Monday, April 8, 2013

Seafood Combination with Sugar Snap Peas

It is our family tradition to have fish on Fridays. This probably comes from living in a Polish Italian Catholic neighborhood as a child. My Dad worked a second job delivering pizzas for Roberto’s Pizzeria. They served the most fantastic fish and chips on Fridays!

Anyway, we love seafood and I keep my eyes peeled for bargains because it is generally pricey. Last fall and again at Christmas, the IGA had a real deal on Red Argentinean Shrimp - $4 per pound! These babies are jumbo – about 20 per pound. I had never heard of them before, so did some research before buying. They are a relatively new industry. The flesh is especially tender and sweet almost like lobster. They peel easily and must be deveined. They cook very quickly and get tough if cooked too long. And they were usually selling for $12 to $15 a pound!

For a treat at Christmas, the IGA also had some frozen sea scallops for $6 a pound. I had a half pound left. Then for lent, Kroger had some especially nice looking squid at $2 a pound! It was a solid two pound block and I had to partially defrost it, break into quarters of half pound each, repackage and refreeze.

I picked up some packages of discounted vegetables at Kroger this week – Broccoli Slaw and Sugar Snap Peas with Carrots – for $1.49 per 12 ounce bag. I separated the peas from the baby carrots and yielded 2 cups of peas per bag.

The rest of the ingredients are pretty much my pantry regulars, except for the ginger. When I was visiting a doctor in Morgantown, I stopped by the Asian/Middle Eastern store. One of the items I found was the jar of pickled ginger.

I was thinking of a seafood combination in light sauce served at the Chinese buffet. I did an extensive internet search and two recipes came close - Seafood Combination from and Shrimp with Snow Peas from

This dish was VERY tasty. I thought there would be leftovers. When I went to clean up after dinner, the wok was empty! The guys ate it all.

Serves 3 (Not 4!)
Seafood Group:
1 Tbsp. Sesame oil
½ cup Onion, large diced
9 jumbo (1/2 pound) Red Argentinean Shrimp, peeled and deveined
9 large (1/2 pound) Sea Scallops, butterfly cut crosswise
½ pound Squid, tubes and tentacles, cut crosswise in 1” slices
2 cups (4 oz.) Sugar Snap Peas
1 can (4 oz.) sliced Mushrooms, drained
2 Tbsp. sliced pickled Ginger

¾ cup White Long Grain Basmati Rice
1 ½ cups Water
dash Salt

1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1 Tbsp. Chicken base
1 cup Water
¼ cup Cream Sherry
½ tsp. Sugar
2 dashes ground White Pepper
2 dashes Red Hot Pepper Sauce (Like Habañero or Sriracha)

Vegetable Group:
½ cup Onion, finely sliced, lengthwise
2 cups (5 – 6 oz.) Broccoli slaw
1 cup (1/4 pound wedge) Cabbage, finely sliced, lengthwise
2 Tbsp. Sliced Almonds, toasted
1 Tbsp. Golden Soy Sauce

Early in the day, take seafood out of freezer to defrost. Here in West-By-God-Virginia there is no fresh seafood readily available, unless for a very dear price. Put the shrimp in cool water. Put the bag of scallops in cool water. I partially defrosted the squid in the microwave (10 minutes at 2 power) because it was still in a big (2 pound) chunk. I broke it into four pieces, repackaged three of them and put them back in the freezer. Put remaining ½ pound squid in a bag and thaw in cold water with shrimp and scallops.

Put rice on to cook first. See Foolproof Rice for my easy method. Cooks in 30 minutes overall. Keep covered on stove until stir fry is done.

While rice cooks, heat wok to high heat. Remove from heat and lightly coat with canola oil spray. Return to very low heat to season, while finishing preparation and organization of ingredients. Gather utensils and prepare ingredients. Set them out in small dishes or, my favorite – paper plates. The seafood rests on paper towels.

Toast the almonds on a baking sheet in hot oven or in a cast iron skillet on stove top. Stir and watch them carefully. They are quick to burn. Set aside.

Prepare sauce in a two cup measure. Put in cornstarch first and dissolve with a little of the water. Then add chicken base and stir to dissolve, adding a little more water. Stir in rest of sauce ingredients and set aside. Substitute 1 cup chicken broth for water and chicken base, if desired.

Stir fry the vegetable group first.  Heat wok to high heat and add 1 Tbsp. of sesame oil. Add onion, broccoli slaw and sliced cabbage. Stir and toss for several minutes. Add a couple of tablespoons of water and cover for a couple of minutes. Uncover, stir and toss some more with the soy sauce. Remove from pan when broccoli turns bright green. Set aside and sprinkle almonds on top.

Lastly, stir fry the seafood group. Heat wok to high heat and add 1 Tbsp. of sesame oil. Add onion and stir fry for about a minute. Add seafood, peas, mushrooms and ginger. Stir fry for a few minutes just until shrimp and scallops are mostly colored white. Argentinean shrimp and squid will toughen quickly, if cooked too long at high heat. Peas should be bright green. Add the sauce and stir and toss a few times until it starts to thicken. Turn off heat. Serve immediately.

Place a scoop of rice on plate, then a scoop of vegetables. Indent the vegetables and rice to make nests. Ladle seafood over all. Enjoy!

Adapted from:

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