For this month's Royal Foodie Joust at The Leftover Queen, the challenge ingredients were cilantro, seafood, and sesame. At first I didn't feel too enthusiastic about this combo and thought I might skip the August round. However, while browsing through a cookbook I borrowed from the library -- Eating Well Serves Two by Jim Romanoff -- I found an intriguing twist on a Korean soup recipe that I thought I could tweak even further for the Joust.
The recipe is for a spicy chicken soup, which is a bit of a lighter take on the traditional shredded beef Korean dish, dak yookgaejang. I thought it would be fun to try with shrimp. Unfortunately, I had a can of miniature shrimp in my cupboard that I wanted to get rid of. I think this soup would be much more satisfying with fresh or frozen shrimp. Even so, the results of this month's Joust recipe took a little getting used to. Once I did, however, I found the soup to be generally enjoyable. Plus, I got to play with my food and try something a little out of my scope and comfort zone in the kitchen. I served this with homemade bread and baked beets from the local farmer's market. Yum!
Korean-Style Spicy Shrimp Soup
4 cups water
1 can miniature shrimp, drained and rinsed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T chili powder
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 cup egg replacer (or 1 egg)
1/4 tsp sesame seeds
1 big handful of spinach, chopped
salt to taste
1 pinch of ground pepper
In a large saucepan, bring the water and shrimp to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce to low, simmering gently. Cook for about 5-8 minutes, until the shrimp is very tender. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
Combine the garlic, chili powder, soy sauce, salt, sesame seeds, and 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid in a separate bowl. Add the shrimp, leaving the rest of the water in the saucepan, and mix thoroughly. Cover and marinate for 5 minutes.
Bring the remaining cooking liquid to a boil on high heat. Add the spiced shrimp, spinach, and pepper. Return to a boil. Then drizzle the egg (whisked, if you're using a whole egg) slowly over the soup. Serve at once.