Char’s Shrimp and Broccoli Stir-Fry

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Soups are a great way to introduce a lot of vegetables to kids. Stir-fries, too, because they contain so many different shapes and colors. ~ Emeril Lagasse

A couple of days ago, we had a lovely Thai Chicken Curry at a teensy weensy cafe that’s been around for at least 25 years, served by the same friendly, no-nonsense woman who looks like she hasn’t aged a bit. After that we strolled around campus and pretended we were 19 with nary a care in the world. Looking skywards, it was clear and blue. I thought about color pencils and that shade named ‘Sky Blue’ in the Crayola box. Growing up in Singapore, the sky is seldom blue. I mean, we *knew* that the sky is supposed to be blue, we painted them blue and no kid called it ‘white skies’. It was usually either white or grey from cloud cover. It got me thinking about how we remember things, how one memory leads to another and the strange ways we recall moments that are buried in recesses of our minds.

So it is with food and tastes. I had not thought about shrimp and broccoli in a while. For some reason, we have been cooking Beef and Broccoli quite a bit and shrimp had been given a break. So when Char of Wok and Skillet, whose blog updates I eagerly look forward to and often refer to was looking for testers for recipes that will be featured in her new and upcoming cookbook, The Healthy Wok Chinese Cookbook: Fresh Recipes to Sizzle, Steam, and Stir-Fry Restaurant Favorites at HomeI couldn’t wait to try out her Shrimp and Broccoli Stir-Fry. The recipe was on point. The sweetness from the shrimp is a wonderful complement to broccoli. I thought of what Emeril once said and this dish would be a good way to tempt those who usually shy away from this vegetable.

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Here is Char’s recipe for Shrimp and Broccoli Stir Fry (Photos by Ginger and Cilantro). For more of her wonderful recipes, please see her cookbook. You can find it here on Amazon.

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from The Healthy Wok Chinese Cookbook: Fresh Recipes to Sizzle, Steam, and Stir-Fry Restaurant Favorites at Home

Recipe Type: Sides
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: Char
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves 6 to 8

A super simple weeknight-friendly meal that is low in calories and tastes amazing. The crunch of the broccoli and the tender succulent shrimp give this dish incredible texture. Great with or without rice as the broccoli is quite filling.


½ pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
½ teaspoon salt
Dash of white pepper
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ thumb ginger, julienned
2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
1 carrot, peeled and slice
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1 stalk scallion, chopped

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon sugar

  1. Marinade the shrimp in Shaoxing wine, salt, white pepper and cornstarch for 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare the sauce by combining soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and sugar.
  3. Heat peanut oil in a wok over medium-high heat.
  4. Stir-fry the garlic and ginger until aromatic. Add the carrots and broccoli florets, then stir-fry for about a minute.
  5. Add the shrimp to the wok along with the sauce mixture to the wok. Stir-fry until all of the shrimp are fully cooked and the vegetables have softened.
  6. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the dish and give it one final stir.
  7. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with chopped scallions and serve immediately.

Cooking tip: You can control how crunchy the broccoli is by adjusting its cooking time. If you like your broccoli very soft, you may wish to steam it for about 5 minutes before adding it to the wok (or even way ahead of time). Alternatively, you could thaw frozen broccoli to stir-fry as they tend to be softer than fresh broccoli.

Meanwhile, on the nightstand is Jennifer Graham’s hilarious and honest reflections of what it’s like to be a runner who doesn’t look like a typical one in “Honey, do you need a Ride? Confessions of a Fat Runner“. The best part about it is that I think most of us really feel like her in some way, whether we admit it to ourselves or not, and whether  it is how we run or some other part of our lives.

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