Tasting the Conspiracy, item L8: Shrimp with Mixed Vegetable [sic]

If it’s not clear what this is or why I’m doing it, check out the intro post.

Working through backlog again, this time with a few retreads; this one has text stolen shamelessly from L5, since it differs mostly in choice of protein.

Shrimp with Mixed Vegetable

It’s not unlike the chicken with mixed vegetable, but inexplicably shrimpier.

What exactly is this dish? Medium-size shrimp in the usual brown sauce with a number of vegetables which might vary depending on what’s in stock; this particular incarnation has mushrooms, snow peas, broccoli, baby corn, and bamboo shoots. This is a completely different veggie mix from its chicken-based cousin which I had weeks prior; it’s not clear whether the change is a difference between veggies chosen to complement different proteins or an arbitrary potluck selection which changes regularly. There might be onion in there too, but if so it’s minced pretty fine.

How authentically Chinese is it? Much like beef with broccoli, this is a straightforward enough presentation I find it hard to imagine it’s not vaguely similar to some food eaten in China. The protein, vegetables, sauce, and cooking method are all pretty standard parts of the Chinese culinary toolset. I doubt I could match it onto a specific traditional food, because it seems like it’s of a piece with the standard “throw lots of stuff together according to a traditional cooking method” approach to non-fancy food that every cuisine has. I’d venture the Chinese version has a more flavorful sauce, probably with more ginger and garlic. Also, the Chinese are apparently not that big on dishes with a large variety of different vegetables, so a more traditional preparation would likely be pared down to a smaller selection of veggies.

Is it any good? Much like beef with broccoli, it kind of hits a minimal interest level of having essential Chinese flavors without actually being distinguished enough to be a memorable experience in any way. The mshrooms don’t much do it for me, but I do like snow peas. It’s an OK blend of textures and flavors although for my own personal tastes I would probably swap the mushrooms out for cabbage or something. Shrimp is less bland than chicken, so I have a slight preference for this dish over its chickeny cousin on that front.

How does it complement the rice? The sauce was moderately moist; I think shrimp tend to sweat out a bit. I think it might have been a bit thinner than the sauce on the chicken with mixed vegetable. It didn’t quite stretch to flavor all of the rice, but it certainly kept eating the rice from being a dry slog.

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About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

One Response to Tasting the Conspiracy, item L8: Shrimp with Mixed Vegetable [sic]

  1. Pingback: Tasting the Conspiracy, item L0: Introduction | The Ecclesiastical Revue

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