I think I might be the last person on earth to realize how easy stir fry is. I've always enjoyed it, mind you. Anything I can put soy sauce on is right at the top of my "eat this now" list.
But how easy! The last time I made stir fry I over did it. It was delicious and I loved every bite of it, but easy it was not. I used too many vegetables that required too much prep-work. Not this time though, this time I kept it simple.
That's the trick to stir fry, I think. Keep it simple.
I started by cooking some rice according to package directions. I used chicken broth instead of water to make it a little more flavorful.
I used to be so terrified of cooking rice. If nothing else comes out of this cooking experiment I call Two Recipes, I now know I can cook rice with confidence. I think that qualifies as success.
For the stir fry portion of the meal, I started by heating some oil over medium-high heat until it was shimmering. then I added some chopped garlic and cooked for about 2 minutes.
When the garlic started to smell amazing, I added the snow peas and cooked for about 2 minutes more, until they were bright green and a little flimsy, but not too soft I think real recipe writers call this "crisp-tender." That sounds pretentious to me.
As this was happening I combined a mixture of soy sauce, Sriracha, ground ginger, chicken stock, and corn starch in a small bowl and set aside. Then I added 1 pound of peeled shrimp to the hot skillet.
I let the shrimp cook for about 4 minutes, until they were starting to turn pink but were not cooked all the way through, then I added some chopped scallions and the soy sauce mixture.
I cooked this until the sauce had thickened and the shrimp were cooked through.
I served the shrimp and snow peas on top rice, with a little bit of scallions on top. Cilantro would have been out of this world too. Cilantro is always out of this world.
This stir fry was everything I like about Asian-inspired food. It was a little salty, a little spicy, and very fresh tasting.
The sauce didn't drown the shrimp and snow peas, rather it complemented their fresh and distinct flavor.
Also? Sriracha. The Thai hot chili sauce is a revelation. I can't believe it has taken me this long to try it. If you like spicy food, you must have this condiment in your arsenal. I put it on leftover steamed rice the next day for lunch and was floored. So. Good.
Aside from my new found Sriracha love, what I really loved about this recipe is that it comes together in the time it takes to steam a cup of rice, which for me is about 20 minutes. Even better than that, it doesn't taste like it. It tastes like you must have spent a great deal of time and energy creating something so delicious, when really the most time consuming and energy requiring thing I had to do was peel a pound of shrimp. It's literally throw in ingredients, stir, throw again, stir again, serve on rice. That's easy.
Here's the recipe:
Shrimp and Snow Pea Stir Fry (adapted from Food and Wine Magazine)
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (more if you like things spicy!)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (I'm not crazy about the flavor of ginger, so I used close to 1/4 teaspoon. If you like it, though, by all means use more. You really can't mess this up)
1 teaspoon corn starch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 pound snow peas
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined with the tails removed
Steamed rice for serving
Cook rice according to package instructions. I do this by bringing 2 cups of liquid (in this case, chicken stock) to a boil, then adding 1 cup of rice and stirring once. Then I place a tightly fitting lid on top, reduce the heat to almost nothing, meaning I look at the little light that tells me a heating element is on, and I turn it as low as it can go without that light going out, and cook until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid, usually about 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the chicken stock, soy sauce, Sriracha, ground ginger, and corn starch. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it is shimmering. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, until fragrant. Then add the snow peas and cook for about 2 minutes more. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook for about 3-4 minutes until they just turn pink. Add the scallions. Whisk together the soy-chile sauce mixture and add to the skillet. Cook for about 3-4 minutes longer, or until the shrimp are opaque throughout and the sauce has thickened a bit.
Serve over the steamed rice, maybe with a little Sriracha, just for good measure. I love this stuff.