I don’t like to peel raw shrimp. For me, peeling and deveining shrimp ranks above eating a pomegranate, but not by much. That’s why I use peeled cooked shrimp in my recipes. Purists and gourmets will object, and I am sure that they are right, but I don’t like to peel shrimp. Taking off the tails of cooked shrimp is enough work. and people keep asking for seconds, so the things I make must taste pretty good anyway.
Maybe one reason people are cooking a bit less often today is that more people than we realize share my distaste for peeling shrimp. I complained every time I had to peel shrimp for a dish I love, Shrimp Etouffée, LINK until one day I substituted frozen cooked shrimp which I decided produced the same wonderful flavor of the original and saved me a half hour’s tedious labor. I hope that this confession encourage others to make some shrimp dishes that they have been avoiding.
I put this recipe together to make it as quick and easy to make as possible. You don’t need to mince the garlic or ginger or cook the shrimp ahead of time. You just stir the sauce ingredients together, wash and chop the broccoli and onion into pieces and pull the tails off the shrimp. Of course you have to cook the rice, but that takes about two minutes of actual preparation time. While the rice is simmering in the covered pan you are making the stir fry.
You will end up with a delicious dinner low in fat, calories and carbohydrates in half an hour.
2 T soy sauce
1 1/2 T oyster sauce
2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
2 T water
1/2 tsp. instant chicken bouillon
1/4 tsp. powdered garlic
1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
2 tsp. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1/8 tsp. chili pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 T vegetable oil
3 cups broccoli florets
1 small onion (about 2 inches in diameter)
12 oz. cooked medium shrimp
1 scallion (optional)
Dash of salt (optional, to taste)
1 cup white rice
2 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
Make the sauce first. Combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, ginger, vinegar, water, bouillon, brown sugar, sesame oil, pepper flakes (if you wish) and cornstarch. Whisk everything together and set the sauce aside.
Thaw the shrimp if necessary, remove the tails and set the shrimp aside in a bowl. Clean and chop a scallion into thin rings if you wish and set them aside in a small bowl. Wash the broccoli and separate three cups of florets. Cut the stem and root ends from the onion, remove the dry outer layers and slice it vertically. The safest way to do this is to cut the onion in half lengthwise, then cut each half into thin strips lengthwise.
Rinse the rice and bring two cups of water and the salt to a boil in a one quart pan with a tight-fitting lid. Stir in the rice and bring the pan back to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, put the lid on and allow the rice to cook until the water is all absorbed. Do not remove the lid for the first fifteen minutes. Turn off the heat and fluff the rice with a fork before serving.
Once the rice is cooking, put a tablespoon of oil into a wok or large skillet over moderate heat. Stir the broccoli and onion into the oil and cook for about two minutes, then add the shrimp and continue cooking and stirring another two minutes. Pour the sauce over the shrimp and vegetables and stir until the sauce thickens and everything is warm.
Serve over the rice and garnish with the scallion rings if you wish. Freshly baked bread goes well with this dish.
NOTES: Some time ago I read an article about how chefs use parts of vegetables that a lot of people throw away. One example is the thick stems of broccoli. I now trim the cut ends of the broccoli heads from the store and chop the stems into pieces that will cook along with the florets.