Cabbage Stirfry with Shrimp and Ham Strips
I have been buying cooked, shelled jumbo shrimp from Marsh when they on sale. They are so convenient to use and don’t spoil as quickly after I defrost them in the fridge. There’s a significant disadvantage. They don’t caramelize as well when stir-fried so don’t add as much flavor to the vegetables. I miss the large prawns I used to get from Asia Mart, shells and heads on, the carapace often glutted with shrimp fat that to me is more delectable than caviar. Seafood fat is unknown to most Westerners. I remember a show on the PBS Create channel. The food expert showed how to prepare crab. After steaming it, she plied the carapace off and washed what remained under running water! Washed off the best part of the crab! Fat is untidy to Western eyes, but a delicacy among those really in the know.
I had pan-roasted sirloin strips and thought of adding this to the stir-fry but decided against it. I am often too tradition-bound. Seafood and pork are traditional cook mates. Beef should marry with these as well but in the Asia of which China and the Philippines are a part cattle were not high-profile ingredients. We didn’t have the vast grain fields to support flocks of cattle for commercial large-scale beef production. Beef seems to be a more domineering taste whereas both shrimp and pork are sweet and gently blend together well. Sometimes though art must grab the consumer’s attention and does this with bold, unusual pairings. Regrettably I am seldom that bold, thus seldom truly artistic.
As to the photograph… This is one I’ve remembered to take emphasizing the height of the food. Instead of taking the picture from above which results in a flat image, I shot from the side and with a black background and low F-stop. I like how the food is contrasted against the stark black background. The resolution is also good. I like seeing the striations on the thinly sliced green onion rings.