on January 22, 2013
in problems and questions
After liver, on to shrimp and noodles. Problems or questions, anyone?
This post was written by MARY who has written 112 posts on French Fridays with Dorie.
What is everyone substituting for purée?
I’m just going to make it in the food processor with some organic tomatoes from our food co-op. Not as good as it would be in the summer, but it’ll do in a pinch.
I would actually say don’t even use the purée (I found a quality jarred version) because it’s just weird. It’s like an Asian dish trying to be Italian. It was ok, but weird. Leave out the tomatoes and just toss the shrimp and spice mix with the noodles – beautiful (wish I had done this). If you do use the purée, 2 cups is way too much. I only used 1 and a bit and it was positively SWIMMING in sauce.
Interesting. Wish I’d read this before buying the puree today! I thought it was a strange ingredient for this. I might just do as you suggest now!
I emphatically ditto what Mardi said – I used 2 cups of a higher end organic brand and it just ended up being out of place (at least for my tastes). A few tablespoons of tomato puree may have worked better.
Very curious to hear how the flavor profile worked for others.
I double ditto (is that such a thing?!) what Mardi and Cher said. I made this yesterday and luckily only made half. I felt the same as Mardi that it was an Asian dish trying to be Italian. Just didn’t work.
Having read all the comments, I’m going to follow Mardi’s suggestion and eliminate the tomato purée. Thanks for the warning!
Hmmm… I had been having trouble picturing how the tomato purée would work. Maybe I’ll have to experiment with it. Thanks for the warnings!
Yep, 2 cups was way too much puree. I almost wonder if it was a typo? Wish I’d read these comments before I made the dish.
I was talking to my husband about this dish, and he says he has had a Chinese dish with tomato puree in it (while living in Japan), and he agreed with the idea to leave it out. Apparently, he wasn’t that impressed with it. I did some online research, and there are some Chinese-style recipes for chicken and tomato dishes, so maybe that’s the influence. I still think I’m going to either scale back the amount of puree or just leave it out altogether. Depends on my mood tonight when I make it!
I made it the other night with the tomato and I liked it. I didn’t have puree though, I just diluted some paste and probably didn’t use a whole two cups. I thought the cilantro really brightened things up and the five spice powder lent it such an interesting flavor. It was my first time using five spice though so maybe I was just kind of enamored of the whole event.
Thanks for all these suggestions – I wondered about the tomatoes, too.
I was having trouble finding cellophane or glass noodles, but a quick internet search let me know Bean Thread noodles were the same thing,. Whew!
I think the idea is to give another traditional Asian flavor. There is the hot spice, the salty, to taste, the Chinese spices, and with the cilantro there should probably be lime juice creating a “sour” and with the sugar comes the tomato which should be more like 2 Tablespoons rather than cups, for the “sweet.” The lime is also necessary to counter the salty, which is not really common in many traditional Chinese foods. All my opinion. But, I think the 2 cups is either a typo or is truly a new recipe!…well, Dorie does say it is for an all-orange meal. I asked my Asian family members and they say it’s not Chinese….not even “remotely” Chinese to have all that tomato puree and to not use it as a sweet-and-sour sauce…and needs vinegar or??? And that’s a lot of sweet and sour sauce for this recipe!
Ahhh, Kris — you nailed it! Lime or vinegar — yes, the dish needed more acid. I whole heartedly agree w/y’all about the tomatoes. I used an organic jarred product, about 1/2 the amount called for because I just didn’t trust it and I didn’t want to ruin the beautiful shrimp! Not a big fan. I served this dish w/chicken satay and a peanut sauce that needed to be eaten — it was tasty together. But that tells me that this shrimp and cellophane noodle recipe needs some enhancing to be “stand alone”.
I tried to halve the recipe, but was multi-tasking and not really paying attention, so…ended up with 1c. tomato, 1/2 lb shrimp and the recipe amount of noodles and seasonings. Love the 5 spice and will def. use that in stir fry again!
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