Dig in to the best Shrimp Stir Fry recipe! With all the flavors of your favorite Chinese take out, you’ll be proud to serve this delicious and easy recipe at home!
I know… after a busy day, ordering Chinese take out can seem like a brief (and delicious!) reprieve from responsibility. However, man can not get by on take-out alone 🙂
Well, I’ve got the easiest vegetable and shrimp stir fry recipe for you today, friends. And once you try making it at home, I bet that you’ll add it to your steady easy weeknight dinner rotation!
But first things first…
What does it mean to stir fry something?
Stir frying means that you’re cooking something quickly (usually veggies, protein or rice) with a little oil over very high heat.
This Chinese cooking technique is popular because your ingredients cook rapidly without deteriorating. Vegetables are done in a flash while retaining a pleasantly pliant crunch – and meats get a sear on the outside without overcooking and drying out.
And, since such little oil is used, it’s a great way to keep calories in check.
How does this shrimp stir fry taste?
Now, I don’t think I’m overdoing it when I say the flavors in this easy stir fry really POP! There’s the trinity of savory, sweet and spicy (more on that in a sec) at play, which pairs so nicely with the delicate juiciness of the shrimp and the garden freshness of the veggies.
And the velvety smooth texture of the sauce makes it seem like a dish you ordered from your favorite takeout spot.
Plus the toasted nuttiness of sesame oil to finish the dish really means that this easy shrimp recipe has all the flavors!
How spicy is this stir fry?
Short answer: only as spicy as you want it to be. Now I used chopped dried red chilies in this stir fry shrimp recipe – and they deliver a low level burn that really contributed to the overall flavor.
However, they’re totally optional. If you tend to shy away from spicy flavors altogether, you might consider using something like ground white pepper which has milder, almost floral notes.
Ingredients for shrimp stir fry
- Egg White, Rice Vinegar, Cornstarch and Salt: You’ll use these ingredients to marinate your shrimp for 30 minutes prior to cooking. This process is called velveting and is a technique that is widely used in Chinese cooking to produce shrimp and meat that is super tender and silky in texture.
- Shrimp: I use large uncooked, frozen shrimp that I thaw and shell just before marinating / velveting.
- Vegetable Oil: Any neutral cooking oil will work. Now, I don’t recommend olive oil for this recipe because it’s a bit too flavor forward.
- Garlic: Two cloves minced should do the trick.
- Dried Red Chili: Finely chop your chilies and add as you see fit. I used about a teaspoon for this shrimp and stir fry vegetables recipe. If you don’t like spicy food, just leave em out!
- Onion, Water Chestnuts and Baby Bok Choy: These are the veggies I think deliver both flavor and a wonderful crunchy texture. Water chestnuts in particular have such an iconic consistency in Asian stir fries. If you have a hard time tracking down baby bok choy, you could always use snow peas instead.
- Soy Sauce: The bringer of big-time umami to this recipe!
- Oyster Sauce: This thick wonder-condiment is both savory and sweet – with an understated marine element. Oyster sauce and soy sauce pretty much make up the stir fry sauce for this recipe, and deliver SO much flavor.
- Cornstarch and Water: Mixing a teaspoon of cornstarch with 3 teaspoons of water will be the element that makes the magic happen – at least from the standpoint of your sauce’s viscosity. It’ll thicken your sauce without making it gloppy.
- Sesame Oil: Toasty and nutty, this is a great way to finish your dish just before serving. Caution: a little goes a long way!
How to make shrimp stir fry
- Whisk your egg white, rice vinegar, salt, and cornstarch in a mixing bowl and add the shrimp to the mixture. Stir to evenly coat the shrimp. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Then heat a large wok or pan on medium high until it’s hot – about 1 minute should do. Add 1 tablespoon oil and shrimp and cook on each side for 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a plate and set aside. This will keep it from overcooking
- Using the same wok or pan, add oil, garlic, and dried red chilis and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add onions and cook for 2 minutes, until onions are translucent.
- Next, add water chestnuts and bok choy and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the cooked shrimp back to the pan along with soy sauce, oyster sauce, and the water + cornstarch mixture, and stir well. Cook for 1 minute to warm up the shrimp.
- Finally, stir in the sesame oil and turn the heat off. Season with salt and pepper if needed and serve with warm white or brown rice.
And that’s it… SO easy, right?! Stir frying is great because you spend such a short amount of time facing the flames in the kitchen – and get right to the best part: eating!
What to serve with shrimp stir fry
Now you can easily pair this savory and spicy stir fry with steamed white rice. Rice, shrimp and veggies are a pretty natural combination 🙂 For step-by-step instructions on how to make rice in a rice cooker and on the stove-top, check out this post.
And I’m a huge fan of pairing Asian stir fries with flavorful soups and stews like this Japanese miso soup – or this Korean doenjang jjigae.
Or make a massive meal out of it! Here are a few other flavorful and easy meal ideas to compliment your own stir fry cooking exploits:
- Chinese Eggplant With Garlic Sauce
- Singapore Chow Mei Fun
- Japanese Fried Rice – Yakimeshi
- Easy Hunan Chicken
- Banh Xeo – Savory Vietnamese Crepes
Happy cooking, friends!
Did you like this Shrimp Stir Fry Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!Print
The Best Shrimp Stir Fry
A delicious shrimp stir fry that tastes better than takeout!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 minutes
- Total Time: 48 minutes
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: Stir Fry
- Method: Pan frying
- Cuisine: Chinese
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces large frozen shrimp, thawed and shelled
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or other neutral oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried red chili, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 1/3 cup water chestnuts
- 2 cups chopped bok choy or baby bok choy. Or you can use 1 cup snow peas.
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 3 teaspoons cold water
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Whisk egg white, rice vinegar, salt, and cornstarch in a mixing bowl and add the shrimp to the mixture. Stir to evenly coat the shrimp and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Heat a large wok or pan on medium high until it’s hot – about 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon oil and shrimp and cook on each side for 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a plate and set aside.
- Using the same wok or pan over medium high heat, add oil, garlic, and dried red chilis and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add onions and cook for 2 minutes, until onions are translucent.
- Add water chestnuts and bok choy and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add cooked shrimp to the pan along with soy sauce, oyster sauce, water, and cornstarch mixture, and stir well. Cook for 1 minute to warm up the shrimp.
- Stir in sesame oil and turn the heat off. Season with salt and pepper if needed and serve with warm white or brown rice.
This shrimp stir fry is best piping hot out of the wok. If you have leftovers, you can keep them covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 365
- Sugar: 4.7 g
- Sodium: 1211.3 mg
- Fat: 21.2 g
- Saturated Fat: 12.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 18.3 g
- Fiber: 2.5 g
- Protein: 27.3 g
- Cholesterol: 182.5 mg
Keywords: Entree, main, seafood
This was excellent! Followed the recipe except for minor substitutions because that’s what I had: chili flakes for dried chili and baby corn for water chestnuts. I doubled the recipe and my husband and I finished the entire thing! Goes well with brown rice. Will be making this again! Thanks for the recipe.
I have a very large family. Should I double this recipe?
Hi Darlene, yes if you have a large family. This recipe is good for 2 people so I might triple it even!