Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fire and Spice

Recently, I was looking for a new way to use one of my favorite ingredients: forbidden or black rice. At the same time, I had a hankering for shrimp. So I thought I would sautee some shrimp and serve it with a black sticky rice and add pineapple and scallions.

So I did what I usually do- a little research. It's easier for me to start out with an existing recipe and then modify it to get exactly what I want. And although I didn't find just the right black rice recipe to satisfy me, I found this great recipe for shrimp fried coconut rice with pineapple on a site called Now this was something I could work with!

Although this recipe called for jasmine rice, black rice was easy to substitute and so much more flavorful and healthy! I also decided that I wanted it to be spicy, so I added some chopped red chilis- hence the title of this post: Fire and Spice. Although it was a great idea, I got a little carried away with the fire and cut up way too many chilis. It ended up too spicy for Connor, a little too fiery for me, and just right for Tim. I lost track, but at best recollection I think I used about 5-6 chilis. Three should be about right for me next time!

The recipe also called for some sugar, which was easily substituted with my good old agave. I think the sugar could also be just omitted, as the dish is probably sweet enough from the coconut and pineapple. I also cut the rice down by half. The recipe indicates that it is a Thai dinner for two, but even after cutting the rice down by half there were still leftovers. I also used a pound of shrimp instead of counting out twelve. Finally, I sprinkled some natural coconut over the top which was quite delicious. My recipe after adjustments should serve three people. And by the way, the picture above shows the leftovers. I hadn't taken a picture the first time around when it was a bit more colorful and garnished with the coconut.

If you'd like the original recipe it is located here:

My adjusted recipe is below. I will definitely make this again, despite the lingering fiery mouth that ensued. It heated well in the microwave the next day and I scarfed the leftovers! I tasted a bit of it cold before heating, and I think it would make a great cold salad as well.

Spicy Shrimp with Tropical Forbidden Rice
1 cup Chinese forbidden (black) rice
1/2 cup water
1 cup light coconut milk
1 T canola or peanut oil
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 tsp agave nectar (optional)
1 T fish sauce
3-5 chopped red chilis
4 oz. chopped fresh pineapple
2 green onions, chopped
Rinse black rice until water runs clear. Add rice, water, and coconut milk to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook about 15-20 minutes or until rice is sticky and soft. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok or large pan and then add garlic, chilis and white onion. Cook on medium heat 1-2 minutes or until onion is shiny.
Add shrimp and stir fry until shrimp just turns pink all over. Add agave, fish sauce, and rice and toss.
Add pineapple and green onion and cook about 2 minutes more or until heated through.

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