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Like White on Rice: June Kulinarya Cooking Club challenge

I’m back! After a crazy month and a half (school ending, fellowship writing, ankle cast on and off, and Lasik!), I’ve finally had the chance to begin enjoying my summer and cooking up a storm! Lately, it’s been a mostly liquid diet; after the mister and I came back from a fantastic May trip to New Orleans, where we sampled many amazing cocktails, we’ve been on a bit of a tear trying out new cocktail recipes at home. Still, one can’t be boozed up all the time (right?!), and I’ve been playing around with recipes, figuring out ways to make them healthier, with more organic and sustainable ingredients and so on.

This dish I just made today, however, isn’t any of those things. It’s rich, wasn’t sustainably sourced (remember what I said before, about ethnic groceries and organic food?), but damn if it wasn’t incredibly delicious:

I made this dish for this month’s Kulinarya Cooking Club challenge, which called for “white food.” There are few things I love more than fresh Jasmine rice and coconuts, and so this dish was perfect for it. Borrowing liberally from a recipe I saw a long time ago in The Adobo Book, here was my take on shrimp with sawsawang adobong gata (coconut adobo sauce).

The shrimp itself is super easy to prepare. While the recipe called for charcoal-grilled pandan-wrapped shrimp, necessity and time restrictions led me to simply pan-grilling the shrimp with liberal squirts of lemon (no calamansi either, natch).

For the adobo sauce, I basically got these ingredients

and cooked them all up together. First sauteeing the 5 cloves chopped garlic, small piece crushed luyang dilaw (turmeric), and 1 chopped red onion until translucent; then adding 2 chopped sili labuyo, 1/2 tsp bagoong alamang, 1 tbsp turbinado sugar, and a can of coconut cream (the fatty stuff!) and simmering until thick.

I bought about 1 1/2 lbs of prawns and had enough for two generous servings plus leftovers, so this recipe could serve four for a main entree if you added more side dishes. My tummy’s still full from this lunch, and next time I’m in the mood to bust my diet, this dish will definitely be high on the list!



(For more “white challenge” recipes from Kulinarya members, visit their websites linked here!)


Seafood in the Desert


There are just some things you’re not supposed to do. For me, the thought of eating seafood when located more than 2 hours away from the nearest body of water is a no-no. My people are from islands, what can I say?

But the Mister and I made an exception last month, when we were in Palm Springs the night before going to Coachella. Did you think I’d go camping? Ha! We enjoyed ourselves the night before our all-day scorch fest, er, music festival experience with some cold beers, good food, and sleep in a comfortable air-conditioned hotel room.

After a disappointing first foray into the Palm Springs food scene last December (nothing good came out of that trip, at least not for my taste buds), I was praying we’d find a winner in Shanghai Red’s Oyster Bar, the back bar to the popular Fisherman’s Market and Grill complex in downtown Palm Springs. And complex it is– you have to wind your way past the hostess stand, through the courtyards of the two main restaurants, to a back entrance, where you’ll find the narrow bar of Shanghai Red’s. It’s a bit of a hustle, but if you’re lucky (like we were), you’ll get a hi-boy table for two and proceed to get your grub on.

Don’t get it twisted– this is an oyster bar, straight up. No fancy table cloths (hardly any tables), cheap beers ($2 Singhas!), late-night appetizer specials, and fast service. The Mister and I kept it simple: a shared order of the sampler platter (pictured above) with raw oysters, crab legs, mussels, shrimp, and clams; two bowls of clam chowder; and multiple orders of shrimp and grilled fish tacos.

The clam chowder was solid, and was thoroughly enjoyed, along with the raw platter:


But I wish we hadn’t ordered it, because I was nearly stuffed by the time the fish tacos arrived. I’d heard about Shanghai Red’s fish tacos before, and all the hype is true. Definitely in the top 3 for fish tacos I’ve had in my life. So lightly battered, very fresh white fish– the consistency and thickness was actually close to a very well done order of fish-n-chips. It was a damn shame we had to leave some tacos behind. Damn shame.

This place is pretty no-nonsense, and I like it that way. A far improvement over the overwrought establishments littering downtown Palm Springs, and you can definitely make a night of it here– on weekends, a band plays in the courtyard and the place gets packed. Good times.

Oh, and here’s a gratuitous Coachella picture, just to prove that we were there:

the Yeah Yeah Yeahs

the Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Shanghai Red’s Oyster Bar
235 S. Indian Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92262

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