Kilika Grilled Shrimp with Soba Noodles

Tidus in Kilika tavern“Thanks for inviting me to play with you! Stop by the tavern when you’re in Kilika, okay?”

—Kulukan, FFX

  • 1 8.8-oz. package of soba noodles
  • 3 tablespoons organic expeller-pressed canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • ¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced into rings
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Lime wedges

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook, stirring, until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.

In a bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of canola oil and 1 tablespoon of peanut oil with the tamari or soy sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar. Add the noodles and toss. Divide between 4 bowls.

In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shallots to paper towels.

Add the garlic to the skillet and cook over low heat until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer the garlic to the paper towels.

Prepare a grill for high heat. In a bowl, combine the lime zest and juice with the remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Stir in the shrimp and season with salt. Grill the shrimp in a basket, turning once, until glazed and just white throughout, about 3 minutes.

Sprinkle each bowl with green onions, cilantro, red pepper, fried shallots, and garlic. Arrange the shrimp on top and serve with lime wedges.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 488 calories, 17.3 g. fat, 1.7 g. saturated fat, 4.6 g. poly. fat, 8.1 g. mono. fat, 172.4 mg. cholesterol, 1310.1 mg. sodium, 399.9 mg. potassium, 47.6 g. carbohydrates, 2.5 g. fiber, 34.2 g. protein, vitamin A 9%, vitamin C 5%, calcium 9%, iron 35%

Junon Fish Stew

Junon“Ever since… Shinra built that city up above during the war, …ugh, ugh. There’s been no fish in the water!”

—FFVII

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion or 2 small onions, peeled and diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 3 large carrots or 6 medium carrots, scrubbed and chopped (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 cup chopped celery stalks (about 4 stalks)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 head of garlic (about 8-12 cloves), peeled and halved
  • About ½ bottle of white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc (1½ cups)
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 14-oz. cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 16 oz. skinless boneless white fish, such as cod, cut into large pieces
  • 16 oz. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 16-oz. bag of frozen mixed seafood (shrimp, scallops, and calamari rings)
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup)
  • Sourdough baguette (optional)

Remove the seafood from the freezer to thaw. Heat butter and oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 10 minutes, covered. Stir frequently and reduce heat if the onions are browning too quickly. Add carrots, celery, red pepper flakes, and garlic, and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add wine, broth, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and salt.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add fish and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered. Stir in shrimp and mixed seafood and continue simmering for an additional 5 minutes, until shrimp is opaque and fish flakes easily.

Remove from heat and stir in parsley and lemon juice. Serve with warm sourdough bread for soaking up the broth.

Makes about 9 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving: 226 calories, 6.9 g. fat, 2 g. saturated fat, 0.5 g. poly. fat, 2.8 g. mono. fat, 165.1 mg. cholesterol, 699.6 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade broth instead of storebought), 169.3 mg. potassium, 12.5 g. carbohydrates, 2.5 g. fiber, 27.1 g. protein, vitamin A 37%, vitamin C 27%, calcium 8%, iron 11%

Ultros Seafood Soup

Ultros“Delicious morsel… Let me get my bib!”

—Ultros, FFVI

  • 1 16-oz. bag of frozen mixed seafood (shrimp, scallops, and calamari rings)
  • 8 oz. dried rice stick noodles
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 head of garlic (about 8-12 cloves), peeled and halved
  • 2-4 Thai red chiles, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 14-oz. cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 14-oz. can of light coconut milk
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger (about 3 square inches)
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, halved
  • 1 cup chopped Thai basil
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 2 limes (about ¼ cup)

Remove the seafood from the freezer to thaw. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Stir in noodles and remove from heat. Let stand until noodles soften, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots, garlic, and chiles, and sauté until soft, 3 to 5 minutes, lowering heat as needed to prevent browning too quickly.

Pour in broth, tomatoes, coconut milk, vinegar, and fish sauce. Stir in ginger. Bring to a boil and drop in the stalks of lemongrass. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove lemongrass stalks. Add seafood and cook for about 5 minutes, until shrimp are pink and heated through. Stir in basil, cilantro, and lime juice. Remove from heat.

Divide the noodles into 6 bowls and top with the seafood soup.

Per serving: 286 calories, 5.3 g. fat, 0.4 g. saturated fat, 2.1 g. poly. fat, 1.9 g. mono. fat, 87.1 mg. cholesterol, 1255.7 mg. sodium, 35.8 mg. potassium, 42.8 g. carbohydrates, 1.8 g. fiber, 16.1 g. protein, vitamin A 9%, vitamin C 34%, calcium 6%, iron 10%

Kilika Green Curry Shrimp

Yuna in Kilika“Those warrior monks ate everything in sight, then returned to Bevelle. They basically just ate and ran. What do they take us for? We’ll bill the temple for all the food they took.”

—Kulukan, FFX

  • 2 cups brown jasmine rice, uncooked (about 12½ oz.)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 Asian eggplants, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 14-oz. can light coconut milk
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 lbs. peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 8 oz. frozen peas (about 2 cups), thawed
  • 1 cup chopped basil

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Stir in rice and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 35-40 minutes until water is absorbed. Remove lid and divide into 8 bowls.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and sauté, about 5 minutes.  Stir in curry paste and fish sauce and continue to cook, about 1 minute.

Pour in coconut milk and broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until pink and opaque, about 5 minutes.

Stir in peas and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Pour over rice. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 364 calories, 7.3 g. fat, 2.4 g. saturated fat, 1.5 g. poly. fat, 1 g. mono. fat, 142.8 mg. cholesterol, 1036.9 mg. sodium, 168.9 mg. potassium, 49 g. carbohydrates, 5.2 g. fiber, 25.9 g. protein, vitamin A 10%, vitamin C 22%, calcium 5%, iron 22%

Costa Del Sol Shrimp Cocktail

Cloud in Costa Del Sol“…Puff… puff… would you kindly hurry? The heat here is drying my nose.”

—Red XIII, FFVII

For a vegetarian version, substitute a 14-oz. can of white beans, drained and rinsed.

  • 1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (if grilling shrimp)
  • Worcestershire sauce and freshly-ground pepper, to taste (if grilling shrimp)
  • 1 pound Persian cucumbers, washed and diced (or 1 large common cucumber, peeled, deseeded, and diced)
  • 2 ripe avocados, peel and seed removed, diced
  • ¼ large red onion, peeled and diced (about ¼—½ cup)
  • 2—3 red tomatoes (about 12 ounces), washed and diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, washed and minced
  • 1 serrano pepper, washed and minced
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, washed and chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup)
  • 1 cup V8 juice, or tomato juice (if you have a juicer, try using Vincent’s Red Juice instead)
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (Cholula or Tapatio are recommended)
  • 1 lime, washed and quartered
  • 1 bag tortilla chips
  • Mexican beer (optional)

Toss raw shrimp with 1 tbsp. olive oil and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle with freshly-ground black pepper. Grill in a basket or on skewers over direct high heat for about 4 minutes, turning once, until the shrimp are firm to the touch and just turning opaque in the center.

Alternatively, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath. Cook raw shrimp in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes, until turning opaque. Remove and immediately immerse in ice bath. Drain well.

Combine cooked shrimp, diced vegetables, lemon juice, V8 juice, and hot sauce. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour, or overnight.

Spoon mixture into 4 bowls and garnish each with a lime wedge. Serve with tortilla chips and Mexican beer, if desired.