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And one of the things I talked people about all the time is we want to use raw shrimp generally because raw shrimp has all the flavors. Once you cook it, if you cooked it incorrectly, you pull out the flavors like if you get those from shrimp cocktail. The main reason we need the shrimp cocktail sauce is because the shrimp doesn’t have much flavor because they sucked all the flavors out of it.
So if you use raw shrimp and you start off with the raw shrimp, you’ll find that you have more control of the flavor because it hasn’t been cooked yet. And the shells also have a lot of flavor and a lot people don’t really realize it. So if you buy the shrimp, these are already deveined but the shell are still on it and whether you get them deveined or with all complete, save the shells and used them for just like this. And what I’m going to do is I’m actually going to cook the shells first because it has all these flavors and we’re going to pull that flavor out of the shell and then the shells out and then finish off the soup.
And so I’ll do the whole peeling here. A little tip, even if let’s say this was a shrimp that had not been split at the back and deveined, you just do the first couple like that and then here comes the tail and the shell comes here off. I put a little bit of oil in that so we want to fry the loose shells a little bit and now I have some white wine to pull the actual flavor out so that we’ve got some juice in there.
And I often would buy the real big shrimp because they’re less hassle and get three large shrimp per person just to clean them but it’s really about 30, 40 counts. It means 30 to 40 per pounds and almost all shrimp are previously frozen because they go out and ships and as soon as they’re off for six months and going to try and catch so of course they have to be frozen.
But I also like shrimp because if you have people who just stopped and you got some frozen shrimp in the freezer, you just defrost them under some cold water and you’re in action. So now, I mean all I’ve got in there is oil and you should be able to have a good shrimp smell from there. I personally liked to deep fry shrimp with shalong. I like that flavor and of course it’s got a lot of calcium in that too, so they’re good for you. Or if you do them on a real hot grill, they will get crispy enough that you can dip it in the shells.
Here we go, one more. Okidok, okay. These are already pre-cooked. And so I’m going to use white wine and cooking with wine is a great thing to do with the wine you didn’t quite finish last night, still awake. I’m not going to let all the wine cook off because if I did that then the shrimp would suck up all the juice before I have a chance to shell that. So for another second here, go ahead and take the shells out. If you want you could put this through a strainer right into another pot but I can pretty much see anything that’s leftover so it’s not really that necessary.
And as I always say, you know use a wine that’s pretty decent in flavor because you’re concentrating flavors when you do a reduction so you use a lousy wine, you’ll get a lousy soup. And serve with some garlic. We actually have a garlic lady in the room today, a garlic expert. There’s all sorts of ways you can mince your garlic and I’ll show you. I’ll show you one way sufficient. You want to get in there the edge of your cutting board because you want your handle to be over the edge and you smash it. And then you can just—a little bit of garlic paper there.
And really that garlic is ready to go into the pot. And I like to use onions. I must use onions in everything. I like the color of red onions and also the flavor, they’re great as well. You know I see a lot of chefs, they always do the crosscut in the onion but onions actually have their own little dividers in it and it’s not necessary. If you just go to one direction, the onion will do that cut for you and leave a little bit of room on the onion to touch, in that way, you have more control of the onion if I cut all the way through then my onion is going to fall apart. We see it falls apart by itself so you really don’t have to do that cross cut that you see a lot of chefs do. I think it’s just a habit. There’s a lot of things we do in cooking that are just a habit and not necessarily necessary, just put like that. And mushrooms.
The main thing anytime you’re doing a seafood in a soup is to add near the end because it either get mushy or overcooked or it will fall apart but you could definitely do fresh fish, crab, anything you want. Just you throw it in near the end, the seafood. And you can definitely substitute chicken or beef that you might want to sauté with onions and that’s not going to fall apart. Chicken breast or some finely diced chicken thigh meat would be good or actually any type of meat you’d like to do, rabbit, venison, whatever you have in the freezer.
And then I would use raw. You get a better flavor. There is a product I buy all the time at Costco, it’s the canned crab and it’s a one pound crab, it’s a black finned crab, that’s an excellent product. And if you throw it right in the end, the crab will stay, it’s already cooked and everything, it will stay in nice chunks and it will stay nice and sweet. What you don’t want is want is you don’t want the seafood or whatever you put in there, especially the seafood have too much time to suck up the other flavors and lose its identity. It’s sort of nice to have that one flavor here, one flavor there.
Now, usually I would include in a timed season at this point if I’m going to do a soup base but since I’m going more for an Asian style, I wouldn’t. But if you just did garlic and onions and Italian seasoning and then you can also make a soup from that. I almost use it for every soup base I do and my soups are pretty popular.
