Hi. Today, I want to share a recipe for spicy garlic shrimp with quinoa and pea pods. I am basically a shrimp novice, so I’m hoping any and all experts can weigh in on their best shrimp preparing and cooking techniques. Cooking is NOT about perfection! It’s about experimenting and having fun, trying new things and working your way through. The marinade recipe I used is slightly modified from my brother-in-law, Evil L (don’t ask). He’s mean in the kitchen!
For the marinade:
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (or 4 teaspoons freshly grated ginger)
1 green onion, both white and green parts, chopped
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (great tips for the novice here — or go with frozen)
1-2 tablespoons high heat oil (like Safflower)
1 cup quinoa, cooked (I boiled mine in water and a tablespoon of soy sauce)
1-2 green onions, chopped
Sesame seeds to garnish
1. Place your marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk together to combine.
2. Place in a large Ziploc bag and add shrimp. Seal and move around to coat.
3. Put the Ziploc bag of shrimp into a bowl and into the refrigerator. Let chill for 15-30 minutes.
4. After shrimp has marinaded for up to 30 minutes, remove from fridge and over a small saucepan, cut a small hole in the bottom corner of your Ziploc bag and pour the marinade (not the shrimp) into the pan. Add 1/4 cup water and place on stove over high heat. Place the shrimp back in the fridge until we’re ready to use it shortly.
5. Bring the marinade mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, and let boil for 5 full minutes. This is an important step because you need to kill off any bacteria that could have come from the shrimp. An alternative: make a double batch of the marinade and reserve half to add later. Once the marinade has boiled for 5 minutes, turn the heat down to low and let simmer while you prepare the shrimp.
6. Heat your wok or saute pan over medium-high heat and add the safflower oil. Swish the oil around inside the pan to cover the surface.
7. Place fresh or frozen sugar snap peas and/or other vegetables (carrots, broccoli, etc.) in the heated pan. Frozen vegetables do not need to be thawed before cooking. Cook the vegetables until they begin to get tender and heated through, about 5 minutes.
Sidenote on step 7: I have to be honest here: originally, I had my burner on high, put the oil in and let it sit a few minutes. In go the peas and SPLAT-SIZZLE-PEAS SCALDING happened. What I garnered from this? Lower heat, and less time to let the oil heat up. Expert opinions?
8. Add the shrimp to the pan, stirring it regularly for two to three minutes. When the shrimp turns pink, pour in your marinade. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you’re working with pre-cooked shrimp, you can add the shrimp and marinade to the pan at the same time without the extra cook time.
9. Stir fry the shrimp another one to two minutes to cook it through. Remove the shrimp from the pan to the serving platter. Serve over quinoa and top with fresh sliced green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.
Sidenote on the end result: I really liked this shrimp, but I might change a few things. Some things I might do differently next time: cook the shrimp for slightly less time. I found mine a bit tough. Any other tips for this? I have read you can bake shrimp, which might work well. I may also put the pea pods in right before the shrimp and not let them cook on their own for quite as long (in addition to turning down the heat). They still absorbed the marinade flavor, which was great, but they did get pretty mushy. Ick. And finally, I think I would make extra marinade and reserve it — that way I don’t have to water it down when bringing to a boil, and the end product will have even more sauce. I love love sauces.
I leave you with some wise words, and a question. For the words, I look to Mrs. Julia Child: “Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed — eh bien, tant pis! Usually one’s cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, as my ersatz eggs Florentine surely were, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile — and learn from her mistakes.”
Do you have any amazing shrimp tips to share?
Thanks and happy cooking!