Weeknight Shorts: Grab Your Chopsticks

I love stir-fries. They are quick, simple, and allow me to use what I have on hand to get dinner on the table. Especially this time of the year, when fresh produce is becoming standard fare after a long and frigid winter. One of my favorite combinations is shrimp and broccoli. When I get to add a creamy, spicy sauce, that just takes it to the next level:

One of the fantastic things about this recipe is that it doesn't call for giant prawns nearly the size of lobsters. Instead, it favors medium-sized shrimp that are easy to find and inexpensive to buy. They are almost boring … until you coat them lightly with cornstarch, fry them, pair them with crisp-tender broccoli and a fantastically simple sauce, and enjoy it all over a bed of steamed rice. It turns out you don't need to spend a fortune to make a truly wonderful dinner for you and your family.

I used broccoli in the recipe because I had it on hand and it's easy for stir-frying. That said, you could use any number of vegetables. I think asparagus or snow peas would be amazing. Even green beans would do the trick. A combination of sliced red peppers, cauliflower, and onions would be lovely. I'd recommend choosing something beautifully fresh that won't need much in the way of time on the stove. This is the time of the year when you should favor fresh vegetables that really shine when barely kissed by heat. Leave the real heat to the sauce and dig in!

Bang Bang Shrimp & Broccoli

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 3 -5 drops hot chili sauce, just a few drops
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/2-3/4 cup cornstarch
  • Peanut or canola oil, for frying
  • 1 lb. broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces

Mix the mayo and sauces to make a thick sauce. Set aside.

Bread the shrimp in cornstarch.

Pan fry the shrimp until lightly browned, using peanut or canola oil. Once shrimp is nearly done, add the broccoli and stir-fry lightly until crisp-tender, 5-8 minutes. Add the mayo mixture and stir until the shrimp and broccoli are well-coated and everything is fully-warmed. Serve over rice.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

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