Sunday, August 20, 2006

Shrimp Stir-fry Tip

Stir-Fried Shrimp
The other week my husband and I unintentionally had a fabulous meal. I needed to make something quick so I decided on a shrimp stir-fry with walnuts (any excuse to use those fresh walnuts my mom gave me).

I remembered that back in college a friend had recommended coating the shrimp in tapioca starch before frying. I tried it and was impressed with the crispness it provided not to mention how easy it was to coat the damp shrimp in the starch (no egg or flour needed!).

You can find tapioca starch at your local Asian market. Just coat the shrimp in the starch and stir fry in your wok for approximately 2 minutes per side; add the walnuts towards the end so that they toast lightly. Drain on a paper towel while you stir-fry your vegetables and some thin slices of fresh ginger. Be sure not to overcook the vegetables and add the sauce (I recommend a simple sauce of 2 T. soy sauce, 2 T. Shaoxing rice wine, and 2 tsp. of brown sugar) right before serving. Don't let vegetable steam in the sauce for too long or they will get mushy.

I served the shrimp separately from the stir-fried veggies so that they stayed crisp. We piled the shrimp and vegetables on top of a mound of jasmine rice.

It was the simplest and most delicious meal that I have ever prepared that quickly. The tapioca starch not only makes the shrimp crispy but it adds a subtle nutty flavor that's not too overpowering. We ended up eating the entire dish despite the fact that I had made enough for 4 people.

Stir Fried Shrimp with Walnuts

(not the most appetizing picture but you get the idea)


Jennifer said...

What a great tip--I would never have thought of tapioca! Delicious AND fast is such a winning combination (and it sounds pretty healthy, to boot!)

Dianka said...

What a great idea, Kady! I'll have to try that, the shrimp look delicious!

Lynn said...

wow, i always liked going to restaurants with 'butterfly shrimp' but this is all you have to do to make it at home? sounds interesting! :)

Anonymous said...

I have done this with just cornstarch, but tapioca sounds like a more flavorfull way of doing it. I also tried to replicate the spicy salty shrimp at home, but you need two hot pans for it. If you buy the THIN almost translucent shell shrimp at 99 Ranch, you can leave the shells on. In one pan put 1tsp of salt, 1tsp of black pepper, some slivers of jalapeno or thai pepper and heat it on high (dry). Second pan is your oil, heated high. Just rinse the shrimp and dip in the starch, shake off excess, and then toss in oil. Drain the shrimp well blotting up the oil if need be. Then toss all of the shrimp into the second pan for a few shakes, toasting the salt and pepper into the shrimp coating, and then turn it out onto the serving platter. I made the mistake the first time of not getting enough oil off the shrimp. The second time was much better.