Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –
…I call for rock shrimp often in my cooking. Firm in texture and with a delicious lobster-like flavor, these…are caught in Florida and…shipped nationwide.
–Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking With Ming Tsai (p. 8)
…where’s the risotto?!?!? –Hell’s Kitchen s5.e7 (Gordon Ramsay)
Finally, the Rock Shrimp has Returned to Wellesley! (ahem, with apologies to Dwayne Johnson)
I was thinking about what to make for Tuesday night dinner when my eye fell upon the Rock Shrimp Miso Risotto (Simply Ming, p.202) from Blue Ginger’s Chef Ming Tsai. I called Captain Marden’s Seafoods in Wellesley, MA and they confirmed they had gotten rock shrimp back in stock. So I ran over there to get some of the rock shrimp for dinner tonight.
Essentially, the dish I wanted to make was a sushi rice risotto using two cups of filtered miso soup (1 T shiro miso/1 cup dashi – and in this case I would be using two cups of the miso soup). The recipe was meant for four, so I basically split it in half. So my ingredient list would be:
1/2 lb de-shelled rock shrimp
1 Tablespoon minced garlic (I’d be doing the Nobu thing here and grating it)
1/2 small onion finely diced
1 8oz cup of sushi rice
1/4 cup sake
2 cups dashi with 2 tablespoons filter shiro miso (Yamajirushi)
1 packed cup of cleaned baby spinach
juice of 1/2 lemon (1 tablespooon+1 teaspoon+1/2 teaspoon)
The estimated amount of lemon juice was based on my prior experience doing the scampi pasta dish from Simply Ming: One-Pot Meals.
Preparing the risotto began by making dashi and then making 2 cups filtered miso soup (set aside and kept warm). The dashi I used here was the traditional Japanese dashi as opposed to the ginger infused version from the same book (p. 200).
The next thing to do was sear the rock shrimp in a hot sautee pan with rice oil just until they were colored – about 2 minutes (don’t cook through! they’ll finish cooking during the assembly of the risotto!)
and then also set aside.
Finally, to prepare the actual risotto, I took a large sauce pot, heated it, added a bit more rice oil and sauteed the garlic on 50% max heat, then added the minced onions and cooked them until they were “sweated down”
(about 2 minutes) and seasoned with 2 three fingered pinches of 4:1 salt/pepper mix. At that point, I added
the raw rice, sauteed/stirring for about another 2 minutes until the rice was lightly toasted (sounds like
making a paella). The 1/4 cup of sake was stirred in and allowed to evaporate, taking about another 2
minutes. The heat was set to low (simmer), and the miso broth/soup was added slowly and the whole thing
was simmered for about 10 minutes. Chef Tsai cautioned against any stirring at this point.
Once the simmering was done and the rice had absorbed the broth/soup, the shrimp was added along with
the spinach and lemon juice (yes, I omitted the butter, since my wife isn’t keen on heated butter). NOW I
started stirring the risotto until the spinach had wilted and the shrimp finished cooked (about 4 more minutes).
Both my wife and I loved the dish and the way it turned out. If there was anything I’d change, I would perhaps lower the amount of miso to 1 tablespoon. I’d like to re-try this dish replacing the baby spinach with fresh peas. I could see doing this dish as the final savory course in a holiday’s tasting menu dinner.
Rock Shrimp – Captain Marden’s Seafood, Wellesley, MA