Tag Archives: Stir-fry

Lemon Pepper Shrimp

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This is my version of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Lemon Pepper Shrimp. Basically, the dish is a   wok-crisped shrimp stir-fried with celery, bean sprouts, scallions and fresh lemon slices in an aromatic black pepper sauce.

Chefs at P. F. Chang’s  cook most dishes in heavy woks over extremely high heat with sparks flying and flames nipping at their noses. The special stove is designed so that the tall fires work at the back end of the wok, away from the chef. The well-ventilated stove is built with a steady stream of running water nearby to thin sauces and rinse the woks after each dish is prepared. Like most home cooks, I don’t have one of those super efficient  professional stoves at home. So the challenge for me was to tweak this recipe for standard kitchen equipment. Using a regular electric range  and  a large cast iron skillet, I was able to recreate  the dish  in my kitchen.

Another thing to consider is that the sauce is key to this  dish.  The kitchen  staff and line  cooks move extremely fast back in those P.F. Chang’s kitchens. The chefs are well-trained, but they eyeball measurements for sauces with a ladle, so each wok-prepared dish is going to come out a little different each and every time it is made.  Just like home cooking, the and measurements at the restaurant aren’t exactly scientific.

With all that being said,the shrimp is lightly breaded in cornsatarch and flash fried in oil. For best results, strain the shrimp out of the oil, add it back to the pan with the sauce, and you’ve got yourself pretty good dish just as  tasty  as the original!

Serves 2

Ingredients:
For the Sauce:
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/3 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

For the Shrimp:
1 pound medium raw shrimp (31/40 count), shelled and deveined
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup vegetable oil
4-6 thin lemon slices, each cut into quarters
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 large green onions, sliced  diagonally
2 celery stalks, sliced  diagonally
1 cup bean sprouts

Directions:
Make sauce by heating 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large saucepan over medium heat. Saute garlic and ginger in the hot oil for about 15 seconds being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the soy sauce, then dissolve cornstarch in the water and add the mixture to the pan. Add brown sugar, lemon juice and black pepper and bring mixture to a boil. Simmer for two minutes then remove it from the heat.

Coat all the shrimp generously with cornstarch. Let the shrimp sit for about five minutes so that the cornstarch will adhere better.

Heat a cup of oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp to the pan and saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until the shrimp starts to turn light brown. Strain the shrimp out of the oil with a slotted spoon or spider and discard the  oil. Replace shrimp back in the wok along with the lemon slices, saute for a minute, then add the sauce to the pan. Toss everything around to coat the shrimp thoroughly. Cook for another minute or so until the sauce thickens on the shrimp.

As the shrimp cooks, heat up 1 teaspoon of oil in a separate medium saucepan. Cut the green part of the scallions into 3-inch lengths. Add the scallions, celery and bean sprouts to hot oil along with a dash of salt and pepper. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes until  the scallions begin to soften.

Remove from the heat and build the dish by adding the stir fried vegetables to a serving plate. Add the shrimp over the vegetables, garnish with scallions and serve.

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

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Eating Light: General Tso’s Chicken

Photo Credit: Kate Mathias, 2011

This sweet and spicy dish is absolutely one of my favorite things to eat and it is  Chinese-American restaurant staple. The version featured here, is lighter than your normal take-out or restaurant style recipe, mainly because the chicken is only lightly coated in cornstarch and is pan-fried rather than deep-fried.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 large egg white
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon Chinese chile-garlic sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for frying
2 tablespoons very finely chopped fresh ginger
2 large garlic cloves, minced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Steamed broccoli and white rice, for serving

Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine the toasted sesame oil with the egg white, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch. Add the chicken, stirring to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the chicken broth with the chile-garlic sauce, sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.

In a large saucepan, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the ginger and garlic and cook over high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir the broth mixture, add it to the pan and cook until thickened and glossy, about 3 minutes. Keep the sauce warm over low heat.

In a large, deep skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil until shimmering. Carefully add the chicken, one piece at a time, and fry over high heat, turning once or twice, until very browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain the chicken on paper towels and immediately add to the sauce along with the scallions. Cook just until coated, about 30 seconds.

Serve right away, with steamed broccoli and rice.

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor