Not to be confused with the mid-sized car from the Ford Motor Company, Fusion in the food world generally refers to the mixing of culinary traditions, whether ingredients or techniques, that are unique to specific cultures. It sounds fancy, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, one of the most notable examples of fusion cooking is Tex-Mex…and most everyone’s heard of that. It combines elements of both Texas style cooking with that of Mexico.
When I was creating Bacon Blistered Shrimp and Green Beans, I wanted to combine elements of some of my favorite styles of cooking. I definitely wanted an Asian flare as it is tops in my book….so is New Orleans and Southern US cuisine. And that is exactly what this recipe is: a fusion of Asian and Southern flavors, with the kick of spice from New Orleans. Also, you’ll notice in the YouTube video that we push the bacon, shallot and garlic mixture to the side of the pan when we’re cooking the shrimp. This is a very common technique that you’ll see in Asian cooking, where many of the ingredients are often pushed out from the center of the wok in order to control the heat and focus on cooking different elements of the dish.
All that rigmarole aside, the combination of flavors in this dish is darn good! (And yes, I did just use the word rigmarole…first time for that! In doing so, I have learned that, evidently, rigmarole does not have an “a” between the “g” and the “m.” Who knew!?! Not sure why I pronounce it “rigamarole” then. Is it just me?)
I think my favorite part of this dish is that it is very hard to put my finger on what I like most. It’s got so many different levels of flavor, from the bacon, shallot and garlic combination to the sweet and salty highlights of the soy sauce. And who doesn’t like blistered green beans?
As you know, I am not a huge green bean fan…but I am coming around to really liking the vegetable. It is my sister’s favorite and I am starting to see why. I think I always equated it with bland and boring…and maybe that’s because that’s how I always had it. And don’t even get me started on those limp, tasteless, muted green things from the can. But this dish is totally different. By blistering and charring the outside of the green bean (which means cooking at a higher heat like you do in Asian cooking), it brings out a unique flavor that is just so satisfyingly good! Combined that with the comfort feel of well-cooked and well-seasoned large shrimp (you have to use large shrimp for full satisfaction) and we’ve got a winning dish on our hands. Add some spice and I think I might have to ask for seconds…or thirds.
I really hope you enjoy Bacon Blistered Shrimp and Green Beans as much as I did creating it! And be sure to pass along comments on some of your favorite fusion dishes or ideas for other fusion dishes you might like to see on the show.
Until next week!
Bacon Blistered Shrimp and Green Beans
SO WHAT YOU'RE GONNA NEED IS:
- Prepare Green Beans by cutting off both tips.
- Mince Shallot.
- Cut Garlic Clove in half.
- Roughly chop Bacon.
- Wash and Dry Shrimp. Season with Salt and Pepper on both sides.
- In small bowl, combine Soy Sauce and Sugar. Give it a mix.
Take it to the Stove:
- In frying pan over Medium heat, add bacon. Render the bacon (let the fat start to melt away from the meat of the bacon).
- Add Shallots and Garlic. Cook until the Shallots and Garlic start to soften. Put everything to the side of the pan
- Add the Shrimp and cook for about 45 seconds to a minute on each side.
- Mix everything in the pan together and let cook for about 30 seconds more.
- Remove Shrimp and Bacon mixture from the pan.
- Turn up heat to medium-high.
- Add Avocado Oil.
- Add Green Beans and cook until they blister and char.
- Turn off the heat. Let cool for about a minute. Add the Soy Sauce and Sugar. Mix.
- 10. Add back the Shrimp and Bacon mixture, mix and serve!