Shrimp and Baby Bok Choy Stir-Fry

By • February 9, 2014 • 11 Comments

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Author Notes: This is a light and spicy stir-fry, with shrimp, baby bok choy, and snow peas, along with a handful of chopped cashews for texture. Velveting the shrimp -- that is, marinating it in egg white and cornstarch, then poaching it in water -- takes a little bit of time, but the payoff is plump, juicy shrimp that won't overcook. Let the seafood marinate while you prep the vegetables, then poach the shrimp, and toss everything together in a wok. Add a pile of rice to soak up the sauce, and dinner's done!ieatthepeach

Food52 Review: WHO: Ieatthepeach is a twenty-something in the Bay Area who uses her free time to feed her friends and family.
WHAT: An Asian-inspired stir-fry that you can make (almost) as easily as you can dial up a take-out restaurant.
HOW: “Velvet” the shrimp, then poach it in water and set aside. Next up, sauté snap peas and bok choy in a hot wok with ginger, garlic, and scallions. Add the seafood, along with soy sauce and rice wine, then serve over rice and top with sesame seeds and cashews.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Not only does the velveting technique sound lovely, but it also means that the shrimp can withstand the high heat that makes the vegetables soft and caramelized. The field and the sea are both at their peak, no compromises necessary.
The Editors

Serves 6 with rice

For velveting the shrimp:

  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine, dry sherry, or rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon peanut, canola, or vegetable oil
  • Water for poaching

For the stir-fry:

  • 1 tablespoon peanut, canola, or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce, or to taste
  • 4 scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound baby bok choy, washed and thoroughly dried
  • 1/2 pound snow peas
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine, dry sherry, or rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped cashews
  • Cooked white or brown rice for serving
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine egg white, cornstarch, wine or vinegar, and soy sauce, and whisk until smooth. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes while you prep the other ingredients. (This step can be done a day ahead.)
  2. While the shrimp marinates, separate the baby bok choy into leaves and, if desired, trim and de-string the snow peas. Set aside.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and reduce the heat to low so that the water is at a bare simmer. Add shrimp and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Drain the shrimp thoroughly, and set aside.
  4. Place a large skillet or wok (not nonstick) over the highest heat the pan can handle. Heat until the pan is very hot: A drop of water flicked on the surface should sizzle and evaporate within a second or two. Swirl 1 tablespoon of oil into the hot pan, then add ginger, garlic, chili-garlic sauce, and the white parts of the scallions, and stir-fry for about 10 seconds.
  5. Add the snow peas and bok choy and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bok choy leaves are wilted. Add wine or vinegar and soy sauce and stir-fry for 1 minute more, or until the bok choy stems are starting to get tender. Add shrimp and stir-fry for another minute, or until the shrimp is cooked through, the veggies are tender, and everything is coated with sauce.
  6. Remove from the heat, and mix in the cashews and the green parts of the scallions. Spoon over rice, garnish with sesame seeds, and serve immediately.
  • This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!
  • This recipe is a Community Pick!
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Comments (11) Questions (0)

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about 1 month ago Loredona

A question about the bok choy. Separate the baby bok choy into leaves. You cut the leaves from the bok choy and slice the stems also? This is not so clear in the description.

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about 1 month ago ieatthepeach

Sorry for the confusion! What I meant is that you pull each of the individual leaves away from the core, but leave them intact. (As opposed to cutting the whole head of bok choy into quarters, which some recipes have you do, but which I don't like as much.)

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4 months ago Michaela Hackner

I can never find chili garlic sauce. Where do you get it / what brand do you recommend?

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4 months ago ieatthepeach

I usually get it in the Asian section of my local supermarket. I buy either Huy Fong or Lee Kum Kee--either will work great. If you can't find it, I'd suggest mincing an extra clove of garlic and a bit of red chile, and using that instead!

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6 months ago Tbird

Excellent - actually, I just used this recipe for clues to make Bok Choy. Had the Bok Choy as a side to the Pork with Chinese Eggplant dish. Excellent!

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10 months ago beckymusician

I would love to try this. My husband can't have any hot spices for medical reasons. Could you suggest a substitute for the chili-garlic sauce?

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10 months ago ieatthepeach

Hmmm...if you're not going for spicy, I'd say oyster sauce might be a nice substitute to add a little richness and saltiness. You can whisk it together with the wine/vinegar and soy sauce and add it all at once. Or, if you'd prefer, just leave out the extra sauce entirely and add a little more garlic!

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10 months ago beckymusician

Thank you! I will try this soon! I love shrimp and bok choy, so I'm looking forward to making this.

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10 months ago cucina di mammina

love this dish, beautiful and healthy. congrats and I will be trying this soon.

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10 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Must try. Congrats on the Wildcard! ;o)

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10 months ago ieatthepeach

Thank you! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. :)