The Recipe: My latest "master vegetable recipe" – this time shrimp stir-fried with your choice of fresh summer vegetables and tossed in an addictive sweet 'n' sour hot sauce. It makes up quickly, just prep and cook! This is an easy weeknight supper recipe but the taste is worthy of a special occasion too. Low carb, Weight Watchers friendly, gluten-free, easily adapted to paleo.
Strict seasonal eaters, look the other way, please! Of course, home-grown asparagus is long gone for most if not all of us. But the second crop of asparagus from somewhere down south has just hit the grocery stores: so fresh and summery!
And besides, this is the latest in a series of “master recipes” for vegetables, a recipe that works with many different vegetables, a recipe to make again and again, rarely the same twice.
So you see? Local green beans? Garden broccoli? Tiny Brussels sprouts from your CSA? Pretty snow peas or sugar snap peas or okra from the farmers market? All would be fine seasonal choices!
VEGETABLE SUBSTITUTION SUGGESTIONS Variety makes this dish extra appealing so aim for a mix of colors and shapes. The smaller the pieces, the faster the vegetables will cook. Slice thin carrot coins, say, instead of large carrot chunks; cut cabbage into fine ribbons and Brussels sprouts, even small ones, into halves or quarters. For the same reason, this recipe works best with thin or medium-thick asparagus. Save the fat spears of asparagus for roasting. In addition, the asparagus tips cook slightly more quickly so set them aside and add once the stalks, peppers and onions are almost cooked. This isn't "required" but is one of those insider, experienced-cook tips that makes a difference in taste and looks.
STIR-FRIED SHRIMP & FRESH VEGETABLES
Time to table: 30 minutes
- 1 pound peeled, deveined shrimp, cooked or uncooked (see ALANNA’s TIPS)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
SWEET & SOUR HOT SAUCE
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Asian chili-garlic sauce (or more to taste)
- 1 pound asparagus, woody ends snapped off, cut into bite-size pieces (see recommended substitutions, left)
- 1 red or green bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 small onion, sliced thin or 4 green onions, cut into lengths
- 1 clove garlic, sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- Prepped Vegetables
- Prepped Shrimp
- Sweet & Sour Hot Sauce, stirred to recombine
- Fresh herbs such as dill, basil, tarragon, optional
SHRIMP Combine ingredients in a bowl, let rest at room temperature while prepping the remaining ingredients, no more than 30 minutes.
SWEET & SOUR HOT SAUCE Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
VEGETABLES Prep the vegetables and collect in a bowl.
STIR FRY VEGETABLES (MEDIUM HIGH HEAT) Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet (I use cast iron) on medium high heat until a flick of water from your fingertips snaps and sizzles. Add the vegetables and stir fry, stirring frequently, until vegetables begin to turn color and are almost cooked (see TIPS). Transfer back to the bowl.
STIR FRY SHRIMP (MEDIUM LOW HEAT) Reduce heat to medium low. Cook shrimp, stirring frequently, until shrimp are light pink on both sides, about 60 to 90 seconds.
ADD SAUCE (HIGH HEAT) Return to high heat. Stir in sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and shrimp are cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes.
ADD BACK VEGETABLES (HIGH HEAT) Add vegetables and toss, just to heat through. Sprinkle with fresh herbs.
SERVE tableside with rice, Oven-Baked Brown Rice is my favorite here.
Stir-Fried Shrimp with Asparagus
This Week, Years Past 2002 - 2012
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