Thursday, October 22, 2009

Shrimp soup w/ preserved black beans

I got on a preserved black bean kick due to an episode of Ming Tsai's show, "East Meets West," in which he combines a western ingredient with an eastern one. Putting butter and preserved black beans together may sound a bit strange, but I've done a couple of things with this idea and guess what, it's good. Having had preserved black beans on hand for at least the last year, they provided a unique taste touch to the soup.

Clockwise from top left: the mushroom liquid from rehydating, chicken broth, garlic, chopped yellow jalapeno-style pepper, diced zucchini, ramen noodles, preserved black beans, rehydrated shiitake mushrooms.

Shrimp soup w/black beans (serves 2)
6 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp butter
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
½ cup diced zucchini (1/2” dice)
2 tbsp fermented black beans, lightly chopped
1 cup clam broth
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 packages ramen noodles (shrimp flavored)
10 oz. shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 scallions, white and green parts chopped
Rehydrate the mushrooms in 3/4 cup hot water. Put something on top of them to keep them submerged. When finished (about 30 minutes), slice them into 1/4" pieces. Reserve the liquid.

Heat the oil and butter in a large sauté pan. Add ginger, shiitakes, jalapeno and garlic and cook 1 minute. Add zucchini and black beans. Cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine the clam broth, mushroom liquid, soy sauce and broth. Add to the sauté pan and bring to a boil. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Add ramen noodles and shrimp. Reduce to a simmer and cook 3 minutes.

Transfer to soup bowls, garnish with scallions and serve.

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