My wife asked me tonight as she sat down in front of her bowl of Vietnamese shrimp and asparagus, “What was it about this recipe that captured your interest?“. It always amuses me to a degree or another that there is, at the forefront of some people’s thinking and appreciation of another’s…shall we say…creative outlets that there must have been some assiduous thought, rumination and philosophizing over what to put on the dinner table that night. Perhaps some mystery of life could be revealed!

We had asparagus and we had leftover shrimp from yesterday,” I responded with the absolute dryness of a prospector’s tongue in Death Valley.

I try to picture people querying Leonardo da Vinci why he chose the woman who posed for the Mona Lisa. I’m sure his answer was something like, “Don’t you think she is cool-looking?” Now, I’m not suggesting we’re on the same par…though I guess I might be a better cook than a genius in general, but practicality is often the mother of…what ends up on the table.

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This dish, at least, was well-cooked; crisp asparagus, softly cooked shrimp, slightly crisped shallots, and…kinda pretty looking.

Problems? With soy sauce, fish sauce, and oyster sauce, the salt content was waay too much and the flavors, overall as a result, were a bit single note-ish. If I were a bit more up on Vietnamese cuisine, I might have had some solutions. Only notion that immediately came to mind would have been a complementary dish that would have balanced the saltiness. Maybe a simple Viet-salad might have worked. I also suspect that the shrimp I bought wasn’t the best quality.

We may never know…

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