by Holladay Allen
Native Foods Cafe
Another National Food Day! Today is officially Shrimp Scampi Day. Now it seems that “Scampi” has become known almost exclusively as a dish, or method of preparation, where shrimp is sautéed in garlic butter, white wine and a little bit of parsley. But in actuality, “scampi is a culinary name for a kind of small lobster known as Nephrops norvegicus, Norway lobster, Dublin Bay prawn, langoustine or "true scampi".” (Wikipedia).
Native Foods Cafe vegan restaurant uses this photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
So scampi has nothing to do with garlic, or butter, or wine…. or even shrimp? Sorry Nephrops & co, as the shrimp have stolen your scene, and your namesake… but at least a lot of you will be spared your lives, as culinary huntsman mercilessly execute shrimp to complete their scampi masterpieces. So anyway… shrimp scampi can be done vegan… so let’s leave the Nephrops and the Shrimps alone, and get our konjac on! I know, you guys are like, what is she even talking about anymore? Konjac root, or devils’s tongue, is similar to a yam and is used to make vegan seafood substitutes. I know it is weird, but it is a nice alternative for those on a plant-based diet.
Native Foods Cafe vegan restaurant uses this photo courtesy of Riceplex.
One of the easier to find brands is Sophie’s Kitchen.
And the nice thing about konjac is it is fat free and very low in calories.
And it looks A LOT like shrimp….
So let’s give this “scampi” dish a whirl. I opted for a lower fat version, with minimal oil (usually it is alot of butter)… and it came out delicious. If you are weary of the vegan shrimp… try using oyster mushrooms instead.
Vegan Shrimp Scampi
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pk Sophie’s Kitchen Vegan Prawns, or 1 lb oyster mushrooms with stems trimmed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup dry white wine
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP capers, optional
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add shrimp, saute 5 minute, until lightly golden
Add garlic, saute 2 minute.
Stir in wine, salt, and pepper, bring mixture to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium, cook 30 seconds.
Add parsley and lemon juice, toss well to coat.
Cook a couple more minutes to let flavors absorb, and a bit of the liquid cook off.
Toss with pasta, serve over rice or with a warm baguette.
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