This easy shrimp stir-fry is ready in about 20 minutes. It's the ultimate weeknight dinner - quick, easy to make, and delicious.
I like serving this saucy dish over cauliflower rice. Leftovers are really good too, so even if I make this dish for just my husband and me, I make the whole thing and save the leftovers for the next day.
Shrimps are amazing. 🍤 They are versatile and so delicious. I also happen to adore stir-fry recipes. Not just because of their wonderful flavor, although that's obviously a big part of why I'm so enamored with them.
I like the fact that they are so quick and easy, especially if you use a frozen vegetable mix.
So when you combine these two - shrimp AND a stir-fry recipe, truly, what's not to like? It's one of the recipes that I make regularly for my family. Everyone likes it - yes, even The Picky Eater.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
For the sauce: Light soy sauce, cornstarch, minced garlic, minced ginger, and red pepper flakes. You can replace the cornstarch with a low-carb alternative if you wish and use it according to the package directions.
Cooking oil: I like to use avocado oil. It has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor, making it very suitable for stir-fry recipes.
Shrimp: Raw shrimp, peeled and deveined. The tails can be on or off - this is purely up to you. Medium shrimp work well in stir-fry recipes, but if all you have is large shrimp, that's fine too (and that's actually what I used when photographing this recipe).
Vegetables: It's easiest to use frozen stir-fry veggies. The bag I use comes from Whole Foods and contains onions, carrots, mushrooms, and broccoli. There's no need to defrost them first. I add them frozen to the skillet.
To finish the dish: Sesame oil and sesame seeds. The seeds are just for garnish. The oil adds wonderful flavor, so I wouldn't skip it.
Making this shrimp stir-fry is easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Prepare the sauce. Whisk together the soy sauce, cornstarch, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes.
Cook the shrimp and vegetables in the oil over medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes. The idea is to cook them until the veggies are tender-crisp and the shrimp are fully cooked. How long this takes will depend on the size of the shrimp and on whether the veggies are fresh or frozen.
Add the sauce and cook just until it thickens, about 1 more minute. Off heat, drizzle the dish with sesame oil, sprinkle it with sesame seeds, and serve.
While you want the shrimp fully cooked, you don't want them overcooked or they'll be tough and gummy.
So during the first stage of cooking them with the vegetables, cook them just until they are opaque, then proceed with the rest of the recipe. They will cook some more after you add the sauce.
Frequently asked questions
Cook it over medium-high heat and try not to overcook it. You want the vegetables to be tender-crisp and the protein to be cooked but not overcooked.
I love using avocado oil. It has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor. Refined coconut oil is also good. I would definitely not use extra-virgin olive oil or unrefined sesame oil. Both have a low smoke point, making them unsuitable for high-heat cooking.
Note that we use sesame oil in this recipe to finish the dish, not as cooking oil.
It's important to use enough sauce. Yes, soy sauce is very high in sodium - even light soy sauce. But it adds so much flavor. Unless you must limit sodium (in which case stir-frys might not be the best choice for you), don't skimp on the sauce.
A few other ingredients that add lots of flavor are garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and sesame oil.
The best way to vary this recipe is to use different vegetables. You can use about 1 pound of any vegetable you like, fresh or frozen. In addition to the veggies used here, other options include green beans, sliced bell peppers, and snow peas.
You can serve this stir-fry as is, or on top of cauliflower rice. It's also good on shirataki noodles or on a bed of spinach leaves. The hot stir-fry will wilt the raw spinach leaves just enough to make them perfectly cooked. It's really good!
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to three days. Reheat them very gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
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- 4 tablespoons light soy sauce (or a gluten-free alternative)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 2 lb. large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 (16 oz) bag frozen stir-fry veggies (mine is from Whole Foods and contains onions, carrots, mushrooms, and broccoli)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, corn starch, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes.
- Heat the avocado oil in a wok or in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes.
- Add the shrimp and the vegetables and stir-fry until the vegetables are tender and the shrimps are cooked, 5-10 minutes, depending on the shrimps’ size. Larger shrimp and frozen veggies will take longer to cook.
- Lower the heat to medium. Give the sauce another stir, then add it to the skillet. Stir-fry until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and transfer the stir-fry to individual plates or to a serving platter. Drizzle with sesame oil, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.