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Chinese Food Take Out at Christmas…Memories

It was a great Spanish cooking class last Friday. Intimate conversation, with genuine people. The Mussels in Deconstructed Romesco Sauce sure delivered on flavour. I had some canned diced tomatoes left over. It was just me and myself for Sunday dinner tonight.

When I saw the container of diced tomatoes in the fridge, and some prawns in the freezer…the duo reminded me of a shrimp with sweet and sour fresh tomato sauce dish that my sister, brother in law and I enjoy during my visits for the holiday season. I used to stay with my sister’s family for some weeks over Christmas and New Years. This is my first holiday staying with my daughter in her new home. My sis, bro and I used to order in, at least once, from this yummy local Chinese Food place, Kai Ping, in the ‘Peg. It was a tradition.

I decided to try and recreate the popular prawn choice using the canned tomatoes. I cut up some healthy veggies and tossed them in for good measure and guess what? The dish tasted very similar and even better than the original. This recipe cooks up quickly and can be great for singles, or doubles or triples…depending on if you have company or not.

Sweet and Sour Prawns

1 serving (multiply per person)

1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil 1/2 small onion, diced 1 large garlic clove, minced 1-tablespoon ginger, minced 1 cup of vegetables (I used quartered brussel sprouts, diced acorn squash, and a sliced carrot) 8 prawns 1 cup canned tomatoes, diced with no salt 2 tablespoons ketchup 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 1-tablespoon honey 1 teaspoon lemon zest, optional Course kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. On medium, heat skillet with extra virgin olive oil.

  2. Fry onion until translucent, add garlic and ginger.

  3. Add vegetables and ½ cup of water. Cover until vegetables become slightly soft, bright in colour, and steam comes out the sides.

  4. Uncover and add the prawns. When they turn pink on all sides, add the diced tomatoes, ketchup, vinegar, honey, lemon zest, and salt and pepper.

  5. Heat through for about 3 minutes until hot and bubbly.

  6. Serve with brown rice or whole grain vermicelli noodles.

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