream

1 bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped

olive oil

salt

Directions:

  1. Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan. When hot, add the chili and the garlic and turn down to a medium-low heat. You do not want the garlic to burn. Always taste chili before you add it to dishes, the flavour and heat of a chili can vary very much, so make sure you do not add too much.
  2. Add the ginger and onion to the pan and gently soften the onion.
  3. Add the remaining vegetables and keep the heat on a low. The carrots and peppers will soften as they release moisture and steam. I like different textures in a meal, and for this dish I chop the carrots and peppers in the way my dad calls “fake julienne”. This basically entails making shorter and not so thin pieces. I try to chop very fast when I do this, so I end up with uneven sized vegetables. That way some pieces will still be crunchy when the dish is done.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook your chosen pasta to “al dente”. You could use rice or egg noodles for this dish to keep it more Asian, but I prefer pasta. Normally I would use whole wheat pasta as it is a really good source of fibre. I can’t always find whole wheat pasta in the shape that I want, so for this dish I used regular vermicelli. This is a really thin spaghetti-like pasta that really tangles up when it is cooked.
  5. When the pasta is nearly done, add the cream and the shrimps to the vegetables and scatter coriander all over. The shrimps will not need to be cooked, only heated. I am not a big fan of the shrimps you get in brine, so I usually by the fresher ones that are just paked in a plastic container.
  6. Add the pasta to the sauce, season with salt to taste and serve immediately.

Source: Myself and my dad 🙂

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