Boiled Shrimp with Crispy-fried Taro Leaves

photo(257)On occasion, I would “discover” new ways of cooking certain ingredients included in my recipes.  Such was the case with the dried taro leaves I was using to prepare a home-cooked Hawaiian lau lau.  I had a small bowl of leftover dried taro leaves and I thought I’d try to stir-fry them  with garlic bits and Olive oil.  The result surprised me!  They turned out to be quite similar to some dried and crispy kale leaves that I found one day at Trader Joe’s (the kale leaves were packaged as a snack).  Then I thought of a simple and easy-to-prepare combo to go with my crispy-fired taro leaves. What could be more simple than boiling some fresh shrimp and steaming some rice?  It made for an absolutely delicious meal.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb headless medium shrimp, shell and tail on

1.8 oz (50 grams) dried taro leaves

1 tbsp freeze-dried garlic bits

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tbsps Olive oil

2 cups water

1 tsp dried parsley

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp white vinegar

2 cups cooked/steamed rice

1 tsp sesame seeds

A pinch of baking soda

DIRECTIONS

Soak taro leaves overnight in cold water. Squeeze a handful at a time to drain the water, then set aside.  Place shrimps in a medium pot, add 2 cups water and bring to a quick boil. Reduce heat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add dried parsley. As soon as the shrimps turn pink, remove from heat (avoid overcooking). Drain the water and set shrimps aside.  In a medium wok, heat Olive oil in medium-high heat. Sauté garlic bits until they turn golden brown.  Add taro leaves and sugar. Add a pinch of baking soda. Add vinegar. Stir-fry until the leaves become crispy and almost black in color.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat and place them on a plate lined with paper towel to drain excess oil.  Scoop 1/2 cup of cooked rice and place in the middle of a serving plate. Surround the rice with cooked shrimp.  Surround the shrimp with the fried taro leaves.  Sprinkle sesame seeds over the plate and enjoy!

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