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Lemongrass Shrimp adds zest

Jun. 27, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

I moved away to Nashville in 1993 and lived there until 2001. Those were some tough years, but a very enlightening time in my life.

I didn't know anyone there. I missed my family and despite getting involved in a church to meet new friends and close in the walls that held too many faceless people, I could not get used to what seemed like a big city. Ever learning ways to fight the sting of loneliness, cooking is where I landed and it gave me a sense of accomplishment to not only feed my family but oh, did it provide a plethora of skills I could not reach the end of mastering.

Unfortunately, there was a downside. I kept the supermarkets in business. Each time I went out into that strange city with my kids in tote, I was reminded that the girl exchanged that nice home-town feel of walking down the aisles and running into someone I knew from way back when for progress and opportunity that the big city provided. You can't imagine how it bothered me to know I knew no one. I found myself walking in, doing my shopping and glancing at no one because I knew blank faces, not even a raised eyebrow of maybe we've met before, would stare back at me.

I don't think it really hit me -- the impact of living away from home -- until I moved back, settled in my new place and visited my local food establishment. I rounded the corner with my buggy half full when there stood my mom. Our eyes met, and the emotions erupted. I ran to her and hugged her, which was silly because I'm sure I was at her house two days before. I let her know just seeing someone I knew while pilfering through the canned goods on aisle seven was a welcomed moment I hadn't experienced in years.

Before the hugs stopped I looked at Mommy, and she, too, was crying. She then said she remembered a time when she thought she heard my son's laughter among a group of day care kids, and it sent her away in tears feeling the realization that I was gone. Things are different now. I'm happy to report I can't go anywhere without running into someone I know from either my cafe, this column or my church I attend, and I wouldn't have it any other way.


1 lb. shrimp (shelled and cleaned)

4 T. safflower oil

1 tsp. tumeric powder

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 T. lemon grass

2 T. fish sauce

1 T. soy sauce

1 lemon (juiced)

1/4 cup chicken stock

1 tsp. honey

salt and pepper to taste

1 lemon (juiced)

1/2 lb. egg noodles

2 serano chilis, chopped

1/2 cup scallions, chopped

Cook noodles according to the package. While the water is boiling, in a medium bowl combine the shrimp, 3 T. oil, tumeric powder, garlic, peppers, lemon grass, fish sauce, soy sauce, chicken stock, and honey. Mix well. Add the pasta to the boiling water.

In a large wok or skillet, add 1 T. oil and sauté the contents of the bowl for 3 minutes then cover to finish for one minute. Squeeze lemon juice over it all and serve over pasta.

Janet McCormick is the author of "10-Minute Meals" and owner of Let's Eat in Huntington. She lives in Lawrence County, Ohio. She can be reached at 304-654-2003 or www.10-minutemeals.com.