Healthy dish: Shrimp and sugar pea pods

Shrimp with Sugar Pea Pods

  • ½ lb shrimp
  • 2 cups of Sugar Pea Pods
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp tapioca starch or cornstarch
  • 1 tsp pale dry sherry or Shaoxing cooking wine
  • 2 Tbsp corn oil or peanut oil
  • Salt & white pepper, 1 tsp sugar
This is a great dish for busy professionals who have no time to do last minute shopping and want dinner in 10 minutes. Buy fresh or frozen uncooked shrimp that is shelled and deveined to save time.

Defrost shrimp in the refrigerator ahead of time. Put 1 tsp salt with shrimp while prepping it. Salt improves the texture of shrimp meat. Rinse in cold water, drain, and dry with paper towel. Marinate shrimp with tapioca starch or cornstarch, salt, pepper, and garlic.

Remove tendrils on the sugar peas. Wash, spin dry, and microwave for 1½ to 2 ½ minutes, so that the sugar peas are almost done and still crunchy. Taste and sample a peapod after the first 1 ½ minutes to see if more time is needed as microwaves cook at different speeds. Heat wok until it's very hot before adding oil; swirl oil and stir-fry shrimp and garlic for 1 minute. Add cooking wine to keep the food sizzling.

When shrimp turns slightly pink and is almost done, toss in the sugar pea pods and season to taste with salt and sugar. Buy sugar peas only if they are small and tender. Voilà, you have an Easy, Healthy and Delicious entrée in minutes.

"For an even easier recipe, use Soy Beans. Frozen ones are just as good. No preparation needed. Just toss in defrosted soy beans in the last minute when shrimp is almost done. '

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About the book, "Easy 'n Healthy Cooking"
Easy 'n Healthy Cooking has a unique combination of Chinese, Fusion, and Western Cuisine. The book received great reviews and is available at bookstores in California and New York, the Asia Society Bookstore and website in Manhattan, and on the Web site, which has photos, table of contents, reviews, order information, and a blog. The cookbook has lots of easy 30-minute recipes, with a broad appeal to novice and gourmet cooks. It's a new genre of Chinese cooking using very little oil and no deep frying. There are many vegetarian dishes, low fat entrées and desserts that will delight health-conscious cooks as many of the recipes are in the "lean cuisine" genre. The book has great ideas for home entertaining with make-ahead appetizers, desserts, and garnishes which add elegance to the presentation of food. People often surprise themselves at the fantastic results they get with minimal effort.

About Diana Chan
Diana Chan is a creative innovator with a passion for cooking and baking. She is a maverick cookbook author and publisher who did her own photography and illustrations. She was born in Shanghai, China and grew up in Hong Kong and Brazil where she watched her family's Chinese chef prepare simple daily meals and elaborate banquet dishes. Watching the chef was a natural way for her to learn the basics of Chinese cooking which facilitated her transition into Fusion and Western cooking later. Diana has a knack for analyzing favorite dishes, deconstructing and reconstructing them with innovative variations. She enjoys having family and friends over to sample her new creations. She and her husband are docents at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. She loves art, music, dance, and plays the piano to relax and to get inspirational ideas for cooking. Since the publication of her cookbook, Easy 'n Healthy Cooking, she has been doing many cooking demonstrations and will teach a cooking class, Asian Chefs Series V, at Chef Chu's restaurant in Los Altos.

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