It’s a Small World After All

June 18, 2017

Pan-Asian Pasta

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, stepdads, adoptive dads, and fur dads, and happy Sunday to everyone else! Today’s post is about taking a different look at global comfort food – specifically, comfort food with an international flair and an Orlando zip code.

The summer after I graduated from high school, my family and I took a trip to Disneyworld and stayed in a place called the Polynesian Village Resort. For someone whose list of passport stamps begins and ends with a trip across the border into Canada, the efforts at authenticity created by Disney in their Polynesian Village and World Showcase at Epcot went a long way in making the park the Happiest Place on Earth for someone fascinated with other cultures like me. For my family, the resort’s signature dish, the Pan-Asian Pasta, provided a special treat each night; light, healthy, and full of vibrant colours, the meal had all the flavour of a trip to the South Pacific, with none of the challenges of booking a flight there.

As it turns out, the same year my family and I went to Disneyworld, the animated film, “Lilo and Stitch,” came out. If you know my dad, you know that he is a massive fan of Disney’s mischevious, blue creation (who, to this day, reminds him of the dog we had at the time) and the movie’s throwback soundtrack, featuring classics sung by Elvis Presley and re-imagined by Wynonna Judd. Which made Pan-Asian Pasta the perfect choice for this week’s comfort food.

Obviously, the recipe for the dish is not my own; I adapted a recipe from the Tikiman Pages blog, but if you put on a little “Burning Love” while you’re cooking, it feels just like you’re at Disneyworld. Despite having a three-part process to making the recipe, this dish is quick, easy, and pretty inexpensive to make (I recommend getting your ingredients at your local Trader Joe’s or Asian goods store):

Serves 4

Shrimp Marinade

  • 2 lbs. small/medium-sized shrimp, pre-cooked and de-veined (look for bags of 100-150-sized shrimp)
  • 2 tbsp. Chinese rice wine
  • 2 tsp. Lawry’s seasoned salt
    •  To create your own version of Lawry’s seasoning, simply combine the following in a dry, airtight container (credit: This Old Gal):
      • 2 tbsp. salt
      • 3 tbsp. celery salt
      • 4 tbsp. sugar
      • 1 tsp. paprika
      • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
      • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
      • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
      • 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 3 tsp. cornstarch
  1. If shrimp are frozen, let thaw to room temperature.
  2. Combine rice wine, seasoned salt, and cornstarch together in a medium-large bowl.
  3. Cover shrimp with mixture and toss until completely covered.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight, if desired.

DSC_1076.1

Sauce

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice wine
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. chives, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. lemongrass, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium-large pan.
  2. Heat on medium-low heat and let boil, stirring intermittently to ensure that ingredients are mixed well and have not become burnt to the bottom of the pan.
  3. When mixture begins to boil, lower heat to low and let simmer for 1-2 more minutes.
  4. Turn off heat and set sauce aside.

Pan-Asian Pasta Sauce (Before)Pan-Asian Pasta Sauce (After)

Pasta

  • 1 medium onion, julienned
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, julienned
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, de-seeded and julienned
  • 1 lb. snow peas, room temperature
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into bite-sized pieces on the bias
  • 1 (14 oz.) package Chinese egg noodles
  1. Coat the bottom of a wok or large pan with approximately 2 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil.
  2. Combine onion, carrot, mushrooms, pepper, snow peas, and celery in wok and cook on medium-high heat, tossing intermittently.
  3. When onions are just turning translucent, lower heat to medium-low and continue cooking vegetables.Stir Fry
  4. Heat 8 quart or medium/large-sized pot full of water until boiling while vegetables cook.
  5. When water has begun to boil, add egg noodles to water and let cook. The noodles will cook quickly (about 5 minutes), so work quickly!
  6. After adding the egg noodles to the boiling water, add shrimp mixture to vegetables and cook, on medium-high heat, stirring intermittently to ensure even cooking.
  7. When noodles are done (noodles should be the same consistency as a pasta noodle), drain water from pot and set aside.
  8. Let shrimp and vegetable mixture heat for 2-3 more minutes.
  9. Remove from heat.
  10. Place noodles in large bowl or serving tray. Add vegetable and shrimp mixture and sauce to noodles and mix well, until all ingredients are combined.Pan-Asian Pasta
  11. Serve and enjoy!

Fun fact: The word Hawai’i comes from the proto-Polynesian word, hawaiki, meaning “homeland.” It is considered rude to refuse a lei if it is offered to you on the island of Hawaii.

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3 thoughts on “

  1. anna.kat.napier says:

    This looks delicious! I love that you created this based on the Disney experience. It is seriously my favorite place. As you mentioned, the authenticity and attention to detail will make you feel like you are really traveling the world. The Polynesian is gorgeous and I’m so happy you got to experience that!

    Liked by 1 person

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