It’s Lent and I’m scouring my recipe collection for ideas for meatless meals. I found this in the folder 300 calorie dinners, and it had shrimp and veg in it. So. I adjusted the recipe to taste because I don’t like spicy food but Andy does. It’s always easier to spice food up than it is to take spice away, so I reduced the pepper. Let him add pepper himself, and he does, with a free hand. I added sweet peppers, made the Thai chili optional, and substituted sugar snap peas for snow peas.
Sweet and Spicy Shrimp with Rice Noodles
Makes 4 servings
Marinade for the shrimp
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon ground fresh chili paste (e.g. sambal oelek)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) shelled deveined shrimp
Noodles and Sauce/Seasonings
Half a pack (about 4 oz) of uncooked flat rice noodles or rice sticks, thin kind
1-2 tablespoons peanut oil (I used rice bran oil)
2 tablespoons chopped unsalted cashews (I used salted)
4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 green Thai chili (optional)
Half a medium bell pepper (can combine red, yellow and/or green)
3/4 cup matchstick-cut carrots
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed (can use snow peas)
3/4 cup fresh organic bean sprouts
In a medium bowl, mix together the marinade. Add just enough of the chili paste as you can handle the heat. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Set aside on the countertop until ready to use, about 30 minutes, while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
Cook noodles according to package directions. I cooked the noodles in boiling water for 2 1/2 minutes on medium high, then off the heat and let them soak in the hot water for another 2 1/2 minutes. Drain into a colander. Rinse in cold water and drain again. Set aside.
Cook’s Note: The key to this dish is to have the noodles al dente, so don’t forget them. If you do, they become gummy and pasty, and you will have to toss them out.
Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the oil to the pan, swirling to coat. Add the cashews, garlic, ginger, and chili, if using. Stir-fry until fragrant and garlic begins to brown. Remove cashew mixture to a small bowl and set aside.
Increase heat to high and add up to a tablespoon of oil to the pan if there is none left in the pan. Add the sweet peppers, carrots and salt to the pan. Stir fry about 2 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp tender. Add the shrimp with the marinade. Stir-fry 2 minutes or until the shrimp become opaque. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in noodles and sugar snap peas, cook for 1 minute. Use a pair of tongs to toss the noodles to coat them in the sauce. Return the cashew mixture to the pan. Add the bean sprouts and cook until heated through, tossing frequently. Serve at once.