A Fusion of Flavors Accent Shrimp & Quinoa Recipe

Shrimp with quinoa CROPPED

This week, I have a fistful of flavor to bring to a new quinoa dish from my latest cookbook, The AGE BEAUFITULLY Cookbook.

In Southeast Asia, where I grew up, the cuisine has been influenced by many countries: China, Japan, Spain, France, America, and to some extent the Middle East and Northern Africa. So I’ve been practicing fusion cooking my whole life. My mother ran a cooking school and my family operated multiple restaurants. My recipe for shrimp on sugar-cane skewers is a perfect example of Asian fusion food. It became very popular in our restaurants and then spread all over the world. When I see it on menus in restaurants today, it makes me smile.

TS-512619842 Fresh ShrimpAsian fusion cooking is about using Mediterranean or American ingredients and, possibly, French techniques in classical Chinese, Thai, or Filipino recipes. I’m not intimidated by exotic ingredients, but I know that many of my American friends can be. For them, I try to use more familiar spices to simplify the cooking process. I also look at trends in the healthy cooking sector and add my own delicious Southeast Asian spin to the recipes that are sometimes bland.

Take quinoa, which is a very trendy ingredient right now because of its many health benefits. To me, it has almost no flavor, and because I won’t eat something just because it’s good for me, I have to find a way to cook it so that I crave it. So I did. I took that crunchy Incan grain and added some sautéed shrimp, onions, scallions, and orange bell peppers and kicked up the flavor.

Quinoa has plenty of fiber, which helps with weight loss. It’s also an excellent source of folate, which protects the brain and heart. Shrimp contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which are also heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory, as well as immune-boosting selenium.

Weight Loss

Asian Fusion Shrimp and Quinoa

Serves 4


3-4 cups water
¼ tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt
1 medium-sized stalk of lemongrass, cut into 3-inch pieces
1 cup quinoa
1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp
¾ cup chopped orange or red bell pepper
¼ cup chopped scallions
1 tsp. crushed garlic
4 Tbs. coconut oil
1 cup crushed tomatoes
¼ tsp. turmeric powder
Salt or salt substitute and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. In a medium saucepan with a lid, bring the water, salt, and lemongrass to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. In a shallow pan, sauté the shrimp, vegetables, and garlic in the oil over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the tomatoes, turmeric, salt, and pepper and cook an additional 3 minutes or until the shrimp are opaque and the vegetables are halfway between crisp and tender.
  5. Remove the lemongrass from the quinoa.
  6. To serve, spoon the sauce over the quinoa.

Chef’s Note: If using chicken, cut a skinless, boneless breast (organic or free-range) into 1-inch cubes. Sauté the chicken and vegetables for 5 minutes (step 3).




About Grace O

Grace O has been cooking and baking professionally and recreationally all of her adult life. As a child in Southeast Asia, she learned the culinary arts by her mother’s side in her family’s cooking school. She became so well versed in hospitality and the culinary arts, she eventually took over the cooking school and opened three restaurants. She is widely credited with popularizing shrimp on sugar-cane skewers and being one of the first culinarians to make tapas a global trend. She has cooked for ruling families and royalty. Grace O’s move to America precipitated a career in healthcare, inspired by her father, who was a physician. Twenty years and much hard work later, she operates skilled nursing facilities in California. Grace O strives to create flavorful food using the finest ingredients that ultimately lead to good health. Her recipes, although low in saturated fat, salt, and sugar, are high in flavor. Grace employs spices from all over the world to enliven her dishes, creating food that is different and delicious. She believes that food can be just as effective at fighting aging as the most expensive skin creams. And since she’s over 50 herself, she’s living proof of that. foodtrients.com
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