Okay so I add a little bit of toasted sesame oil and make sure you use the toasted because you’ll see sesame oil, it has almost no flavor it will just taste like regular oil. The toasted is a huge difference. You should be able to—that smell should be hitting your noses about now. And the toasted and onion of that will change the dimension of it. By the way, we’re just using a little bit and we’ll use for the nose more than anything else. And this is Baby Bok Choy. I try to balance my diet when I make a soup or anything else you know, you will get some greens and some reds and some yellows. We put that all right in there.
Now the green onions and cilantro and you leave right at the end because we want them nice and green and we want that flavor so we’ll put that near the end. You guys like spicy? I used a little bit of Thai curry paste and you don’t need much for flavor and heat. And I got some clam juice here because we’re doing seafood, you know you try to do a seafood base. There’s also shrimp bouillon cubes. Knorr makes them, they havea lot of good flavor and you can always use chicken base, I mean chicken base is, it gets your back really well. We’ll add a little more water to this in a second. Now you notice, I cooked off all the wine before I add any and why I do that anytime you cooked with an alcohol, let the alcohol burn off and let the flavor stay behind.
Alcohol is just not right in food. If you like to add it later, you’ll taste something wrong so it’s like not putting salt in bread. It’s just ain’t right. After all this time, I use to make like a wonton soup and I make the wontons and drop them in and for a time, I just used the wonton skins in. That’s my noodle. I throw the seafood inside. It still tastes good and this needs a little bit of time. We’ll bring this to a boil and get my wonton skins ready to go. If you wanted to stuff these with, say you want to make stuffed wontons, all you need to do is have a little bit of garlic, a little bit of sesame oil and throw the quiznart and you make a paste and you can make your wontons. This really is a simpler, easy way. I usally put them in strips. And wait for this come to boil.
Also, another nice thing about the wonton skin is it’s going to thicken our soup because we’ve go all hat glut that comes off. It just may give it a little more body to it. And speaking of color, I’m going to steal some of our red bell pepper from our next entrée. It’s easier if you slice a bell pepper with the skin side up and then you won’t get it all stuck together, you will cut through and then it’s all—. A sharp knife helps a lot, too.
In this point, it’s a good time to see how your salts are. If you’re going to add salt, use your chicken base or your shrimp base because if you use that as your salt, what you’ll do is you know, increase the body of the soup and you’ll give it flavor while salting at the same time and that definitely needs some chicken base.
You know I use them all and bases tend to be better than just bullion. They have more like chicken flavor to them but the Knorr, I’ve been using it for years and you will taste the soup. If you can make it better, you know but the one thing I don’t bother doing is making my own and I don’t use the liquid in the containers because it costs too much for five cans and the concentration of flavor. It just seems economical to me. Needs a little bit more.
Yeah, either one, they’re good. They’re a little pretty darn good.
What you want to do with wonton skins is make sure you put them in separately. I got a little bit of that little curvy pattern, curd paste at the back of my—it feels good.
Every store, they’re usually around the edge, yes. They love tofu and sprouts and miso dressing and that kind of stuff. Boy that’s good stuff. Give this a stir and these are like do it in an angle so it’s easier we call it an Asian cut, this looks prettier. Some of the reason we do it. And some cilantro and this time I’m going to chop off it really fine so we get the flavor all throughout the soup. Unlike anything if you don’t like desert, spice or a certain flavor, just—if you don’t like cilantro, use is base of but I would recommend you use fresh herbs. It really make all the difference in the world.
Now, wonton skins, these only take a few seconds to cook because they’re such a thin noodle. Another thing you can do with the wonton skins if you like to make fresh raviolles. All the time, grandmothers used wonton skins. And we’ll throw our shrimp in there and I’m shrimp, a lot of people overcook shrimp. They really only need a few minutes and I could turn off this pot I walk away from it, in three minutes they’re going to be absolutely perfect.
Really, these are major flavors, try it without hopefully choking on—everybody else that we choke into. I will add soy sauce and put just a little bit more salt. This actually has a pretty good bite to it. And the shrimp look one of these guys, they’re done. We always try to-- when we’re dishing up, you know, get a good selection of everything and aim for the center of the bowl. In that way, you won’t have as much to clean up afterwards. I’ll try to get some noodles in there. They tend to congregate near the bottom. And there we go. We don’t need to do too much more. I mean lots of good colors in there and we have our Asian wonton soup.