Red Curry and Shrimp

I love seafood and I love flavor. My typical seafood seasonings are salt, pepper, old-bay, garlic, and some other traditional seasonings. After a brief conversation with my husband regarding his new love of curry, I knew I needed to try some “upgraded” flavors for my seafood dishes.

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Have you ever combined red curry, coconut milk, seafood, and spinach? I hadn’t… but now that I have, my eyes have been opened to a new world of flavor combinations. I found a recipe from PaleoLeap.com and adapted their Curried Shrimps and Spinach recipe (already delicious) into a slightly elevated and non-paleo feast.

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The traditional curry most people find in stores is a yellow curry. I decided to give red curry a try since it was a special item for sale at Aldi recently. Red curry and yellow curry are similar but have a slightly different profile. The red curry is a little spicier than the traditional style. It’s amazing that I’ll see one simple item at a grocery store and develop an entire meal around that one item.

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If you’ve never made shrimp stock you need to learn how to now! Shrimp stock is a staple in New Orleans style cooking that adds a delicious seafood flavor to your meals. It can be used to replace chicken or vegetable stock in recipes. For my red curry shrimp recipe I used shrimp stock in my recipe to give my sauce a seafood flavor without overcooking the shrimp.

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I also boiled my rice in the shrimp stock instead of water to give it a little extra flavor. To make the stock you boil shrimp heads and shells in water (or chicken stock) for about 20 minutes and strain so that only the liquid remains. I like to call my shrimp stock… liquid gold.

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This meal turned out much better than I expected. it will probably become a staple in our home. My husband gave it the seal of approval and I must admit, it was quite delicious. If you’re looking for a slightly exotic recipe that’s relatively quick and easy. Check out my Red Curry and Shrimp recipe below!

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  • Difficulty: Intermediate
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Serves 4

Ingredients:

Shrimp Stock

  • 1.5 lb shrimp with shells and heads still on
  • 5 cups water

Rice

  • 1 1/2 cups short grain rice
  • 2 cups shrimp stock

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red curry powder
  • 3/4 cup shrimp stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3 cups chopped spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Shrimp Stock

  1. Peel, remove heads, and clean shrimp. Set the shrimp aside for recipe use.
  2. In a medium sized stock pot combine shrimp heads, shells, and 5 cups water.
  3. Bring water and shell mixture to a boil and continue to boil for at least 15 minutes. The longer the mixture cooks, the more flavor the stock will have. If you cook longer than 20 minutes be sure to lower the heat to low so the mix can simmer.
  4. Pour shell mixture through a strainer into a container, saving liquid and discarding shells.
  5. Any unused stock and be frozen for later use.

Rice

  1. In a small saucepan combine 2 cups shrimp stock and 1.5 cups short grain rice.
  2. Bring to boil.
  3. Once boiling, cover and simmer over low for 20 minutes.
  4. Fluff rice with fork, re-cover, and let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve warm.

Sauce

  1. Heat coconut oil over medium heat.
  2. Add in onion and cook, stirring occasionally until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add red curry powder and stir to combine.
  4. Transfer onion mixture to a blender or food processor and add in 3/4 cup shrimp stock and tomato paste.
  5. Blend or pulse mixture until pureed and smooth.
  6. Pour puree mixture back to pan, add coconut milk.
  7. Cook over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, stirring to combine.
  8. Salt and pepper sauce to taste.
  9. Mix in shrimp and spinach until spinach is wilted and shrimp are pink.
  10. Serve over rice.

*Recipe adapted from Paleo Leap Curried Shrimps and Spinach.

Rice Bowls Part 1: Easy Sushi Bowls

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My sister introduced me to what I like call American Style Sushi while I was still in high school. She and her then boyfriend took me to a little hole in the wall spot and ordered me a tempura fried shrimp roll. I wasn’t too excited to try my sisters new favorite style of food, but because I love eating, I was up for the challenge. I’ll admit it, the shrimp tempura roll my sister ordered for me was tasty, but I didn’t really eat much sushi again until I went to college.

