Let your wok dance with Martha Rose Shulman’s stir-fried shrimp with peas and red peppers
Chinese restaurants abound with paeans to prawns. Now bring home a taste of the original with a dash of vegetables. This recipe serves four.
Peas with strings and stems removed: 350 gm
Cornstarch: 2 tsp
Soy sauce: 1 1/2 tbsp
Rice wine or dry sherry: 1 tbsp
Gingelly oil: 2 tsp
Sugar: 1 tsp
Medium shrimp, shelled and deveined: 1/2 kg
Chicken or vegetable stock: 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil: 2 tbsp
Chopped fresh ginger: 1 tbsp
Large garlic cloves, minced: 3
Red bell pepper cut into 1-inch squares: 1
Scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths: 3
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the peas. Boil for 30 seconds, and transfer immediately to the ice water. Allow to cool for a few minutes, drain and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together 1 teaspoon of the corn starch, 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of the rice wine or sherry, 1 teaspoon of the gingelly oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar. Add the shrimp, and stir together to coat.
Place the remaining corn starch, soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, gingelly oil and sugar in another bowl. Add the stock, and stir together well. Set aside.
Heat a large, heavy non-stick skillet or wok over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, and turn the heat to medium. Add the ginger and garlic, and stir together for about 20 seconds, then add the red pepper and the white and light green parts of the scallions. Stir-fry for two to three minutes, until the pepper begins to soften. Stir to the side of the pan. Add the remaining oil and the shrimp. Cook, stirring, for two minutes, stir in the peas and continue to stir-fry for another two or three minutes until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. Give the sauce a stir, and add it to the pan along with the dark green ends of the scallions. Stir everything together with the sauce until the shrimp and vegetables are lightly glazed. Serve hot, with rice.