Stir-Fried Shrimp with Snow Peas and Red Bell Pepper in Hot and Sour Sauce

From Cook's Illustrated | July/August 2010

Why this recipe works:

We started our stir-fried shrimp recipe by trading our wok for a large, shallow nonstick skillet and marinating the shrimp for better flavor and texture. After searing the vegetables, we sautéed the aromatics, and finally stir-fried the shrimp before mixing in the sauce. For an assertive… read more

We started our stir-fried shrimp recipe by trading our wok for a large, shallow nonstick skillet and marinating the shrimp for better flavor and texture. After searing the vegetables, we sautéed the aromatics, and finally stir-fried the shrimp before mixing in the sauce. For an assertive sauce, we whipped up an intense garlic mixture and reduced it to a consistency that tightly adhered to the stir-fried shrimp.

less

Stir-Fried Shrimp

If meat and shrimp behave vastly differently when cooked, why are most shrimp stir-fries just a surf-for-turf protein swap?

Watch the Video

Serves 4

Serve this stir-fry with steamed white rice.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium garlic cloves, 1 minced or pressed through garlic press, 1 thinly sliced
  • 1 pound extra-large (21-25) shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Asian chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry or Shaoxing wine
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 large shallot, sliced thin (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 pound snow peas or sugar snap peas, stems snapped off and strings removed
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch dice

Instructions

  1. 1. Combine minced garlic with shrimp, ginger, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and salt in medium bowl. Let shrimp marinate at room temperature 30 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile, whisk soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, chili-garlic sauce, sherry, sesame oil, ketchup, and cornstarch in small bowl. Combine sliced garlic with shallot in second small bowl.

    3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add snow peas and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables begin to brown, 1½ to 2 minutes. Transfer vegetables to medium bowl.

    4. Add remaining tablespoon oil to now-empty skillet and heat until just smoking. Add garlic-shallot mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until just beginning to brown, about 30 seconds. Add shrimp, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring frequently, until shrimp are light pink on both sides, 1 to 1½ minutes. Whisk soy sauce mixture to recombine and add to skillet; return to high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and shrimp are cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Return vegetables to skillet, toss to combine, and serve.

Step-by-Step

Making a Marinade That Works

A 30-minute soak in a mixture of salt, oil, and aromatics is the secret to perfectly tender, deeply flavored shrimp. The salt works its magic in two ways. First, it enters the flesh of the shrimp, helping them to retain valuable juices during cooking. Second, it forces the flavors from aromatics such as garlic and ginger into the oil. The oil in the mix distributes those flavor compounds evenly over the flesh (not just in areas in direct contact with the garlic) for shrimp that taste better than ever.

Technique

For Tender Shrimp, Lower the Heat

For perfectly plump, juicy shrimp, we cook the vegetables first—and then turn the heat way down when the shrimp are added to the pan.

In My Favorites
Please Wait…
Remove Favorite
Add to custom collection