Shrimp with Asparagus Chow Mein

I've never seen this dish in a Chinese restaurant, but there's no reason not to mix my favorite ingredients in a simple and quick stir fry. This dish is a meal in itself containing noodles, vegetables and shrimp in a mild sauce to preserve the flavor of the individual ingredients.

Feel free to experiment with this dish a bit. When I made it the other night, I kept to the simple recipe below. After cooking it I thought that it might look prettier with a little more color so next time I'll probably add some sliced carrots to the dish, or perhaps some sliced peppers.

For those who don't know, "French cut" means sliced at an angle, or diagonally. When slicing round vegetables like carrots or asparagus, I first slice the tip, rotate the vegetable by 1/4 turn, slice again and repeat the process. Slicing in this manner exposes more surface area to cooking processes, thus requiring less cooking time. Try to make the slices bite sized and uniform.

  • 12 large shrimp or prawns, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 8 to 12 trimmed asparagus spears, French cut
  • 8 oz. bean sprouts
  • 2 green onions, French cut
  • 1/4 lb. Chinese sugar peas
  • 2 cups boiled Chinese egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and diced
  • 5 slices fresh ginger
  • 12 sprigs chopped cilantro for garnish

Heat the sesame oil over high heat in a large skillet or wok. Add the ginger slices and stir for 1 minute. Next, add the cooked noodles and garlic, stirring constantly until the noodles are evenly coated with the seasoned oil, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the hot noodles from the skillet and place on serving dish.

Now add the asparagus to the skillet. Continue to stir constantly and add sherry. Stir fry for about 3 minutes or until you see some slight caramelization on the surface of the asparagus pieces. Now add the shrimp and soy sauce. When the shrimp have turned pink, add the pea pods and any optional vegetables. Stir fry constantly for about 2 minutes.

Thoroughly dissolve the corn starch in the chicken broth and add to the skillet. Stir until it boils to thicken and evenly coat the ingredients. When the sauce begins to thicken, add the bean sprouts and stir for another minute. Transfer the stir fry to the serving dish on top of the noodles and top with green onions and cilantro. Serve immediately.

Variations: You may of course add additional vegetables to this dish such as peppers, mushrooms, baby bok choy, or whatever happens to be fresh in the market. Adding a few hot chilis will kick it up a notch as well. As a suggestion, a dash of salt, pepper or Maggi Seasoning can also be added to the sauce.

Enjoy!

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
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