Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Three Alarm Shrimp Soup

Whenever there's trouble they're there on the double!
Well, a good week for the SF 49ers ended up being a rough night for the Chowbacca! Potrero Hill Offices when a brush fire erupted next to the US 101 James Lick Memorial Highway just off Exit 433A, and very close to this blogger's bedroom window.

The fire was extinguished before it could cause any damage to the adjacent structures, much to relief of myself, my roommate and her cat, Harry.

In addition to owing SFFD a big thank you (seriously, thank you!), I also want to thank the Emergency 911 dispatchers and the good Samaritans that rang our buzzer when they spotted flames shooting into the sky while driving past my house. Thanks, random strangers!

Still, Harry was not thrilled with being shoved into a cat carrier and rudely run around for a few panicked minutes until the SFFD were able to get the hoses hooked up. Not being aware of how close he came to going "up up up past the Russell Hotel, up up up up to the Heavyside Layer" (read a book), I figured I'd ply him the next day with his one and only human-food indulgence: shrimp.

Off to Duc Loi!

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Optional: lima beans.
I suffer near uninterrupted allergies to anything and everything that blooms, spores and is cast off brake pads - an argument for someday moving out of the city for fresher air? The days preceding the fire were hot and dry and smoggy.

Although I didn't suffer from any smoke inhalation I was already feeling the effects of days of cold followed by a couple hot smoggy days.

I figured I could kill two birds with one shrimp.

Cold Buster Three Alarm Shrimp Noodle Soup:
  • 12-14 raw, head-on 30-count shrimp (about half a pound).
  • 2 cloves of garlic, paper on, chopped into large pieces.
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro stems and leaves.
  • 1/2 Habañero pepper, chopped into large pieces.
  • 1/4 cup of chopped shiitake mushrooms.
  • 1/4 cup of sliced King Oyster mushroom (start at the bottom and work up), cut into half dollar medallions.
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.
  • Zest of a lime.
  • White part of a green onion, coarsely chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon of coarsely chopped ginger.
  • Juice of 3/4 of a lime.
  • 1 tablespoon of honey.
  • Cilantro leaves, green onion greens, olive oil or sesame oil and fine chopped Habañero pepper to garnish.
  • 1 quart of water.
  • A serving of your favorite noodles (we used a Shanghai noodle, fresh, and undried, about 1/2 cup uncooked - but a package of Ramen would be fine too).
Add stems, garlic, chopped peppers, green onion whites, ginger, lime zest and salt into boiling water. Boil for a minute then add shrimp.

Cover and boil for about a minute. Remove shrimp and set aside.

Boil for another minute then strain shrimp broth, reserving liquid and discarding the cilantro stems, garlic, ginger and peppers.

Quickly sautée mushrooms in a small amount of oil for a couple minutes, add 1/2 of the shrimp broth and the noodles. Simmer noodles on low heat, lid on until noodles are done, about 3-5 minutes.

Add lime juice at last minute.

Arrange 2-3 whole shrimps in a bowl with garnishes, honey. 

Pour over noodles and mushrooms, and stir. Check for seasoning and adjust.

Put remaining shrimp and broth in the chill chest, that's breakfast!

If you did this right, you will have something that is hot enough to get the affection, if not the attention of any serious fire fighter.

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