Shrimp chow mein is an elegant but quick meal. Perfect for any season.
Beat The Heat
Shrimp chow mein is one of the quickest dinners you can make and is an excellent meal to make to beat summer heat.
However, this is so good, you’ll find yourself going back to it in any season. When you want to eat “real food” and not depend on take-outs or reheating something frozen, this is it. This recipe also comes in handy for when you’re swamped and pressed for time–especially during the winter holidays.
It’s so good and versatile that you’ll find yourself making it often. It’s sure to become one of those go-to recipes.
Shrimp The Easy Way
You can make the preparation even easier if you have totally cleaned shrimp on hand.
Shrimp has been almost a constant sale item in my area for quite a long time. I stocked up when one store had a 2-pound bag of easy-peel jumbo shrimp for $14. A few weeks later, I was able to get a similar-size bag of organic peeled and deveined ones for $17. So if you can score a good deal on completely cleaned shrimp, it’s less work for you.
However, here’s the caveat: Having used the completely cleaned shrimp, I find I don’t like them all that much. They seem to shrink and are pretty dry. I don’t understand it so maybe I just got a bad bag or the store had them “on ice” too long so they dried out a bit. But I never experienced this with the peel-on shrimp, even with bags I’ve had in the freezer for months. So this is just a heads up that your mileage may vary.
The Sauce: Make It Flavorful
The flavor of the sauce is dependent on the quality of your chicken stock. I use Better Than Bouillon (low-sodium) because I think that tastes the best. I use about one tablespoon mixed with water for this sauce. College Inn Rich Stock is good as well, but I find that difficult to find now.
I like mirin in this recipe. You’ll find that in the Asian section of your store. Mirin is sweet so if you prefer a sauce that isn’t slightly sweet, use the white wine/dry sherry option. Either way, its good. I’m sure most people don’t stock mirin but do have white wine or dry sherry for cooking, so use what you have on hand!
- 1 lb fresh shrimp, cleaned and deveined
- 2 ribs celery, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 2 tbs vegetable oil (don’t use olive oil)
- 1¼ cups rich chicken stock
- 2 tbs mirin (see NOTES) -OR- dry white wine/dry sherry
- ½ tsp dark sesame oil
- ¼ tsp ginger
- 2 tbs cornstarch
- Mix all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat; add the oil.
- When the oil shimmers, add the shrimp. Stir constantly until shrimp is opaque and pink; about 5 minutes.
- Add the onion, garlic and celery. Stir constantly until celery turns bright green, about 2 minutes. Stir the sauce again and add it to the pan, stirring constantly until it boils. Cook for 1 minute.
- Serve immediately.