Cajun Shrimp Stew

spicysweet
I first learned about Cajun flavor when I started eating and making Jambalaya rice. I usually buy it in a box and I would just add meat or seafood into the rice. Coming from a rice-bowl society in Southeast Asia, the concept and taste of Jambalaya rice is still new to me. Since my introduction to this flavor, it opened my eyes further to the diversity of the flavor traditions in Southern United States, specifically Louisiana.

00b

You can say that Cajun flavor found an unexplored territory in my palate. That was my first encounter with Cajun cooking. Then I started making soup Gumbo, which is another Louisiana cuisine but in a Creole tradition. A first, it got me confused about its distinction with Cajun. So I started digging for facts and I found the simplest explanation there is on the web.

00c

It says, the basic difference between Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole cuisines is that the latter (creole) uses tomatoes either fresh, paste or sauce while the former (Cajun) does not.

00b

When it comes to seasonings, there are also a few differences. Cajun uses 3 kinds of pepper – black, white and cayenne pepper as well as other spices such as onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried thyme, and dried basil. Creole on the other hand uses paprika and all Cajun spices except white pepper and dried basil.  There you have it; I hope I made a clearer differentiation between Cajun and Creole.

012

Meanwhile, this Cajun Shrimp recipe that I made is sautéed and then simmered in a thick sauce just like a stew. Instead of roux (flour-and-butter mixture) I used cornstarch to thicken the sauce. I also added chopped cilantro to add color to the dish. And I used ginger to sauté the shrimp along with garlic and onions; these are typical Asian ingredients when sautéing seafood. As you can see, this recipe doesn’t only fall in one but it cuts across more flavor traditions which only proves that cooking can challenge or even defy boundaries.

Thank you for reading and happy cooking ❤
sign

CAJUN SHRIMP STEW
Yield: 4-5 Servings

Ingredients:
* Shrimp – 2 lbs. de-shelled
* Cilantro – 2 cups, chopped (frozen or fresh)
* Ginger – 8 oz. peeled, cut in strips (OPTIONAL)
* Garlic – 5 cloves, chopped
* Onion – 1 medium, chopped
* Spices – 2 tsp. each
Onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried thyme,
black pepper, cayenne pepper, white pepper and dried basil
* Sauce mixture:
– Soy sauce – 3 tbsp.
– Red wine vinegar – 3 tbsp.
– Brown sugar – 2 tbsp.
– Corn starch – 3 tbsp.
– Water – ¼ cup
* Salt – as needed

Cooking Instructions:
1. Fully thaw the shrimp and wash.
2. Gather all the ingredients before cooking.
3. Make the sauce by combining all the sauce mixture ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer. Set aside.
001 003
4. Sauté ginger until slightly brown. Add garlic, then the onions.
5. Once the onions caramelized, add the shrimp. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cover to simmer for 5 minutes or until shrimp turns pink.
6. Add all the spices.
007  008 009
7. Add the sauce mixture. Taste the sauce and add more salt if needed.
8. Add the chopped cilantro.
8. Mix well and turn off the heat.
010 011 013

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s