Fast and easy stir fries like this 15 Minute Shrimp And Vegetable Stir Fry are week-night life savers. They might even be literal life savers, if you get as hangry as I do. Read on, or jump straight to the recipe HERE.
Show of hands: who else gets dangerously hangry?
(If you don’t know what I’m talking about, hangry = a mix of hungry and angry, or more specifically, angry because you’re hungry.)
Hangry manifests itself in different ways for different people. Some people get a little cranky when they’re hungry, others get downright monstrous. I hate to admit it, but I lean towards the latter. (Oddly enough, I can happily juice fast for days on end, but if I’m NOT fasting and my dinner plans get delayed by two hours? Aw hell no.)
Anyone else? Tell me I’m not alone, here.
And when it comes to dinner? Having something quick and easy I can pull out of my back pocket is an absolute must.
Not that I keep shrimp stir fry in my back pocket. That would be unsanitary.
I do keep shrimp in the freezer, though. If I have the time, I’ll move the frozen shrimp to the fridge the night before I want to cook it so it thaws nice and slow. But that’s not usually how it goes down in my house. When I need a meal and I need it FAST, I throw the shrimp into a bowl of cool water in the sink, and they thaw out (enough) while I chop the veggies. Then I drain the shrimp, blot them dry on paper towels, and into the skillet they go.
I don’t always have a bunch of veggies on hand… but when I do, my stir fry looks like this. When I don’t, it looks like whatever I do have in my fridge, and that’s okay. This time I used spiralized zucchini and carrots, and a variety of colorful bell peppers. All these thin little strips of veggies acted almost like noodles, which was awesome, but you could easily chop ’em into chunks if you prefer more texture.
I’ve also done this dish with broccoli, sliced mushrooms, snow peas… you could even pop open a can of water chestnuts or bamboo shoots if you have them around.
Serve as is, or over rice or noodles for a more filling meal. I always make extra rice and store single-serve portions in sandwich bags in my freezer. Hangry doesn’t wait for rice to cook.
Hands-down the best part of any stir-fry is the sauce. This one is sticky, tangy, and full of umami. It also takes the majority of the time in this recipe to measure out all the ingredients, so if you really want to plan ahead and make life easy, you can whisk up a batch of sauce and freeze it in a small baggie alongside your shrimp. Thaw it out in a bowl of hot water, and all that’s left is chopping a few veggies and throwing everything into the pan.
- 2 tsp. corn starch
- 1 TBSP water
- 2 TBSP soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)
- 2 TBSP hoisin sauce (or gluten-free hoisin)
- 2 TBSP mirin
- 1 TBSP rice vinegar
- 1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated or cut into very fine matchsticks
- ½ tsp. toasted sesame oil
- ½-1 tsp. sriracha, OR a bit of sliced red chili (I used about ½ a fresno chili because they were already in my fridge -- slice pepper thinly, and if you don't want too much heat remove the seeds. When I don't have fresh chilis, sriracha is my go-to, and I find just shy of 1 tsp. to be perfect for me.)
- 2 TBSP coconut oil, peanut oil, or other neutral hi-heat oil
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 large or 2 small zucchini, spiralized or chopped
- 1 or 2 carrots, peeled and spiralized or cut into matchsticks
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced (or any other veggie you like -- snow peas, broccoli florets, or mushrooms all work well)
- 2-3 green onions, sliced (white and green parts)
- handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- ¾ cup roasted and salted peanuts, chopped (feel free to omit these if you're allergic. A couple TBSP toasted sesame will work instead.)
- Lime wedges, for serving (optional)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. Add in the remaining sauce ingredients, and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Slice and prepare all your veggies so they're ready to go in the pan, because the stir fry will only take a few minutes to cook.
- Add 1 TBSP oil to a large nonstick skillet or wok over high heat. Let the oil get nice and hot so it's glistening, and add the shrimp. Let cook for about 30-45 seconds per side, then remove to a plate. It's okay if they aren't fully cooked, as they will finish cooking when they're added back to the pan at the end.
- Add the remaining TBSP of oil to the pan, and when it's nice and hot add all the veggies. Let cook for 1-2 minutes -- I like my veggies a crisp still, and not mushy. If yours are chopped into larger chunks, you may need to cook slightly longer.
- Give the sauce a quick stir to distribute any cornstarch that's settled to the bottom, and pour that into the pan. Add the shrimp, green onions, cilantro, and peanuts. Cook for about one minute, stirring and tossing everything together, until the sauce is thick and bubbling and coats everything evenly.
- Serve immediately with additional peanuts or cilantro for garnish, and lime wedges if you like. You can serve this just as it is, or with a side of noodles or rice.
This dish can be made gluten-free by swapping the soy sauce for tamari, and by choosing a gluten-free variety of hoisin sauce. Feel free to omit the nuts if you're allergic, or swap them for toasted sesame seeds.
And because I always get asked: THIS is the spiralizer I use. If you don't have a spiralizer for this recipe, no worries -- just chop your zucchini and finely slice the carrots and you're good to go.