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.
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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!