sulfite-free shrimp and rice with avocado, zucchini basil sauce

Hi ! You have just read « shrimp » in the title and thought to yourself that this ingredient is incompatible with sulfite-free cooking. Why should it be ? After all, freshly caught shrimp does not naturally contain sulfites. So, does this mean you have to 1) book the next flight to the nearest seaside resort and 2) put on some high rubber boots and waddle, net in hand, to your fishing grounds ? Nay, there is an easier solution. All shrimp is not systematically sprayed with sulfites. Usually, if the head is removed and the shrimp is immediately frozen, there is no need for any chemical treatment. While in New England last September, I found a brand (Stop and Shop’s Nature’s Promise) that sold frozen raw shrimp which, according to the package, had not been treated. It was confirmed by my husband’s lack of reaction after he ate them. Since then, I have contacted Stop and Shop and received this answer, which I am pleased to publish here:

Ref # 1590831 – Reply from Stop & Shop Consumer Affairs

Stop & Shop Consumer Affairs <AUSA_ConsumerAffairs@epowercenterdirect.com>

Yesterday, 8:04 PMYou

 Dear Ms. R,

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

I understand you are concerned with sulphites being in the facility that manufactures the Nature’s Promise frozen shrimps. I am pleased to inform you that the shrimps are processed in a facility free of sulphites. Therefore, it is safe for you to eat the Nature’s Promise frozen shrimp.

Thanks, again, for contacting us. We appreciate hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Tiara S.
Customer Care Representative

I feel pretty safe saying that no brand would make such claims unless they were true. Their reputation is at stake and possible lawsuits are not in their interest ! For instance, I also got in touch with the brand « Pescanova » and got an honest answer: they use sulfites to treat their shrimp. When in doubt, it’s best to contact the manufacturer. This is what I usually write :

Hello,

I need to know if your frozen raw shrimp can be safely eaten by someone who is allergic to sulfites.  Are sulfites used at all in your processing facilities?

I thank you in advance for your reply.

Joëlle R

Anyway, here is the recipe. I served it as an entree for my guests on Christmas day ; the scallop is optional, again, only if you feel safe about eating it.

Ingredients (for 2 people)

img_3296

60 g / 21.5 oz sushi rice

– 1 good size avocado, over 200g, yields 130 g without the pit or peel. The reason I am specific here is that I have seen small avocados sold in stores, and you need the right amount to make your sauce creamy..

– 1 zucchini, around 175g / 6 oz. Basically, you need a little more zucchini than avocado meat.

– 1 tsp basil leaves, fresh or frozen, not dry

– 14 raw shrimp, frozen or fresh (So, how was that fishing trip?)

– 2 sea scallops OR 2 more shrimp

natural sea salt, unrefined, untreated, and white freshly ground pepper (optional)

– 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice

– a little non hydrogenated margarine (or butter for the lucky ones who can have it)

You will also need a steamer for the rice and zucchini

How to: (rice soaking needs to be done ahead)

1. The day before: wash and rince the rice very thoroughly, then add 80 ml water and let soak overnight in the steamer’s rice tray.

2. A couple of hours before cooking : defrost seafood.

3. Wash zucchini, peel if desired (some people might find it slightly bitter), dice roughly and steam jointly with the rice, zucchini in lower bowl and rice on next level. Cooking time : 30 minutes. The rice will be sticky and easy to mold.

4. Meanwhile, cook the shrimp in margarine / butter and reserve, covered, in warm place. Remove the shrimp before cooking the scallops.

5. At serving time, mix cooked zucchini, avocado meat and basil using an immersion blender. Add salt and pepper to taste (about 1/4 tsp salt) and lime juice. Transfer to saucepan and warm up.

6. For Christmas, I decided to pour some of this warm sauce on each plate, then place a molded heap of rice in the middle and arrange the shrimp and scallop around it.

 

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