Spicy Shrimp with Udon Noodles

(Leftovers. December 2006. Photo by Robin)

Last night I embarked upon another CookingLight adventure: Spicy Shrimp with Udon Noodles. The photo above really doesn’t do it justice. I’ve notice that it’s not easy to get a good shot of food. Perhaps it’s because the smell and taste are missing from the overall picture.

Spicy Shrimp with Udon Noodles is a labor intensive dish. Peeling and deveining two pounds of raw shrimp is just the start. That’s followed by lots of slicing, dicing, chopping, boiling, and sauteeing. It was worth every moment of it.

I am glad, however, that I wasn’t serving this dish to guests. Before I tell you why, you should know that I’m a huge fan of Thai food, especially the curries, so I’m familiar with red curry paste. I’ve used it a lot. I once made red curry shrimp for the folks at work, enough for about 15-20 people, and it was spiced nicely. Not too hot, not too weak in the spice. Just right.

I think someone at CookingLight made a mistake in the Spicy Shrimp with Udon Noodles recipe. I was reading the list of ingredients and was surprised to see that the recipe (which makes 6 servings) calls for 3 tablespoons of red curry paste. 3 tablespoons. That’s a heaping helping of red curry paste!

I couldn’t do it. I reduced it to about half of that. Nonetheless, the Spicy Shrimp was outrageously spicy. Noses were running, eyes were tearing up, and the occasional cough as the heat hit the back of the throat could be heard all throughout the meal. Imagine a tableful of guests all sniffling, watering and coughing. Sounds like something out of comedy. I would guess that M and I looked like something out of comedy by the time we finished.

Still and all, we both enjoyed the dish. It was quite tasty. The good thing about red curry paste is that the heat does not overtake the flavor of the dish, no matter how hot you make it. Capsaicin, it appears, is good for pain. I was feeling none by the time we finished our meal. Even my lips were numb.

I will make this again, and I’d love to serve it to guests, but I’ll lighten up on the red curry paste as I like my guests to be comfortable, not sniffling, watering, and coughing throughout the meal.

When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste. ~Laiko Bahrs

One Comment on “Spicy Shrimp with Udon Noodles”

  1. Alto2 says:

    My kids might like this if it were midly spiced. It looks and sounds delicious.

    The trick to photographing food is lighting: lots of it and in all angles, so there are few or no shadows.

    Happy New Year to you!

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