I'm not generally a fan of Chinese takeout, but I do like the flavors of Chinese food. Is that weird to say? Oftentimes takeout leaves me feeling heavy and tired, and honestly a little sick to my stomach. But take-out fake-out? I'm always game. Having control over the ingredients and sodium level makes all the difference for me.
This particular stir-fry is an ode to spring produce and flavors, and it couldn't be any further from the greasy, heavy Chinese food you're used to. The asparagus, carrots, lemon, and shrimp pair wonderfully together. As is the case with most stir fries, this does take a bit of prep work, what with the chopping, mixing, etc. But it can all be done well in advance, and the dinner itself is cooked really quickly. However, even if you do it all at once, you're still looking at dinner on the table in about half an hour; which in my book qualifies as a pretty solid weeknight meal.
adapted from ATK's Healthy Family Cookbook
- 1 lb large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp dry Sherry or dry white wine
- 3 scallions, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs grated fresh ginger
- 5 tsp canola oil, divided
- 1 lb asparagus, woody ends trimmed, sliced on the bias into 2-inch pieces
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- Lemon Sauce (recipe follows)
- zest of 1/2 a lemon
In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with the pepper, soy sauce, and sherry. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, or up to 1 hour.
As the shrimp marinates, prepare the lemon sauce (recipe below). This is also a good time to trim and slice the asparagus, and peel and chop the carrots.
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon of the oil.
Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the shrimp, arranging them into a single layer as best you can. Cook about 1 minute, stirring halfway through. They should be lightly browned but not fully cooked. Remove to a medium bowl and set aside.
Return the skillet to high heat, and add the remaining 2 teaspoons of the oil. Add the asparagus and carrots and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are just barely tender, stirring constantly.
Stir in the garlic-scallion mixture and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Return the shrimp, along with any accumulated juices, to the skillet. Shake the sauce to recombine, then pour it over the mixture. Simmer, tossing and stirring constantly, until the shrimp re cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest. Serve immediately .
- 6 Tbs low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
- 2 Tbs mirin
- 2 Tbs dry sherry
- 2 Tbs low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Combine all the ingredients into a pint-sized jar, and shake to combine. Use as directed above.