Monday, May 17, 2010

Shrimp and Yellow Chives Stir-fry with Black Vinegar Sauce

My body naturally wants more kurozu (Japanese black vinegar - made from brown rice) as the weather gets warmer toward summer. Among all the remarkable health benefits of the Japanese black vinegar (eg. keeping the blood clean, reducing the cholesterol, etc.), it helps preventing your body from fatigue. So I often make black vinegar drinks so that I can keep going in the warm weather.

I also use black vinegar in many dishes I make. Because black vinegar is slowly aged (normally 1-3 years), the flavor of the black vinegar is much softer than regular rice vinegar. It also has the natural sweetness and more umami (savory flavor) components than rice vinegar.

For lunch yesterday, I made a Chinese-style quick stir-fry shrimp with black vinegar sauce and it was really great.

Shrimp and Yellow Chives Stir-fry with Black Vinegar Sauce

1/2 pound large shrimp
1 tablespoon sake
1/4 teaspoon each salt, Szechwan pepper, and Chinese five spice
1/2 tablespoon potato starch
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 small knob ginger, sliced into shreds
3 oz Chinese yellow chives, cut into 2" length

2 tablespoons black vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil


1. In a bowl, mix the shrimp with the sake, salt, Szechwan pepper, Chinese five spice, and potato starch.
2. In a cup, combine the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
3. Heat 1 T sesame oil in a saute pan. Saute the ginger and garlic until fragrant over medium-high heat.
4. Add the shrimp and saute until they are almost cooked through (2-3 minutes).
5. Add the Chinese yellow chives and continue to saute for another minute.
6. Transfer the sauteed ingredients to a plate. Pour the sauce. Top with chopped cilantro and some la-yu.