Precariously balancing an overly full tray of pineapple shrimp fried rice I got off the elevator and entered a high ceiling open space loft in the Soho district of New York City. Workstations with flickering screens were everywhere, and a meeting room hides behind walls rising half way up to the ceiling. In another open space I saw the original painting of Barry the berry on a horse back looking out onto a valley, which is the same picture attached to the about page of gojee.com. Although I have no idea what is the significance of this picture I knew this had to be the right place. I was in one of the communal office spaces of the New York City’s many technology startups. It was the home of the team behind gojee.com, a recipe search site with thousands of recipe listings from the best food bloggers.
It was there that I went for a potluck dinner two weeks ago for local food bloggers. A food blogger’s existence can be a rather solitary one, so visiting other bloggers face to face was a rare pleasure. On the evening of January 12th I enjoyed the company of many prominent bloggers including Diana Kuan of Appetite for China, Chitra Agrawal of The ABCD’s of Cooking, and Barbie of Wishful Chef.
Meeting these people made me realize how lucky I am that my passion has become my vocation. It was half way through the party as I was being given a tour through the software engineers work area that a pang of nostalgia came over me. I remembered my days as a software engineer struggling with a team not unlike the one at gojee, trying to complete the computer system of a food-related technology company in short order.
Much of the efforts by the gojee team have paid off and they have successfully established themselves as a popular destination for readers looking for quality recipes. If I’ve piqued your interest on what we shared at the potluck dinner, starting on Thursday, January 26, check out other potluck dishes fellow gojee contributors shared. Go to gojee.com and enter “gojeepotluck” into I Crave. You can also follow #gojeepotluck on Twitter.
I do treasure my years working in the technology field, but by the end of the evening I recognized that I truly enjoy what I’m doing and am much happier with my choice to enter the culinary field.
Pineapple Shrimp Fried Rice (菠蘿蝦球炒飯)
- 8 ounces shrimp (medium)
- 3 cups rice (leftover)
- 12 ounces fresh pineapple
- 1 onion
- 1 red pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/4 cup scallions chopped
- 1/4 cup garlic chives chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro sprigs
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup purple basil
- Shell and devein the shrimp and set aside. Cut the pineapple into thin wedges about 1/8 inch thick and about 1/2 inch long and set aside. Dice the onion and red pepper into about 1/4 inch squares and set aside.
- Heat a wok until a drop of water evaporates immediately when flicked. Swirl the vegetable oil half way around the rim of the wok. Add the shrimp and stir-fry until they are about three quarters done or about two minutes. Remove the shrimp from the wok and set aside. Retain about two tablespoons of oil in the wok.
- Add the garlic to the wok and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Add the diced onion and red pepper to the wok and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Add the rice to the wok and continue to stir-fry for another one minute. Return the shrimp to the rice mixture and stir-fry for another minute. Push the rice to one side of the wok and add the egg to the exposed part of the wok. Scramble the egg until it is just custardy then fold the rice over the egg and combine well. Season the rice with salt and ground white pepper then add the pineapple, scallion and garlic chives and mix evenly. Turn the heat off immediately after adding the scallion and garlic chives. Plate and garnish the rice with cilantro, mint and purple basil before serving.