Stir-Fried Shrimp and Broccoli

One of our favorite things to grow in our garden is broccoli.  All my kids love broccoli, and it’s the best when you can just go outside and cut a vegetable from the garden to serve with dinner.  I stepped out into the garden today and noticed the garden broccoli that we have been anticipating was ready for the picking!!!  I had some shrimp in the freezer and decided a broccoli and shrimp stir fry was just the thing and I even had a new stir fry recipe I’d been itching to try in one of my Cooks Illustrated Magazines.  It turned out pretty good.  I love stir fry and am always looking for sauce variations to mix things up.  This recipe listed 3 different variations, but I tried the one they pared with Shrimp and Broccoli.  The sauce was pretty minimal, no much left for pouring over rice.  I might increase the sauce portion by 1 1/2  the next go around.
STIR-FRIED SHRIMP AND BROCCOLI

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb extra-large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed.
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 C plus 2 Tbsp dry sherry
  • 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Asian chili-garlic sauce (or less if you don’t want it too spicy)
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb broccoli, florets cut into 1-inch pieces (or whatever vegetables you desire–we just had loads of fresh broccoli on hand, so broccoli it was for us)
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

  1. Combine shrimp, sugar, and salt in medium bowl.  Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Whisk 1/3 C sherry, oyster sauce, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, and vinegar together in bowl.  Whisk cornstarch and remaining 2 Tbsp sherry together in second bowl.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet (or wok) over high heat until smoking.  Add broccoli and 2 Tbsp sherry-oyster sauce mixture and toss to coat.  Cover skillet a d cook for 4 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking (that covering is required with broccoli to kind of steam it–other veggies can often be just stir-fried no covering necessary).  Uncover and continue to cook until broccoli is crips-tender and beginning to brown in spots, 2-3 minutes longer.  Transfer broccoli to bowl.
  4. Add remaining 1 Tbsp oil, ginger, and garlic to skillet and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add remaining sherry-oyster sauce mixture and shrimp to skillet and bring to simmer.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally until shrimp are just cooked through, 3-5 minutes.  (This technique of simmering the shrimp in liquid rather than stir frying it in a dry hot pan is to help keep it moist).
  5. Whisk sherry-cornstarch mixture to recombine and add to skillet; increase heat to high and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened, 1-2 minutes.  Return broccoli to skillet and toss to combine.

Sichuan Peppercorn Variation: Microwave 2 tsp cumin seeds and 1 1/2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns 1-2 minutes (until fragrant) and grind in spice grinder.  Add 1 tsp sugar to sherry mixture but omit Asian chili-garlic sauce and oyster sauce.  Heat oil, garlic, 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, and cumin mixture in skillet until garlic brown (1 minute).  Then add veggies (suggested red and green peppers and red onions) and stir fry until crisp tender.  Omit ginger and instead add 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro at the end.

Garlic Sauce Variation:  Omit oyster sauce and replace with 1 Tbsp broad bean chili paste and in crease soy sauce to 2 Tbsp.  Before adding vegetables (suggested asparagus, and green parts of scallions cut into 1-inch pieces) heat oil and add 6 cloves garlic sliced thin, 3 scallions (white parts only chopped fine) and 2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger until fragrant (1 minute).

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