Stuffed peppers get a new Asian twist

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This Asian-inspired appetizer is a great mix of textures and flavors.

Shiitake mushrooms add a big, earthy punch. Jicama provides crunch. The shrimp is sweet.

The mixture is used to fill bell pepper "planks" that have been lightly roasted.

Bell peppers of any color will work; choose according to your taste. Multiple colors make a nice presentation.

Pepper Planks Stuffed with Shrimp, Jicama and Shiitakes

6 servings

2 large bell peppers (any color)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 or 5 scallions, white and light-green parts, finely chopped

4 ounces shiitake mushrooms (stemmed), cut into ¼-inch dice

2½ ounces peeled jicama, cut into ¼-inch cubes

6 ounces peeled and deveined raw shrimp, coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a small rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Place one of the peppers on a cutting board, stem side down. Cut off the sides of the pepper in three pieces, like cheeks, slicing vertically and away from the center stem and seeds. Cut away any white membrane from the pepper pieces. Repeat with the remaining pepper, to create a total of 6 pepper planks suitable for filling.

On the board or in a shallow dish, toss the planks with one tablespoon of the vegetable oil and a light sprinkling of salt and pepper. Arrange skin side down on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil in a medium nonstick sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallions; cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the diced mushrooms and season with salt to taste. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes, stirring, until the mushrooms are cooked through. Transfer the mixture to a plate to cool for 15 minutes.

When the peppers are done, flip them over to drain, then invert so the skin side is facing down. Keep the oven at 350 F.

Combine the cooled scallion-mushroom mixture with the jicama and chopped shrimp in a medium bowl until evenly incorporated. Divide among the pepper planks, filling each one. Brush the toasted sesame oil lightly over the shrimp mixture in each piece. Bake for about 15 minutes until the shrimp mixture is cooked through.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Per serving: 110 calories, 7 g protein, 6 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 95 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar