Penelope’s Kitchen: Exotic shrimp stir fry

PENELOPE MOORE PHOTO

PENELOPE MOORE PHOTO

This is a quick and easy seafood stir fry using many household staples. I always have Shirataki brand Konnyaku-tofu pasta, anchovies and shrimp on hand in the refrigerator and freezer because they work well in a pinch.

The pasta is a blend of tofu and Konnyaku yam and comes already prepared in 4-ounce bags. Konnyaku was originally from Indonesia, then introduced to Japan in the sixth century as a medicine; it has been a part of the Japanese diet for over 1,500 years.

It has many health benefits, including helping to balance cholesterol and blood sugar levels and is rich in potassium and calcium, high fiber and low fat. If you are watching calories, one bag has only 20 calories.

Because the texture can be rubbery at first, it is better cooked. It absorbs the flavors of sauces and is a good starch base for most dishes that would use potatoes or pasta. Shirataki is available at most grocery stores, including King Kullen, Waldbaum’s and Stop & Shop.

Thai basil tastes much like regular sweet basil but has overtones of anise or licorice and its flavor withstands cooking temperatures better than regular basil.

For this dish, I used Masseria Virgili organic olive oil, produced by the Damiani family, who have a second home on Shelter Island. Organic and delicate, it is beautiful in cooked preparations as well as drizzled over salads and vegetables.

It is available at Reddings.

Stir fry with shrimp
Serves 2

6 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thickly chopped
2 packages Shirataki pasta (macaroni cut)
Kernels from one ear of corn
2 flat anchovies
2 tablespoons of capers
12 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 scallions, chopped
A handful (10-12 leaves) Thai basil (regular basil can be substituted)

Heat a sauté pan on medium heat, allow oil to become warm, then add garlic.

Drain and rinse pasta in warm water in colander. Shake out excess water.

Add pasta to oil and garlic and blend well.

Add corn and blend, then add anchovies and capers,

Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add shrimp, salt/pepper and red pepper; turn down heat to low.

When shrimp turns opaque, turn off heat, add scallions and basil and serve.

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