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Stir-Fried Shrimp with Snow Peas and Mushrooms

Fresh shiitake mushrooms bring a rich taste to this hearty stir-fry. They also have better texture than the canned straw mushrooms usually found in similar dishes. Peanut oil is typically used in Chinese cooking. If possible, purchase one of the brands sold in Asian markets, which have a particularly nutty aroma. Without the shrimp, this stir-fry makes a good vegetarian dish. Serve over brown rice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. dry sherry
  • 2 tsp. water
  • 4 tsp. peanut oil
  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Tbs. peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 16 snow peas, trimmed and strings removed
  • 1/2 lb. fresh shiitake mushrooms, brushed
     clean, stems removed and caps cut into
     1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch, sherry and water. Set aside.

Preheat a wok or deep, heavy fry pan over high heat. Add 2 tsp. of the peanut oil and carefully tilt and rotate the pan to distribute the oil. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp and stir-fry until they are bright pink but not yet cooked through, about 3 minutes. Do not overcook them. Transfer to a plate.

Return the pan to high heat. Drizzle in the remaining 2 tsp. peanut oil, tilting the pan to coat the bottom and sides with the oil. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the snow peas and mushrooms and return the shrimp to the pan. Stir-fry until the snow peas are bright green, 30 to 60 seconds. Pour in the broth and cook until the shrimp are opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Briefly stir the cornstarch mixture to recombine, then pour it into the pan. Stir-fry until the sauce thickens and turns clear, about 2 minutes. Add the sesame oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).