Sweet and Spicy Shrimp and Zucchini Stir-Fry
In Asian cooking, we like our food to have layers of flavors. It’s not enough for it to be just plain salty or savory or even sweet. It’s got to be more than that. It has to be a little sweet, a little spicy, quite tangy….a combination of flavors that will excite one’s palate – delicious complexity in other words.
Asian food always seems to offer something new and fresh.
That’s the case with this easy stir-fry. It takes just 5-7 minutes to cook it and yet the complexities of flavors are there – sweet and spicy from the sweet chili sauce, salty and savory from the soy sauce, additional richness from the sesame oil and of course the taste itself from the zucchini and the shrimp – all work together to give this stir-fry it’s wonderful and yummy taste. The first time I made this I used some onions (see photo below) but I omitted it the second time around. You can add onions if you like or just use the garlic instead. They are both fine either way.
So when you are in the mood for a quick and easy stir-fry that packs in the flavor, why not give this a try? Of course, don’t forget the rice!
2 Tablespoons, Vegetable Oil
3 Garlic cloves, crushed*
2 medium to large Zucchini, halved then sliced into half-inch chunks
1 Tablespoon, dark Soy sauce or to taste*
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb raw jumbo Shrimps, peeled and deveined
Salt, to taste
Sweet Chili Sauce, 3-5 Tablespoons diluted with about 3-7 tablespoons of water, or to taste*
A few drops of Sesame oil.
*You may add some chopped onions for some extra aroma and flavor, too.
*Get a gluten-free soy-sauce and sweet chili sauce if on a gluten-free diet.
*Adjust the heat/spice level to your liking. Just taste it before adding it and then determine how spicy you want it to be.
Heat up a wok or a large frying pan to high heat. Swirl in the vegetable oil. Add the garlic and cook very briefly just until aromatic, a few seconds only. Add the zucchini slices and drizzle the soy sauce on top. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes or until tender. Season with a little ground pepper, to taste.
Push the zucchini to the side of the wok/frying pan. If the pan/wok is quite dry at this point, add a little more oil. Place the shrimp in one layer. Let it cook for 1 minute without stirring. Season with a little salt (just a pinch). After 1 minute, stir-fry with the zucchini until it has turned fully opaque, about 1 more minute.
Quickly, stir in the sweet chili sauce and coat the zucchini and shrimp. Add a few drops of sesame oil to the mix. Serve immediately with some freshly cooked rice.
Enjoy! Thanks and happy eating!