Shrimp and Baby Bok Choy Stir-Fry

May 20, 2021
10 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 6 with rice
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jim
  • Christopher Floyd Noceti
    Christopher Floyd Noceti
  • Phyllis Reubendale
    Phyllis Reubendale
  • Steve
  • Loredona

19 Reviews

Jim December 5, 2022
Great and easy to follow recipe. The shrimp were tender and flavorful. I served the finished dish with additional hot chili oil….delish!
Linda D. October 4, 2021
When you prep the shrimp the day before, the dish comes together quickly. Delicious! Thank you!
Christopher F. April 13, 2020
Definitely learn how to cook with high heat prior to attempting , I need a refresher ! Flavors are good and if you don’t have snow peas , throw whatever’s about to go bad into the pan.
Phyllis R. May 28, 2019
This was a great week day meal. Loved the treatment of the shrimp.
Steve August 2, 2018
Sauced it up with a little water and oyster sauce. Thickened with cornstarch. Very good dish. Nice blank canvas for riffs. Served it over quinoa
Ann22 June 20, 2016
Enjoyed this dish but, thought it should have been saucier. I did add jalapeño, Serrano and a chili sauce - I like spicy. I would add more rice vinegar and soy next time. Also, I did toss in the bok choy for about 2 minutes then the snow peas, perfect!
Megan February 21, 2016
Hmm. Really tasty, but I think cooking the book choy before adding the snow peas would have been better. The book choy took a long time to wilt and the peas got a little grey in the meantime. Loved the shrimp, will definitely make again and tweak some to get the veggies right!
alaparc July 6, 2015
Great choice for a weeknight dinner. Especially since I marinated the shrimp the night before. Technique for velvet shrimp is wonderful. Thanks so much.
Loredona April 6, 2015
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.
ieatthepeach April 6, 2015
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.)
Michaela H. January 8, 2015
I can never find chili garlic sauce. Where do you get it / what brand do you recommend?
ieatthepeach January 8, 2015
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!
Tbird December 8, 2014
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!
beckymusician August 6, 2014
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?
ieatthepeach August 7, 2014
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!
beckymusician August 7, 2014
Thank you! I will try this soon! I love shrimp and bok choy, so I'm looking forward to making this.
cucina D. July 31, 2014
love this dish, beautiful and healthy. congrats and I will be trying this soon.
AntoniaJames July 30, 2014
Must try. Congrats on the Wildcard! ;o)
ieatthepeach July 30, 2014
Thank you! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. :)