Coral and Jade, by Helen Chen Recipe

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Coral and Jade, by Helen Chen

This recipe is by Helen Chen, from a cooking class she did at Dorothy McNett's Place in Hollister, Ca. a few years ago.
Serves 3-4, or 5-6 as part of a multicourse meal.
My mother, Joyce Chen, coined this name for a popular shrimp dish that we serve at our restaurant. The shrimp is stir-fried in a light tomato sauce, which accentuates the pink color of the cooked shrimp and makes it resemble coral. Snow peas when cooked take on the green color of imperial jade, so prized by the Chinese. What lovely imagery for a lovely dish!

1 pound large or medium shrimp, shelled
1 teaspoon grated peeled gingerroot
1 teaspoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
3 tablespoons canola, corn, or peanut oil
1/4 pound snow peas, ends snapped off and strings removed, cut in half on the diagonal
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 (8 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, drained (1 cup)

1. Cut a slit along the back of the shrimp and pull out and discard the intestinal vein. Rinse the shrimp in cold water, drain, and place in a bowl. Stir in the gingerroot, sherry, cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and mix well. Set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or stir-fry pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Dip an end of a snow pea into the pan; it should sizzle. Add the snow peas and stir just until they turn a darker green, about 30 seconds. Do not scorch the tender snow peas inadvertently by heating the oil too hot. Remove the snow peas and spread out on a plate. Set aside.
3. Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil into the same pan and heat over high heat. Stir up the shrimp mixture again, pour into the pan, and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes, or until the shrimp just turn pink and opaque. Stir in the ketchup, water chestnuts, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Return the snow peas to the pan and mix together for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the heat and taste, adding more salt if desired. Transfer to a serving dish. Serve immediately.

Recipe created 1996-09-11.

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