The versatility of shrimp is endless. It takes well to assertive flavors, such as curries, but is equally happy bathed simply in its own juices, along with a splash of white wine. It is also a quick and convenient way to get a tasty dinner on the table. No wonder it is such a popular seafood choice.
A small 4-ounce serving of shrimp provides us with almost 50 percent of our daily recommended protein intake, along with, surprisingly, over 100 percent of our recommended dose of tryptophan—the sleep-inducing amino acid most commonly associated with turkey. Shrimp is also a rich source of both selenium and iodine, two critical micronutrients essential for proper thyroid function and glandular health. In addition, these minerals exhibit super-hero stances against cancer-causing radiation, something we should all be taking very seriously these days. For more on the necessity of iodine, click here.
But wait! Not all shrimp are created equal. Those plump pink morsels at the all-you-can-eat shrimp-fest? Probably not such a great idea. These cheap, mass-produced little critters are most likely raised in deplorable conditions, in countries with lax or no regulation, fed an exorbitant amount of antibiotics, and additionally treated with chemical preservatives for storage. Even if their diets are supplemented with iodine-rich feed, seems all this nasty stuff negates any positive impact, right? I wouldn’t suggest making a habit of it. So, get to know your fish monger. Ask questions about the origins of your shrimp. Where and how was it raised? What did it eat? There are sustainable and nutritious options out there; you just might have to pay a little more.
Use sustainable shrimp for this sumptuous stir-fry. The recipe combines the fresh flavors of Thai basil and mint, which complement the crisp cabbage and juicy tomatoes and bring out the shrimp’s natural sweetness.
1/4 cup tamari
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon honey or coconut sugar, optional
1 1/2 pounds peeled, deveined shrimp, tail removed if desired
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed chile flakes (optional)
4 tablespoons raw sesame or coconut oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons grated ginger
1 onion, cut in 6–8 wedges
1 bell pepper (any color), cut in large dice
4 cups roughly chopped cabbage
4–6 Roma tomatoes, cut in wedges (or use about 3 cups halved cherry tomatoes)
3/4 cup Thai basil, roughly chopped or torn (or regular Italian basil is fine)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped or torn
Fresh lime wedges, for garnish
1. Combine sauce ingredients and set aside.
2. Toss the shrimp with salt and pepper and optional chile flakes, if using. Heat half the oil in a large wok or shallow pan until very hot. Add shrimp in a single layer, and sear until golden brown on one side. Stir and briefly continue cooking, until about 3/4 of the way done. Pour into a bowl, and set aside.
3. Wipe pan clean with a paper towel, and heat remaining oil. Add garlic and ginger, and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onions and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes. Add cabbage and peppers, and cook for 2–3 minutes, until crisp-tender. Return shrimp to pan, along with sauce, and stir-fry until everything is glazed with sauce. Add tomatoes and herbs, and cook just until warmed through and shrimp are cooked, 1 minute or so.
4. Serve as is or over brown rice or Asian rice noodles, with lime wedges on the side.
To choose your organically grown and fresh ingredients wisely, use the following criteria:
·chemical- and hormone-free meat
·pastured-raised, organic eggs
·whole, unrefined grains
·virgin, unrefined, first-press organic oils
·whole-food, unrefined sweeteners
·pure, clean, spring water
·raw and/or cultured milk and cream products