The Shrimp Incident

Back when we still lived in Colorado, we were not poor, but we were just getting started. We had just bought our first house and did not have a lot of money to waste. Laura had invited her boss Bob and his wife for dinner. It was a big deal … we seldom invited guests, let alone her boss. We wanted to make something special for him. We knew he liked Chinese food and we had just been given a large wok so we decided to make a shrimp stir-fry. We bought all the ingredients including some large and pricey shrimp. We prepared the dish but when we tasted the final result it was incredibly salty. Somewhere along the way we must have added way too much soy sauce.

Now what were we going to do? Bob and wife were going to show up soon. We did not have time to go to the store and get more shrimp, nor did we want to spend the money to do so even if we had the time. What we did was pick out the shrimp and remade the whole dish minus the soy sauce. (We had luckily bought enough of the vegetables to make two complete meals.) We added the shrimp back in right at the end. Tossed everything together and it tasted perfect. The shrimp added just the right amount of salt to the dish.

Bob and his wife arrived and loved the dish. We never told him about our mistake, but that is how you learn.

I will not give you a recipe for stir-fried shrimp because there are just too many ways to make it. We make it different every time depending on what we have in the fridge. However, I want to share the way we make white rice, which is fool-proof and works every time.


Basic no-fail white rice

Serves: 4

White Rice


2 cups, white rice
3 cups, water
1 level tablespoon, kosher salt (less if using table salt)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium oven-proof pot, add rice, water and salt.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Boil until “fish-eyes” form and most of the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Remove from heat, cover with a tight-fitting lid and place in oven.
  6. Bake for exactly 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven. Let stand covered a few minutes. (The longer it stands the more it will loosen from the sides and bottom of the pot and the easier it will be to clean.)
  8. Before serving, fluff with a fork.

Vegetable broth may be substituted for water.


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