One-Pot Wonders

Lucy’s Garlic Sauteed Prawns with Asparagus

April 22, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

Many of the best home cooks I know cook by instinct. They can tell by the way something smells, looks, feels or sounds how it will taste. They also have developed their own ways to do things. My dear mother-in-law is one of these cooks. Having raised three athletic sons, she has cooked…a lot and her shrimp are the best. She preps them so that the flesh of the shrimp curls outward but stays wonderfully tender. When I asked her about how she cuts her shrimp to achieve this, she carefully explained how to devein a shrimp. I explained that I have deveined many a shrimp but they never looked liked hers. A moment of silence followed. “Hmm…maybe I do cut the shrimp a little deeper than other people.” She then went straight into her kitchen to write out her recipe for me. Here it is, her ‘top secret formula’, generously described with lots of pictures to boot (my successful attempt is on the one with the purple plate!) —monkeymom

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound shrimp (16/20 size at least)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2-1 teaspoons sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons Vegetable oil
  • 6 gloves garlic, sliced
  • 15 asparagus spears, ends trimmed
  • water
  1. Remove the shrimp’s shell. With a small sharp knife slice into shrimp’s back and cut a little deeper than half way through. Devein right away. Rinse in the water, drain, pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Marinate with cooking wine, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp sugar and corn starch. Leave it in the refrigerator at least 20 minutes or longer.
  3. Heat a large pan (that has a cover) on high heat. Add vegetable oil and allow to heat for 1-2 minutes. Add sliced garlic and stir fry for about 1 minute to flavor the oil. Remove the garlic when slightly browned, but not burned (you can save it and serve it later if you want to).
  4. Add the shrimp and stir fry about 3-4 minutes. Add ¼ cup of water and cover for 1-2 minutes to allow shrimp to steam slightly. Take out the shrimp with a slotted turner or spoon before it is overcooked. Leave the extra oil & natural sauce in the pot.
  5. Sauté the asparagus (or any green vegetables, such as sliced celery or broccoli) in this left-over oil and sauce. Add 1/4 cup of water, 1/2 tsp Salt & ¼ tsp Sugar. Cover the pot, steam cooked 2-3 minutes in medium temperature until the veggies are done. Don’t overcook to keep them green and nutritious. Uncover. You can either evaporate remaining liquid or keep it as a sauce. Remove from pan. You can serve with the natural sauce or remove if too oily.
  6. Serve the shrimp and vegetables together. Enjoy!
  7. Options: add little white pepper or hot pepper/sauce if desired. You can also add some fresh tomato or tomato sauce to ½ of the shrimp to make ying-yang shrimp.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • mrslarkin
  • testkitchenette
  • healthierkitchen
  • monkeymom

Recipe by: monkeymom

My favorite distraction is to cook. Though science and cooking/baking have a lot in common, I'm finding that each allows me to enjoy very different parts of my life. Cooking connects me with my heritage, my family, friends, and community. I'm really enjoying learning from the food52 community, who expose me to different ingredients and new ways to cook.

12 Reviews

Aimee W. January 31, 2017
Delicious! SO so wonderfully full of flavor and so easy. I've cooked it twice in three nights. Thank you.
lori_felling_stone March 27, 2011
I made this tonight with prawns. I added a pat of butter and a squeeze of lime to the natural sauce at the end and cooked for just a bit while stirring. The prawns added a little natural sweetness and I like their texture. It was really good. Light and satisfying. I really like this recipe! I also added a little salt and a dried pepper blend.
lori_felling_stone March 27, 2011
Also, I used about 1/2 cup white wine in the intial marinade, and used that for most of the liquid. I added maybe 1/4 cup water. The sauce was very good.
monkeymom March 30, 2011
So excited that you tried it! I'll tell my mom-in-law...she'll be interested in the variation!
Borton L. April 23, 2010
Simple garlic, shrimp and asparagus combinations made this gourmet dish special! I also noticed the "creative" way of saute the shrimps / vegetables by partially steamed-cooked them with less oil - a healthier method to stir-fry (saute). Thanks for your mom's "top secret formula".
monkeymom April 24, 2010
You can definitely adjust the level of oil to suite your taste and diet. I think it also helps with keeping the shrimp tender. :)
mrslarkin April 23, 2010
Man! I wanna come eat @ your house! Is that a wok in the pic?
monkeymom April 24, 2010
I'd love to have you over! The pictures are actually at my mom-in-law's house. She and my dad-in-law took the pics to post. It is sort of a deep flat bottomed pan I believe. I've seen her make it in a regular nonstick skillet, which is what I used as well.
testkitchenette April 23, 2010
Asparagus and shrimp? I am sold. I love the simplicity and brevity of ingredients. Well done again monkeymom!
monkeymom April 24, 2010
Oh, I wish I could take credit for it but it is my mother-in-law's recipe. It is really my favorite dish of hers!
healthierkitchen April 23, 2010
This looks awesome. One of my favorite restaurant dishes this time of year when asparagus comes into season here.
monkeymom April 24, 2010
Thanks, it's yummy!