This beautiful beast of a bowl came together one night while in a state of hanger so outrageous I was two minutes away from temper-tantrumming Veruca Salt-style . Growling at the fridge that offered up nothing appealing — I reached for the one protein that defrosts and cooks in the flashiest of flashes – SHRIMPS.
I always have shrimp on hand for emergencies such as these, and because an entire pantry shelf is dedicated to all things Asian — everything within reach of soy sauce got pitched into the pan as well.
Because garlic and chile can be thrown about with wild abandon and still give you something delicious. Because it’s safer for everyone involved to get this in our bellies asap. Because starving.
Turns out it was a delightful mess of sultry heat and addicting salty-sweet. Scraping the last bits from the pan, I tried to scribble down what I’d done so that it could get into the sacred ring of dinner rotation. And here we are: hangry or not, happy to get a bowl of this goodness.
Sweet & Spicy Fire Shrimp
- 12-16 ounces raw shrimp about 20, rinsed and peeled
- 12-14 ounce packet soba or udon stir-fry noodles
- 1 TB fresh grated ginger
- 1 shallot diced
- 10 cloves garlic diced
For the Chile Oil:
- 2 TB gochujang chile paste
- 3 TB neutral oil
- 1 tsp tomato paste
For the Stir-fry Sauce:
- 1 TB honey
- 1 TB sesame oil
- 1 TB rice vinegar
- 1 TB soy sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- scallions, cilantro, sesame seeds for topping
In a medium bowl vigorously whisk the gochujang, tomato paste and oil 'til well blended. Dump the shrimp in -- stir to coat. Set aside.
In a small bowl stir all the sauce ingredients together.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high, and add oil or fat of your choice. Coconut oil is so good with this, but a neutral oil will also do. Add the shallot, garlic, ginger -- let them sizzle and brown.
Tip the whole bowl of shrimp with its sauce into the pan, stirring. Quickly add the noodles and stir to coat. Add the stir-fry sauce and continue cooking til the shrimp are just opaque and everything is gorgeously red and saucy.
Serve immediately topped with scallions, cilantro, seeds. Devour.
- Sometimes you're just too hungry to care about veg. But you should absolutely add whatever veggies your heart desires to this stir-fry. Snap peas, bean sprouts, quick-steamed broccoli, etc.
- Please never buy pre-cooked shrimps. They are watery and taste like old ice cubes.