Stir-Fried Shrimp with Asparagus
or Other Summer Vegetables

My Latest "Master Recipe"

This is a such a great way to cook shrimp, you just might want to call it tonight's dinner! The recipe is as simple as 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.

Stir-Fried Shrimp with Asparagus or other Fresh Summer Vegetables, another Quick Supper ♥, just shrimp and your choices of vegetables tossed in an addictive sweet 'n' sour sauce. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free.

Real Food, Fresh & Seasonal. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free.


Use All the Local, Seasonal Vegetables You Like

Stir-Fried Shrimp with Asparagus or other Fresh Summer Vegetables, another Quick Supper ♥, just shrimp and your choices of vegetables tossed in an addictive sweet 'n' sour sauce. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free.

Strict seasonal eaters, look the other way, please!

Of course, home-grown asparagus is long gone for most if not all of us by mid-summer. 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, I make lots of suggestions in the recipe, below. That makes Stir-Fried Shrimp 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!

And ... Frozen Shrimp & Frozen Vegetables Work Too.

Like many of our very best, very favorite recipes, this one has turned out to be extremely adaptable.

Yes, it's gorgeous with fresh shrimp and lots of fresh seasonal vegetables.

But I've taken to keeping bags of frozen shrimp and frozen stir-fry vegetables in the freezer, just to be able to put a hot, healthy supper on the table in about 20 minutes, including small containers of cooked White Rice straight from the freezer, re-heated in the microwave for 2 or 3 minutes.

And Chicken!

It takes a little longer to thaw frozen chicken breasts than shrimp but given an hour or so for thawing, this recipe really works with those kitchen mainstays, skinless, boneless chicken breasts.

Stir-Fried Shrimp with Asparagus or other Fresh Summer Vegetables, another Quick Supper ♥, just shrimp and your choices of vegetables tossed in an addictive sweet 'n' sour sauce. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free.


Hands-on time: 30 minutes (longer if shrimp need peeling and deveining)
Time to table: 30 minutes
Serves 4
  • 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
  • 3 tablespoons (41g) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (43g) 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, below)
  • 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 for no more than 30 minutes, use this time to prep all the remaining ingredients the Sweet & Sour Hot Sauce and the Vegetables.

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 the long-time favorite here but lately, ooo-la-la, white rice cooked well is a revelation.

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 at first 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. We especially love bites of okra in this stir-fry! Red onion is also wonderful. Can you add a few fresh tomatoes at the end? Of course! This recipe is so adaptable!

ALANNA’s TIPS Once you start cooking a stir-fry, it all moves really quickly. That’s why it’s important to prep everything before heating the skillet. Temperature is important here, that's why in the recipe I've emphasized the changes in temperature. The vegetables are cooked quickly on high heat, the shrimp is cooked quickly but at a lower heat to avoid toughness. For make-ahead, a couple hours before cooking, even the morning of serving, you could peel and devein the shrimp ahead of time; mix and refrigerate the Sweet & Sour Hot Sauce; and prep the vegetables. Both fresh and frozen shrimp work beautifully here. I keep a pound or two of frozen shrimp from Target in the freezer, very handy for a last-minute weeknight supper. To thaw the frozen shrimp quickly, immerse the unopened package in a bowl of cold water for about 30 minutes to thaw. Sugar? I know. I some times substitute maple syrup or honey but don’t skip the sweetness. Peanut oil has what’s called a “high smoke point” – this means it can tolerate the higher temperatures used in stir-frying. That said, I’ve used olive oil here too, even though it has a lower smoke point. For apples-to-apples comparisons from one recipe to the next, I nearly always allow for a pound of protein to serve 4. But we find that once the vegetables and some rice on the side are added, this recipe actually serves 5.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving: 256 Calories; 7g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 172mg Cholesterol; 433mg Sodium; 10g Carb; 2g Fiber; 14g Sugar; 25g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 5 & PointsPlus 5 & SmartPoints 7 & Freestyle 4 & myWW green 6 & blue 4 & purple 4 This recipe has been "Alanna-sized" with reductions in fat and increases in crunch and nutrition from extra vegetables.

MAKE IT WITH FROZEN SHRIMP & FROZEN VEGETABLES! What a super-fast supper, nobody but nobody is going to complain about "frozen", I promise. Thaw a pound of frozen shrimp in a colander inserted into a larger bowl of cold water, it'll take just five or so minutes. While the shrimp is thawing, mix the Sweet & Sour Hot Sauce. Then heat a large non-stick skillet with a tablespoon of oil, tossing in one or two bags of frozen stir-fry vegetables (I've used a 20-ounce bag, two one-pound bags would not be too much) and let cook, stirring occasionally and seasoning liberally with salt. While the vegetables cook, drain and dry the shrimp, I put them between double layers of paper towels. Once the vegetables are nearly done, move them onto a plate. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until they turn pink. Stir in the Sweet & Sour Hot Sauce and bring back to a simmer. Then stir in the vegetables and bring back to temperature again.

MAKE IT WITH CHICKEN! This recipe works great with healthy, Weight Watchers-friendly boneless, skinless chicken breasts too. Just cut the pieces kind of small and do use a non-stick skillet if you want to keep to a single tablespoon of cooking oil.

More Shrimp Recipes for Summer

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Easy Shrimp Bites Shrimp Salad Recipes Summer Seafood Chowder
~ more shrimp recipes ~

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ shrimp recipes ~
~ asparagus recipes ~
~ bell pepper recipes ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Alanna,
    This looks so yummy, and thanks for including all the veggie options so I can customize based on what's in the farm share box. I even think this recipe can be followed by the "branching out in the kitchen" kids this summer.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna