Of the three dishes we have made since we joined French Fridays with Dorie, this was by far the easiest and the quickest to prepare. This Shrimp and Cellophane Noodles recipe is Asian inspired with an attempt at being Italian. It certainly seems a bit confused. Since I am the only one who would even consider eating the shrimp, I reduced the portion size to just one bowl.
It’s always fun to bring out the wok and the smell of sizzling onions and garlic is a fond scent wafting through the house. Like popcorn in the microwave, it draws peers from around corners with the expectant question “What’s ya makin’?“. But unlike the cheers freshly buttered popcorn, or a Chicken Pad Thai would bring, one mention of mushrooms and shrimp sent everyone scampering away deflated.
Ah well. I continued on.
The ingredients are simple- Chinese Five Spice, sugar, a dash of Cayenne mixed with onions and garlic. A bit of sesame oil, shrimp, mushrooms and noodles. Sounds good right? It has spice, heat, and sweet. But then you throw in a strange homage to Italy in the form of tomato puree and the whole dish takes a nosedive. All of the characteristic Asian flavors were masked by the tomatoes. While I do think the puree was supposed to be the acidic feature- ginger, lime and soy sauce would have made a welcome replacement for the tomato puree.
So while this dish LOOKS great, it isn’t. At least not for me. I wonder what the original dish Dorie’s friend made tastes like. Because I would hope it was better than this recreation and that I made some terrible mistake along the way.
Meanwhile, I will have to make a real stir fry to make up for it.
I cannot share the recipe (and I’d advise you to skip this one anyways)- but you can (and should!) buy the book and cook along with us. It’s great fun! Every Friday we make a new recipe. And I can’t wait for next weeks! For details and to see how others are recreating the dishes from this awesome book, check out the FFWD site.
Buy the book:
P.S. The noodles we used are Banh Pho medium sized. We make Pho and Pad Thai a lot here and have several bags in our pantry at any given time. So we just used them. I don’t think they affected the flavor in any way! I am so looking forward to next week’s dish!
A Couple in the Kitchen says
Yes, your pics are great! We didn’t even like our pictures because it came out so weird!
Your photos are great. And, I’m sure we would have enjoyed this far more if we’d used regular pasta like you did. Good flavor, but not a good dish. Enjoy your weekend!
Thanks so much! They were Banh Pho noodles actually. We have an awesome Asian grocery store near to where we live. There are aisles and aisles of different noodles and since we made Pho a lot we used them!
I agree that ginger, lime, and soy sauce would have been better acidic additions to this dish. The tomato just threw everything off! With a few tweaks, though, it could be pretty tasty. Too bad looks aren’t everything – yours came out so pretty, it looks so promising!
Diane Balch says
Well said, “All the Asian characteristics were masked by the tomato.” I’m Italian, and I love red sauce on most things, but I just sensed that Dorie was making a wrong move.
Oh yes, your photos are beautiful. And I liked this recipe with a few tweaks, the main one being a hugely reduced amount of tomato puree, and another small one being a squeeze of fresh lemon at the end. And I love cellophane noodles even more now that I know how to properly cook them. 😛
You definitely didn’t make a mistake, or else so many of us made mistakes. I didn’t care for this one. It was weird. Oh, well, on to next week…
Yep! The puree was definitely the killer ingredient. Wish I had left it out. I would make again, but WITHOUT the confusion of the puree!!
LOL it looks like you didnt use the traditional cellophane noodles but it looks great even if you didn’t like it. At least you tried it right? 🙂
Renee, your bowl with the Shrimps and Noodles does indeed look very lovely and delicious. It is really too bad that this recipe did not turn out to be a big success for most of the Doristas that prepared it. But there are so many wonderful recipes coming up and I am looking forward to making them and everybodys interesting posts about them!
Have a great weekend!
I think your choice of noodles would have been better than the original. Onwsrds to next week.
Lovely photos – it’s just too bad the flavour didn’t measure up for you. As Andrea says, though, there are a lot of delicious recipes coming up to making up for this one. February is going to be a delicious month!
Your pictures are lovely – you should be pleased.
Almost everyone had some concerns this week with the sauce, so I don’t think it was any thing you did. It was just an odd recipe…
Your photos are beautiful, Renee. Yours looks like an Asain dish while mine looks heavy on the Italian side. 😉
Your dish looks delicious even if you did not care for it. We were not happy either but at least we tried it. I think you are going to
enjoy cooking with this group, Tricia and I have had a lot of fun.
Renee, I just read your post about Bread & Roses. Tricia and I have stayed in that area of Paris and it is so lovely. We hope to return
again this year so I will definitely check this place out. Great post.
Renee your photos are gorgeous-makes me just want to grab the chopsticks and dive into the bowl,lol!!
Great job on this recipe;-)
Yup, I think you were in the majority with this one. I thought it was good, but not worth repeating. Your photos are beautiful, though!!