Rush Hour

After the New Year, many people resolve to eat healthier meals or be more adventurous with their cuisine. Asian food is a great way to pursue both of those goals. Packed with lots of healthy vegetables and lean sources of protein, many Asian recipes are also home to complex flavors and textures. What's more, they are often quick meals to put together that require little in the way of equipment for preparation.

January is an excellent time to get more familiar with Asian cuisine for another reason. Next month, brings us the Chinese New Year. How wonderful to get a chance to experiment a bit with the basics and be ready to make an Asian feast next month for family and friends.

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Shrimp & Vegetable Lo Mein

  • 1 lb. shrimp -- tails removed
  • 1 tsp. ginger oil
  • 1 tsp. chive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. powdered garlic
  • 2 T. peanut oil
  • 12 oz. rice stick noodles
  • 1 c. sugar snap peas -- trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 large red pepper -- cored and sliced into thin strips
  • 12 asparagus spears -- trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 8 oz. mushrooms -- sliced
  • 1/2 c. sliced green onions
  • 1/2 c. hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 c. Thai chili-garlic sauce -- use less if you aren't a fan of spicy food
  • 1/2 c. chopped nuts -- optional

Place the shrimp in a large, resealable bag and add the flavored oils and powdered garlic. Seal the bag and turn several times until the shrimp are evenly coated. Set aside.

Heat a large stockpot of salted water over high heat until boiling. Add the rice stick noodles to the pot and stir gently to separate them. Boil gently for 10 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large wok or non-stick skillet over high heat. When it's evenly heated, reduce the heat to medium-high and add the prepared vegetables to the pan. Stir-fry for 7 minutes, stirring constantly, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender.

Add the shrimp to the pan and mix constantly until they are pink and firm, about 3 minutes. Add the hoisin and Thai chili-garlic sauce to the pan and stir to evenly coat. Drain the noodles and add to the pan and toss with the shrimp, vegetables and sauce. Serve immediately sprinkled with chopped nuts, if desired.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes