Food & Dining

Turn up the heat: Spicy stir-fried shrimp

This spicy stir-fry shrimp is a nice change of pace.
This spicy stir-fry shrimp is a nice change of pace.

Want to get fiery? Stir-fried shrimp are served with snow peas and sesame noodles for a spicy dinner that's fast and easy.

Stir-fry some shrimp with hot pepper sauce, garlic, ginger and lemongrass for a succulent, quick, Thai-flavored dinner.

Lemongrass is the secret to the flavors in this dish. It adds a tang like that of lemon or lime and is one of the most important spices used in Thai cooking. It looks a little like a scallion with long, thin, green-gray leaves and a lighter bulb at the tip. If you can't find it fresh, there is a lemongrass paste that works well, or use lemon zest as a backup.

To use fresh lemongrass, remove the outer leaves and slice the pale inner leaves and bulb into thin slices.

Sesame noodles with snow peas complete the meal. Fresh snow peas add a crisp texture to the noodles. If in a hurry, use microwaveable rice and add peas instead of the sesame noodle recipe.

The secret to stir-fry is to prepare all ingredients first and line them up on a plate or cutting board in order of use. That way you don't have to keep looking at the recipe to know what goes in next.

Another tip is to make sure your wok or skillet is very hot before adding ingredients. The oil should be smoking.

Shopping list

Half a pound snow peas, one small can tomato paste, one small piece fresh ginger or one bottle ground ginger, three stalks lemongrass or one lemon rind, three quarters of a pound peeled shrimp (wild caught or local), one small jar roasted peanuts, one small package sesame seeds, one bottle sesame oil and half a pound Chinese noodles.

Staples: Onion, garlic, sugar, hot pepper sauce, salt and black peppercorns.

Helpful hints

  • Use a food processor to chop onion and peanuts.

  • If using ground ginger instead of fresh, mix it in with the sauce.

  • To save cleaning time, make stir-fry shrimp, remove to a plate and use the same wok, without washing it, for the noodles.
Stir-fry shrimp
  • Quarter cup tomato paste.

  • Half a teaspoon hot pepper sauce.

  • Half a cup water.

  • One teaspoon sugar.

  • One teaspoon sesame oil.

  • Half a cup chopped onion.

  • Two garlic cloves, crushed.

  • Two tablespoons chopped fresh ginger or two teaspoons ground ginger.

  • Three stalks lemon grass, sliced, or grated lemon rind from one lemon.

  • Three-quarters pound peeled shrimp, (wild caught or local).

  • Two tablespoons unsalted, roasted peanuts, chopped.

Mix tomato paste, hot pepper sauce, water and sugar together and set aside. Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat until smoking. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and lemon grass or lemon rind and stir-fry two minutes. Add the shrimp and stir-fry two to three minutes, until the shrimp just turn pink. Add sauce and mix a few seconds. Remove to a plate and sprinkle with peanuts. Makes two servings.

Per serving: 310 calories (23 percent from fat), 8.1 g fat (1.2 g saturated, 3.3 g monounsaturated), 276 mg cholesterol, 39.1 g protein, 24.4 g carbohydrates, 3.0 g fiber, 259 mg sodium.

Noodles, snow peas

  • Quarter pound Chinese noodles.

  • One teaspoon sesame oil.

  • Half a pound snow peas, (about two and a half cups).

  • One tablespoon sesame seeds.

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles, cook one minute and drain. Toss with sesame oil. Using same wok as for shrimp, add snow peas and stir-fry one minute. Add noodles and toss 2 minutes. Add sesame seeds and salt and pepper to taste. Remove to dinner plates and serve shrimp on top. Makes two servings.

Per serving: 298 calories (22 percent from fat), 7.2 g fat (1.3 g saturated, 2.5 g monounsaturated), 48 mg cholesterol, 11.1 g protein, 47.6 g carbohydrates, 4.5 g fiber, 16 mg sodium.

This is republished from the Miami Herald.