Shrimp and Baby Bok Choy Stir-Fry

February  9, 2014
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
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

  • 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
In This Recipe
  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.

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