We love sushi in our home now. William began eating sushi in college as well and l and I’m pretty sure he and I went on a few cheap dates to sushi before we actually had any steady income or real jobs (it was the only thing we could afford in college besides free pizza and McDonalds). We’ve been eating sushi so much lately that my husband and I have officially transitioned from “Taco Tuesday” to “Sushi Wednesday” for our weekly date night. We love everything about American style sushi: the rice, the fish, the spicy mayo, crunchies, the artificially colored wasabi, and the flash fried rolls…. oh, and who could forget the crispy calamari.

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As I’ve mentioned so many times and that I’m sure I will mention again, my husband loves seafood and basically asks me to cook it every single day. One day last week as we were both heading out to work I asked him what he wanted for dinner and he replied with, “Something fishy.” In most cases when my husband asks for seafood I throw together a seafood pasta or cook an easy salmon dish but this time I knew I was going to go all out. Lately I’ve been ordering sashimi and our local sushi joint and I wanted to surprise William with sashimi sushi bowls for dinner that night!

Challenge accepted! I was going to make an amazing sushi bowl that would make even our sushi master jealous.

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The inspiration for my sushi bowl came form a few different places. Recently my sister texted me a photo of a sashimi bowl she had at a restaurant in Jacksonville, she’d also made sashimi bowls at her house earlier that week so I knew she’d be able to give me some good advice. I pulled inspiration from the bibimbap I had at Takorea, and last but not least I was inspired by the sashimi plate I’d been ordering lately at our favorite seafood sushi spot, Kuroshio!

Today I’m going to provide you with two (that’s right, two) recipes. The first is a recipe for Salmon Poki Sashimi, and the second is for Sticky Sushi Rice. These are the only components of the bowl that actually took any work to prepare, the other aspects of the dish were pretty simple.

sashimi

The key to making delicious Salmon Poki Sashimi is to start with a beautiful pice of (sushi grade*) Salmon Fillet with the skin removed. A beautiful piece of salmon has a beautiful pinkish-orange hue to it, has a nice fatty texture, and, well… it just looks beautiful. My recipe combines salmon, toasted sesame seed oil, low sodium soy sauce, toasted sesame seeds, and crushed red pepper. All of the ingredients are combined with the fish and set to marinate for a few hours before serving.

The sushi rice is pretty simple. I buy a medium grain rice and cook it according to the directions. After it’s cooked I add in a little seasoned rice wine vinegar and it’s good to go!

***If you don’t use sushi grade fish be sure you’re aware of the potential health risks of eating raw fish. Cubed and Sautéed salmon tastes amazing in this dish as well. 

fishskin

The Crispy Salmon Skin “Bacon” is made with the skin that you remove from your fillet. The skin is coated with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and toasted sesame oil and baked until crispy. The “bacon” adds a salty and crispy texture to the bowl and it tastes absolutely delicious.

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The fun thing about “bowls” is that you can make them your own. In addition to the salmon, rice, and salmon skin “bacon” I added the following to my bowls:

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1.5 lbs salmon in combination with the rice and other ingredients serves 4.

These bowls were very filling and a hit with my husband and I’m pretty sure I’ll be adding this to the rotation of our favorite meals. Try the bowls out for yourself and let me know if you come up with any other fun bowl combinations!

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Sticky Sushi Rice

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  • Difficulty: easy
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Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups Medium Grain Rice
  • 2 cups Water
  • 3 tablespoons Rice Vinegar

Directions:

  1. Combine rice and water in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring rice and water to a soft boil.
  3. After it reaches a soft boil, cover reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes (or until there is no more liquid).
  4. remove from heat.
  5. Remove lid and gently combine rice vinegar.
  6. Replace cover and let sit for 10 minutes.

*Recipe adapted from Nishiki rice cooking directions.