I love it that the Chinese restaurants in the US offer special lunch menu. For about $5-$7, you get a complete meal of an entree, rice, and a bowl of soup. Some days when I am too lazy to make lunch, or when I don’t have lunch dates with my friends, I always find myself at a Chinese restaurant, getting my fix of cheap and filling Chinese food.
Recently, I have been going to be a Chinese restaurant close to my house. I have tried many dishes on their special lunch menu, but I am hooked on their cashew shrimp—a simple shrimp stir-fry with cashew nuts (my favorite nut), snow peas, carrots, and canned straw mushrooms. I am probably biased as I love both shrimp and cashew nuts, but I thought their version of cashew shrimp has “wok hei” (breath of wok), with juicy and bouncy shrimp, and the sauce is the epitome of Cantonese cooking—light, savory, and just coats the shrimp and ingredients. I love it.
So today, I decided to attempt it at home. I tried to replicate the same taste, with slightly less oil. The end result was this beautiful, delicious, and pleasing cashew shrimp recipe that goes so well with steamed white rice. This is great for a small family of 2-3 people, served with other dishes.
When it comes to shrimp, I usually get my shrimp at Asian supermarkets, because they are available at an average of $5 – $6 per pound, depending on the size of the shrimp, and whether or not they are shelled. This is cheap as the price can be easily double at regular stores, such as Whole Foods. Shrimp is very tasty and your family can enjoy shrimp more often if you know where to get the cheapest shrimp. Try this cashew shrimp recipe and I am sure everyone would really enjoy it.
Serves 2 | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 5 Minutes
2 tablespoons oil
8 oz shelled and deveined shrimp
One 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced into thin pieces
2 oz snow peas (a handful)
1/4 small carrot, peeled and sliced into diamond shape
1/4 cup canned straw mushrooms, sliced into halves
1/2 cup roasted cashew nuts, rinsed
1 teaspoon egg white
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
5 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3 dashes white pepper
1 scant teaspoon cornstarch
Pinch of salt
Marinate the shrimp with the Marinade, for 15 minutes. Combine all the ingredients in the Sauce in a small bowl, stir to blend well.
Heat up a wok when 1 tablespoon of oil. When the oil is heated, add the marinated shrimp into the wok and do a few quick stirs, until the shrimp is half cooked or the surface of the shrimp turns opaque or white. Dish out and set aside.
Clean the wok and add 1 tablespoon of oil. When the oil is heated, add the sliced ginger and stir-fry until you start smelling the gingery aroma. Add the snow peas, carrot, mushroom, and cashew nuts into the wok, stir and then add the shrimp back into the wok, follow by the sauce. Continue to stir-fry continuously until the shrimp is cooked through. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a little water. Dish out and serve with steamed rice.
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