Friday, March 27, 2015

Asian Shrimp and Spinach Stir Fry

Last night, I really was in no mood to cook.  So, I looked around for something I could throw together quickly with minimum effort.  A stir fry is always quick, but they usually have a ton of chopping and prep work.  
Then I saw a bag of ready to use cleaned spinach.  I don't usually add spinach to a stir fry, but why not give it a try.  I also turned to some cleaned frozen shrimp.  I love using frozen shrimp as a quick and easy protein because it defrosts in a flash simply under some cold running water.    
I finished off the dish with some cans of Chinese water chestnuts and straw mushrooms to help make this stir fry substantial.  Opening a few cans was just my speed last night too. : )  I was so happy how quick, easy, light, healthy and delicious it turned out.  This is what I call a perfect busy weeknight meal or at least the perfect "I'm in no mood to cook" meal.

1lb cleaned shrimp (See Note)
1 medium onion sliced
1 can of water chestnuts (sliced or diced)
1 can of straw mushrooms (or fresh button mushrooms)
1 bell pepper, or some sweet chilies sliced into strips
1-2 green chilies (jalapenos or serranos) sliced
2-3 large handfuls of cleaned spinach leaves
1-2 Tbs of ginger-garlic-paste or 2 cloves of garlic and 1 inch of ginger
1Tbs of cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbs of cold water

Note:  To make this shrimp stir fry come together even faster, use shelled and cleaned shrimp.   I used frozen shrimp and the best way to defrost them quickly is to put them in a colander under cold running water for a few minutes.  

The Stir Fry Sauce:
1/2 cup of chicken stock or water/bullion equivalent
2-3 Tbs of soy sauce
1 Tbs of oyster sauce
1 Tbs of Chinese Rice Wine or Dry Sherry
1 tsp of sesame oil
1 tsp of brown sugar
red chili flake to taste

Note:  Prep all your food first and make the sauce.  You want everything ready to go because the stir fry takes about 5 minutes and it goes quickly.

Heat 1Tbs of canola oil in a large wok pan on high heat.  Then add sliced onions and cook for 1 minute.  Next add your ginger/garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.  
Then add the peppers and chiles and stir fry for another 30-45 seconds.

Add your drained cans of water chestnuts and straw mushrooms now and stir fry for another 30-45 seconds. 
 Now add your cleaned shrimp and stir fry for 1 minute. 
Then add your prepared stir fry sauce and stir fry for another minute.
 Add your cornstarch and water slurry (that's the two mixed together into a water paste).   
Allow the gravy to boil and thicken for 1 minute. Your shrimp should be cooked now.  
Finally add your fresh spinach and toss with the hot stir fry for a few seconds to wilt.  Turn stove off.  
Serve over steam brown or white rice.  Enjoy.  Serves 4.

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