BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘China

Longjing Xiaren with Tiny Oregon Pink (Bay) Shrimp

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Dragon Well Green Tea Shrimp with sweet and sustainable (unfortunately precooked) Oregon pink shrimp.

Somehow blogging has gotten away from me again, with the start of the new term. Evenings are chilly here now — fall is in the air. Pumpkins and other orange-fleshed winter squashes fill the markets, while we’re still enjoying the last of this fickle summer’s (mostly green) tomatoes, cukes and zukes. I’m trying to enjoy it all (and put some food up as time allows) before it slips from our grasp.

I’ve been reporting from the Coast some for KLCC. In Newport recently, I had a chance to pick up some extra-fresh (and sustainable!) tiny Oregon pink shrimp at Local Ocean. I thought they might most resemble the sweet, Chinese river shrimp you can’t find here. I needed them for the Longjing xiaren (Dragon Well green tea shrimp) recipe I ran with my recent NPR Kitchen Window column. Only problem is the Oregon shrimp only come pre-cooked. So I just cooked them as quickly as possible with my recipe. They fell apart a bit, but still had a sweet, mild taste. I especially recommend dipping the sauteed shrimp in sherry (or similar brown) vinegar for an umami punch. That’s how the Longjing Xiaren were served at the tony 28 Hubin Road restaurant at the Grand Hyatt in Hangzhou.

Just whatever you do, don’t use canned Oregon pink shrimp from Trader Joe’s. I was excited to find them, but they’re disappointingly mushy and fishy. I tried in vein to make a shrimp salad with them. There are other salads I’d like to try with the fresh specimens, such as this Asian shrimp salad from Portland-based Newman’s Fish Company.

Sorry, Trader Joe's: Your canned Oregon shrimp are mushy and fishy, really anything but crisp.

Written by baltimoregon

October 3, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Diva Cukes and Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes

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Sweet Sun Golds are finally ripe.

 

 

Raw dinner of rice wine vinegar- and-sesame oil-marinated cukes and cherry tomatoes bathed in olive oil, garlic and basil and tossed over pasta.

 

Maybe I should only try to blog during the academic term, and then I wouldn’t leave my readers hanging come summer. Believe me, I so wanted to blog these past few weeks, and have the pictures and notebooks full of musings to prove it. But the Great Firewall of China wouldn’t let me. WordPress.com and Facebook are blocked; though news sites such as NPR and the New York Times (which was in 2000) now aren’t. How I now treasure the freedom to troll the Web at leisure.

 

My first eggplants.

 

 

My first peppers, too.

 

 

One delicate zucchini. When more come, I'll turn to these recipes.

 

It’s refreshing to come home to garden-fresh veggies after two weeks of slurping down greasy sauces and fatty pork belly. Thanks our dear accupunturess friend, our tomatoes, eggplant, beans, cukes, zucchini and herbs remained watered in our absence. So today, orange Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, Diva and slicing cucumbers, some small strawberries, basil, tarragon, some baby eggplant and gone-to-seed fennel welcomed us home. Sweet, raw goodness. For a light dinner, I marinated the cherry and yellow pear tomatoes in olive oil, garlic, basil, tarragon and salt and pepper. I shaved in a delicate zucchini and small green pepper (also from the garden) for good measure. Then we served this raw sauce over pasta. To ease the transition back from Asia, I quick-pickled the cukes with seasoned rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, red onion, garlic and a tad of salty ume plum vinegar. Dan was tired of those flavors. But somehow they still had some lingering appeal for me.

Written by baltimoregon

August 30, 2010 at 12:28 am

Finding Intellectual Center at Powell’s Books

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From the Philip Gourevitch reading at Powell's

From the Philip Gourevitch reading at Powell's

I’m still in cultural shock living here away from the thriving pulse of an urban center. So everytime I’m in Portland, I find an excuse to go to Powell’s Books. I’ve ordered obscure used books from them online since college, but only since moving here did I enter the temple to all things literary on West Burnside.

Even my parents, who were like why are we wasting a precious Portland day in a bookstore, were enthralled once inside.

Powell’s schedule of nightly author readings is perhaps what most tempts me from here in Corvallis. I did get to hear Philip Gourevitch, editor of the Paris Review, recently read from the quarterly’s new collection of interviews. His harrowing account of the Rwandan genocide is one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read.

In these times of journalistic distopia, it was heartening to hear Gourevitch’s defense of reportage. “Mainstream American fiction underwhelms in it’s ability to dramatize the same level of human experience,” Gourevitch said.

But amid economic collapse, fiction is still a seductive escape. I’m anxious to read Marilynne Robinson’s Home after her interview in this Paris Review.

The author interview is an under-appreciated art. As an English major alienated by lit criticism, an interview with author Can Xue in China set me on a path, for better or worse, towards journalism.

Written by baltimoregon

December 18, 2008 at 1:09 am

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