Sweet and Sour Citrus Shrimp

So Dragonboat Festival came and went, and although I wasn’t able to motivate anyone to travel with me anywhere, I had a pretty good 5 day weekend. Made it hard to get back into the swing of things at the office. I really meant to make my time off productive, had all these food things I was going to try, Chinese news articles to translate, etc. I did none of these things. Friday night, Bambi inadvertently poisoned me with a drink from a bottle of Ukrainian vodka mysteriously labeled in Ukrainian and a giant red chili pepper the first night. One of the worst things I have ever experienced. Saturday we ricocheted around Sanlitun, first for the happy hour and delicious snacks at Flamme (highly recommend their fried egg and chorizo or pumpkin risotto sides), dinner at Bite-a-Pita (can you go wrong with hummus and falafel?), and then somehow got incepted into staying out for fancy whiskey at Fu Bar (after stating my intentions to walk a new kid there to keep him from getting lost, and then my intentions only to stay until the other guys came out so he wouldn’t have to drink by himself) and then my intentions to leave after finishing my ginger ale (but then fancy whiskey was bought for me and who turns that down?).

Sunday was a glorious Ladies Night, everyone wearing killer dresses, starting with cocktails at Union (their Harvest Punch is actually quite tasty and full of fruit, so technically it’s sort of good for you), and then dinner at the new Sanlitun SOHO location of Pinotage.

Pinotage was great. I highly recommend it. It was a bit too pricey for me to go there on any sort of regular basis, but the food was amazing. The portions could have stood to be a bit larger, as the “Share” portion which is supposed to feed 3-4 people could more realistically be satisfactorily shared between 2 people (with another appetizer and dessert of course).

We started with “Enjoy” portions of goat cheese and beet ravioli, thin discs of red beet sandwiching a dollop of goat cheese topped with pine nuts and micro-greens, and lamb shank dumplings. Blissful. The dumplings skins were thick, chewy and just a bit crispy on the outside, and the lamb shank was tender and perfectly spiced. Then we shared a dish of butternut squash risotto, venison wellington, and a side of pumpkin fritters. The venison, while possibly my least favorite of everything we tasted only because it was the hardest to share, was still amazing. Everything was fabulous. We went through two bottles of South African red wine, and then ordered dessert. It was small but everyone was able to have a bite of chocolate cake with banana cream, crunchy honey comb and fudgy sauce.  So, great really tasty meal, but not very economical. Their lunch menu may provide more value.

Anyway, weekend continued with more ridiculousness that thoroughly depleted my energy. I came home from work yesterday needing a quick, simple, healthy-ish dinner. Mostly, I just wanted to make something fast to prevent me from eating a whole baguette with butter then falling asleep.

This sweet and sour citrus shrimp was quick, easy, and very tasty.

Thaw desired amount of shrimp in a bowl of water, set aside.
Mix together the juice of one orange, 1/4 cup water, juice and zest of one lemon. (If you don’t have oranges around,3/4 cup of OJ will work), 1 Tbs cornstarch. Honey. 3 Tbs sugar. Sriracha to taste.  Set aside.
Mix 1/2 cup panko crumbs, 1/3 cup cornstarch, salt, pepper and garlic powder thoroughly.
Drain shrimp (leave a bit damp). Heat oil in a frying pan or wok. Dredge shrimp through panko mix until evenly coated, and place in the oil. Fry for a couple minutes each side until pink. Remove from pan and place on a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat process to cook all the shrimp in batches (don’t overcrowd pan).
Pour orange juice mix into the pan, turning the heat to low and stirring. Let it simmer until it reaches a thickened consistency. Optional, toss in some sugar snap peas right before adding the sauce, they barely cook and stay nice and crispy. Once the sauce has reached optional consistency, toss the shrimp back in the pan to coat. Serve over rice.

 

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