I’ve been on vacation for the last two weeks, and away for most of it.  Part of the time away had us camping.  Camping means cooking over an open fire – no ands, ifs or buts about it!  Before we left, I went through garden and harvested some wonderful young, fresh vegetables: chives, beets, and their greens, radishes, peas, baby bok choy, Swiss chard, spinach, an assortment of lettuces and some itsey bitsy baby carrots.  Coupled with some amazing mains: grilled salmon, steaks, risotto and bbq’d chicken, it was a decadently tasty and yet somewhat healthy food adventure.

However, once I got home all I wanted was to stay out of the kitchen.  I think cooking outside on the open grill felt so relaxing, peaceful…crammed in the world’s smallest kitchen was a little depressing for a few days – I know, whine whine whine…tonight I finally ventured back in.  Looking for inspiration, I took a walk to the garden after work tonight and looked for what I could pick for dinner.  The peas are in full harvest, they are that perfect crisp and sweetness.

I decided to pair the peas with sweet shrimp (with black sesame seeds to add the “spotted element”) and tender baby mushrooms.  Served over wild and brown rice, a nice sweet and savoury summer meal.  In no time flat!

spotted shrimp saute 2


1 lb peeled, deveined raw shrimp
1 egg
1/8 cup cornstarch
1/8 cup corn flour
1/2 tsp salt
pinch red pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic powder

2 Tbsp veg oil
1 tsp sesame oil
4 cloves minced garlic
5 slices ginger
2 cups tipped sugar peas
1 cup baby mushrooms, halved
1 Tbsp Chinese cooking wine
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp black bean sauce
1 Tbsp Oyster sauce
1 Tbsp honey

1 cup rice
2 cups water


  1. Cook rice according to directions for your preferred methods.
  2. Combine flour, salt, pepper flakes, garlic powder and black sesame seeds.
  3. Heat vegetable and sesame oil in skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Meanwhile, pat shrimp dry. dip shrimp in cornstarch, then into whisked egg and finally into flour mixture.
  5. Once oil is hot. not yet spitting, add ginger, stir in garlic let saute for a minute, as usual careful not to burn the garlic.
  6. Once starting to turn a nice light golden, colour, both the ginger and garlic, add coated shrimp, let cook for a minute, toss and then add in peas and mushrooms.  Allow everything to come together and saute.
  7. After shrimp has turned golden and opaque add cooking wine, wait about 30 seconds to burn off the alcohol.  Stir in remaining sauces: soy, bean, oyster and honey.  Thicken for a minute or so.
  8. Serve over rice.

Serves 3-4