Audrey left today for a debate conference and I really miss her, especially at dinner time. She is representing China in the negotiation of the South China Sea dispute. I was reading up with her on the history of the region and the involved countries. It is amazing how biased most of the Western publication is against China. So much of the original Chinese history and geography books and the maps that prove China’s sovereignty rights in the area have been completely ignored by the Western media, which is only interested in portraying China as an aggressor.
Audrey spent almost her entire spring break doing research on the topic. As she read more and more about the issues, she began to worry, “Philippines and Vietnam are going to gang up on me, mommy. And Malaysia is not exactly on my side either.” Then she found out about the Gulf of Tonkin Agreement between China and Vietnam and got really excited. She said, “We have both been benefitting a great deal from this bilateral collaboration. We can do it again!” (Lately I have often been surprised by her casually uttering terms such as “bilateral collaboration.” I guess the debate lessons are paying off.) Audrey quickly dashed an email to Vietnam, expressing her wish to repeat the same success. As she found out more about the interdependence of the the nations involved, she wrote a few more emails to Malaysia and to South Korea.
The first text I received from her after she landed in her seaside destination was: “Landed safely. Lobbying went well on the flight.” I had to laugh. The Chinese diplomats should be envious of my 13-year-old girl, who seems to possess a natural sense of fairness and talent for negotiation and peacemaking.
Audrey doing research with the help of a little home-made ice cream
Angela is working tonight at the take-out restaurant and will not have dinner at home. I made this absolutely delicious prawn dish for the empty nesters.
Ketchup Sriracha Prawns with Garlic Broccolini
1.4 pound large prawns, shelled and deveined
2 to 3 tablespoons cooking oil
3 tablespoon ketchup
1 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon xylitol or sugar
2 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon packed minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced or graded ginger
3 stocks green onion, chopped
1 teaspoon tapioca or corn starch
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Shao Xing cooking wine
Ingredients for Broccolini:
2 bunches broccolini
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt to taste.
Preparation for Broccolini:
Remove rough parts of broccolini.
Heat oil in a wok or pan on medium high. Add minced garlic and stir until aromatic. Add broccolini and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Add salt and stir for a few more seconds. Set aside.
Preparation for Prawns:
Peel and devein the prawns.
Add 1 teaspoon salt to the raw prawn and squeeze and stir with your hand for a minute.
Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes and rinse the prawn in cold water.
Add the Shao Xing wine and let marinate in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the Ketchup, Sriracha, soy sauce and xylitol or sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
Pat dry the prawns with paper towel and add mix with tapioca or corn starch.
Heat 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoon oil in a non-stick pan on medium high. Pan fry the prawn to about 85% done on both sides. Scoop out and set aside.
Add another 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and sauté the minced garlic, green onion and ginger until aromatic, about 30 seconds to a minute.
Add the prawns back in and pour in the Ketchup Sriracha mixture. Stir for 30 seconds to a minute and serve hot with garlic broccolini and rice.