Ever sleep and literally dream about eating food and actually tasting it? It's amazing how your brain can lead you to believe just about everything you see, feel or touch.
It happened to me last Friday night after I devoured a surprisingly fabulous meal at a local Chinese restaurant, which oddly enough, appeared to me as a non-authentic Chinese eatery. 'Oddly', because of the "chic" decor which is often not a sign of asian food authenticity. I went there with a friend who didn't care much about Chinese food, but we were both so hungry that we decided to give it a try since everything else was closed. As soon as we walked in, the first thing that stroke me was the number of Asian families eating there. Then, the aroma and sound of sizzling sesame oil was a sudden relief to me that this was going to be good. And it was. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the restaurant. But I promise you, I will find out soon and will post it for all you local Montreal foodies, and visitors as well!
**UPDATED Sunday June 29th, 2008** As promised, I wanted to get back to you on the name of the restaurant where I had the fabulour seafood and ginger platter. It's called Le Pavillon Lilas, doesn't sound very asian, but trust me, it's gooooood. For visitors, it's right on the premise of the Quality Inn hotel, located right across the South Shore bus terminal where buses take you downtown Montreal in 15 minutes.
That evening we were in the mood for fast service as we were both famished. Nothing better than a quick stir-fry. We looked at the menu and couldn't make up our minds, but we finally settled for a seafood ginger stir-fry. We didn't regret it. The dish was served in a beautiful brown clay pot making the meal more appetizing and was composed of plump and juicy shrimps and scallops in a very tasty oyster sauce. Simple and delicious.
After dinner, I was trying so hard to figure out which key ingredients were in that dish that I dreamed about it. Today, I went out on a whim and felt happily fulfilled with the results. It was spicy, juicy and so savoury.
Great thing about it, it took only minutes to whip it up.
Preparation: 15 minutes, Cooking time: 10 minutes
Recipe "au pif":10 frozen shrimps (shell removed and de-veined)
10 frozen scallops
1 tbsp ginger juice (to remove the fishy smell)
About 3 inch ginger thinly sliced in big pieces
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp corn starch
½ cup water
½ tsp chili paste
1 small pinch sugar
¼ cup finely chopped scallions
Note: Using garlic press, crush some ginger until you get about 1 tbsp of ginger juice.
To make the sauce, mix in a bowl the oyster sauce, corn starch,water and chili paste. Set aside.
Soak shrimps and scallops in luke warm water. Drain and transfer shrimps and scallops in a medium-sized bowl and mix in ginger juice let it sit for about 10 minutes. This step will remove the fishy smell of the frozen seafood.
Heat sesame and vegetable oil in wok, on high heat until smoking hot.
Stir in the shrimps and scallops for about 2-3 minutes until the outside is cooked (outside turns pink).
Throw in the ginger and stir for about 30 seconds.
Stir in the soya sauce and oyster mixture. Stir well for another 30 seconds until the sauce starts bubbling. Add in the sugar.
Stir for another 30 seconds until the shrimp and scallops and cooked, but not over cooked, plump and juicy.
Garnish with chopped scallions.
Serve hot with steamed jasmine rice and enjoy.
Serves 2 people. Double the quantity of ingredients if you want to serve company.