Sunday, January 24, 2021

ChezCindy: Shrimp and Broccoli Stir Fry


I love this recipe!  It is versatile, easy, and comes together very quickly.  No need to order take-out when you can customize this stir fry dish to your preference.  

I first made this using chicken breasts for the main protein.  It was delicious.  Even the leftovers were great.  This time I wanted to use some shrimp I had in the freezer.  We loved it.  Just look at the color achieved on the cooked shrimp.   

The shrimp is only partially cooked here which is amazing to gain this much color and not over-cooking it.  The chicken was the same result, partially cooked and gorgeous browning.  The chicken and shrimp are tossed in a bit of corn starch and a few other ingredients before cooking.  This is key to getting the great color.  Browning equals flavor.  

The success of this recipe is prepping all the ingredients before you start cooking.  That is the nature of cooking a stir fry dish.  It is quick, hot cooking done in minutes once you have the prep work done.  

There are a few ingredients that are the backbone of Asian cooking to gain great stir fry flavor, such as fresh ginger and garlic.  Fresh ginger is found in the produce department of any grocery store.  I buy a knob of it and keep it in the freezer.  It stores well and I have it fresh any time I need it for cooking.  Most people keep ginger in the refrigerator but doing so will yield a shorter shelf life.

The versatility of this recipe comes with your choice of protein and vegetables.  I used broccoli.  Other vegetables could be snow peas, carrots, mushrooms or a mix of any of these.  The protein could be sliced beef, chicken, shrimp or even tofu.  

Here's how to make this recipe.  

Shrimp and Broccoli Stir Fry
For the shrimp or chicken:
1-pound peeled shrimp or chicken breast, boneless skinless (cut chicken into 1-inch pieces)
2 teaspoons corn starch
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon coconut aminos* or low-sodium soy sauce

For the sauce:
6 tablespoons coconut aminos* or low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
5 tablespoons chicken broth
2 teaspoons corn starch

For the vegetables:
1 large head of broccoli cut into florets (or other vegetables of choice)
4 green onions, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced

2 tablespoons neutral oil such as canola

First, blanch the broccoli in the microwave.  To do this, place 2-3 tablespoons of water into a large microwave safe bowl.  Add the broccoli florets to the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 2 minutes.  The bowl will be hot, so using hot pads, remove the bowl from the microwave and set aside leaving the plastic wrap in place.  

Combine all of the ingredients listed for the shrimp/chicken into a small bowl, stirring to coat well.

In a small bowl or a liquid measuring cup, add the ingredients for the sauce, whisking to combine.  

Chop the remaining vegetable ingredients, green onions, garlic and ginger.  Have these ready and waiting on the cutting board.  

Using a large non-stick pan or wok, setting the pan over medium-high heat, add in the 2 tablespoons of oil.  Once the oil is hot, add in the shrimp or chicken, carefully as it will splatter a bit.  Using a wooden spoon or tongs, move the shrimp/chicken into a single layer in the pan.  Do not move it again for 2-3 minutes, until you begin to see browning on this first side of cooking.  If it is not yet brown, leave it for another minute.  When nicely brown, flip over each piece or simple stir it for 1 more minute of cooking.  Remove the shrimp/chicken from the pan to a plate, leaving the pan juices in the pan.  The protein will not be fully cooked at this point.

Working with the same pan, add in the green onion, garlic and ginger, stirring for 30 seconds.  Next, stir the sauce ingredients as they may have settled, adding the sauce to the hot pan.  Stir to combine for 1-2 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken.  Remove the broccoli from the bowl, dabbing with paper towels to dry off the water.  Add the broccoli and the shrimp/chicken to the pan, stirring to coat well with the sauce, cooking for 2-3 minutes until the protein is cooked through.  It won't take long as the shrimp/chicken had "carry-over" cooking while resting on the plate and the broccoli is already pre-cooked.   

Remove the pan from heat and serve immediately.  Enjoy!! 

* coconut aminos are a wheat-free replacement for soy sauce made from coconut sap from coconut trees.  You will find it on the shelf next to the other soy sauces.  It tastes great!  

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