When you start with a dish developed for a restricted diet, you can add flavor in different ways. Here, the rice is perfumed with ginger slices as it cooks. Fish sauce and white wine go into the sauce.
The original recipe called for fish stock or bottled clam juice; we liked what happened when we used guava or apricot nectar instead. (Be advised that this might not make it suitable for diabetics.) If you use raw shrimp that is already peeled, deveined and defrosted, you'll save a few minutes' cooking time.
Use a sauvignon blanc on the grassy side -- from New Zealand, Chile or South America -- to cook with and to serve. Wine columnist Dave McIntyre says its acidity pairs well with the asparagus, and its grassy-tropical fruit flavors should complement the ginger.
- 3-inch piece ginger root
- 1 cup uncooked jasmine or basmati rice
- 2 cups water
- 12 ounces u-15 (jumbo) raw shrimp
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 cup fish stock or bottled clam juice (may substitute guava or apricot nectar; see headnote)
- 2 or 3 medium cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 pound asparagus
Peel the ginger, then cut it crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Put a third of the ginger in a medium saucepan, along with the rice and water; stir to combine. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and devein the shrimp, placing them in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with the cornstarch and toss lightly to coat, then add the wine, fish sauce and fish stock or clam juice to form a marinade.
Peel and cut the garlic (to taste) into very thin slices. Trim or snap off the woody ends from the asparagus; peel if desired, then cut the spears into 2-inch pieces. Mince the remaining two-thirds of the ginger slices.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger; stir-fry for 1 minute, until golden. Add the asparagus and stir-fry for 1 or 2 minutes, until crisp-tender. Push to the side of the pan.
Drain the shrimp, reserving the marinade.
Add the shrimp to the pan or wok and stir-fry for 2 to 4 minutes, until just opaque, then add the reserved marinade and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes, until it has thickened to form a sauce.
Remove the ginger slices from the cooked rice, then divide the rice among individual plates. Top with equal portions of the shrimp, asparagus and sauce. Serve immediately.
Adapted from "The Diabetic Seafood Cookbook," by Barbara Seelig-Brown (American Diabetic Association, 2009).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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