Hello 2012 and I am back!
You are probably wondering where the hell I have been and what precisely I was thinking, since I started a blog and immediately went M.I.A.
The answer to that is… a very eventful 2.5 weeks girly road trip with my sister and our beloved friend to (predominantly) USA West Coast! I promise there will be posts related to it at some later date. USA was wonderful and California particularly was a delightful adventure on the palate.
Now that I’m back and moderately over my jet lag, I can begin plotting kitchen-based invention again. After being away for so long, there is nothing that beats the euphoria of having access to your own kitchen and pantry again.
In fond-memory of some pici-making experience at my Aunt’s place in La Jolla last week, I decided that tonight’s dinner should be a blend of East and West. A fusion pasta, or as I’d like to call it… a “fusionasta”! I am going to combine 3 of my favorite Japanese flavors: prawns, umeboshi (pickled plum), and shiso (Japanese perilla leaves).
Fusionasta: Shrimp-Umeboshi-Shiso Pasta
250 gram of fresh strozzapreti (or dried fusilli should work, too, just a little less superior in flavor)
250 gram of fresh prawns, shelled and deveined
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
5 soft honey kishuu umeboshi, remove the stone and cut the meat finely
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of soy sauce
1/2 tsp of freshly ground blackpepper
Salt to taste
1 ladleful of pasta boiling water (optional)
5 shiso leaves, shred thinly
*If you don’t live in Japan where umeboshi and shiso are aplenty, you can find both at a Japanese supermarket or any Asian store that carry Japanese stuff.
** Furthermore, if honey-kishuu umeboshi is not available, then you can substitute with regular umeboshi. Make sure that you get the soft type and add 2 tbsp of honey to the recipe. This recipe will not work with the crunchy version of umeboshi (that is usually served as beer companion).
- Cook pasta according to package direction
- While pasta is cooking, on a cast iron skillet heat up the olive oil on high, once hot turn the heat down to medium
- Add the garlic into the olive oil, sauté until fragrant (about 1 minute)
- Add shrimp and sauté until shrimp turn color. Careful not to overcook.
- Lower the heat further until about half of your stove’s medium setting, then add umeboshi meat and mix well. Let it simmer for about 3 minutes.
- Add soy sauce and black pepper to the mix. (If you have to go with the regular umeboshi route as described in **, then this will be the time you add honey in)
- Check flavoring and correct seasoning (I very rarely need to do it, but this will largely depend on how salty or how much honey the umeboshi has, as most brands vary). Turn off fire.
- By this time if your pasta is cooked, then drain in a colander, put aside, reserve about a ladle of the water used to boil the pasta in.
- Add pasta and shiso to the pan, mix well with the sauce. If the sauce felt a little dry, then add a little bit of water at a time to the mix to loosen it.
- Serve immediately with a side of salad.