Shrimp and Cellophane Noodles 1/24/ 13
Was there a picture of this in the book? No, I can’t recall seeing one. Perhaps it would have discouraged the Doristas from cooking this dish? The ingredients sounded good, all but the tomato puree. Did Dorie want to flatter the cook for some reason? Sorry, Dorie, that’s not fair probably, but I can’t think why you asked for the recipe when you left after my family and I had it for dinner.
I used rice noodles (didn’t have any cellophane ones in the house), and shitake mushrooms (didn’t have time to shop for the Chinese tree ears). The Chinese 5 spice, sugar, garlic, cayenne-- all great flavors, along with onion and garlic, yum. Sesame oil adds depth. Cilantro is bright. Shrimp—love it. The weird ingredient? Tomato puree. Tomato in any version seemed odd in this dish.
After I stir-fried all before adding the tomato puree, I thought this was going to be tasty. As soon as the puree went in, my hopes were dashing. Okay, okay, stick with it, I thought as I poured the shrimp-mushroom-tomato concoction over the rice noodles. I was happy to cover it up with the cilantro. Did that help its look? I think not. It looked like a bad gravy (another word for spaghetti sauce) over way-overcooked pasta.
But I called the troops to dinner. Husband, son (wow, he was going to try it?), nephew and I sat down and dug in with our chopsticks. Husband loved the flavor (he’s pro anything with pasta and gravy); son takes after his father but refused to eat the mushrooms, nephew (always adventurous) said it was ‘different’ but he liked the flavors but not all the sauce.
Yeah, way too much sauce. Where did the sauce idea come in? I also found the noodles kind of gloppy (is that a word?) I dunno know but if I make it again it will have some kind of red curry sauce zigzagged over the top. Loved the pungent flavor of the cilantro, would have been better without the sauce. Must make a note on the page….