Cooking On A Budget: Shrimp Stir Fry

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Shrimp Stir Fry


One of the nice things about this dinner is that you can prep everything one day ahead - the shrimp and the vegetables. As long as they are refrigerated and sealed properly the ingredients stay fresh. To make the shrimp stock find the recipe below. You will need 4 cups total. To make rice find the recipe below.

This recipe may seem out of your reach budget wise, but it really isn't. Take into account getting some of the ingredients when they are on sale (especially the shrimp). I took advantage of the sale on broccoli as well. This particular stir fry meal would feed 4-6 people. When I added up the total cost of ingredients, the end result was right around $14.00. If you are feeding 6 people, the cost is $2.33 per person. I checked what the cost would be if I ordered from a local Chinese take out and the average shrimp dish was $10-12.00 per person and generally included only one vegetable. This economical meal is packed with vegetables.

I generally have shrimp shells in the freezer and use the older shells to make my shrimp stock. If you don't have any in your freezer make the shrimp stock from the shells you saved for this meal. Serve with some long grain rice. Use 2 cups of the shrimp stock to make the rice in place of water or chicken broth.

The Main Dish:
  • 1 1/4 lbs. shrimp (20-30 ct) - peeled, deveined (save shells for shrimp stock)
  • 1 bunch bok choy - (remove some of the darker leafy green) and slice
  • 9 crimini mushrooms - sliced (or more if you want)
  • 1 medium orange bell pepper - seeds and veins removed and sliced
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper - seeds and veins removed and sliced
  • 1 small broccoli crown - heavier stem and tough stems removed and broken apart into florets
  • 4 cups shrimp stock
  • 2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like it hotter)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil or canola oil for stir frying.

  1. After preparing the shrimp place in a glass bowl. Add in the granulated garlic and onion powder and black pepper to taste. Mix well and allow this to "marinate". Store in the refrigerator while prepping the rest of the vegetables and making the shrimp stock.
  2. When you are ready with the shrimp stock, reserve 2 cups for the rice and 2 cups for the sauce. Add the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar to one cup of stock. Begin stir frying the vegetables in a hot wok that has been drizzled with some olive or canola oil. Season the vegetables with black pepper - do not salt yet - do that at the end to taste. Stir fry the vegetables for about 4-5 minutes and add in the shrimp and stir fry for 4 more minutes and then add in the one cup of stock. Continue cooking until the shrimp are done and you reach the desired tenderness of the vegetables.
  3. If you want a thicker sauce use the last cup of stock and make a slurry with some cornstarch to thicken. For more sauce and thin, just add in the last cup of stock by itself.
You are ready to serve over rice! Ring the dinner bell - it's supper time! Though you won't have to - this smells wonderful as it is cooking and the family will be eagerly waiting in line. Truly, a flavorful, cooking great recipes on a budget dinner.

Shrimp Stock:
Take your shrimp shells and put them in a sauce pot. Cover with 4 cups water. Add in 2-3 bay leaves and about 1 1/2 tsp. of whole black peppercorns and about 1/2 tsp. of salt. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. At the end strain the stock.

Basic rice recipe:
  • 1/4 cup diced onion (yellow or any that you like)
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. oil (vegetable, olive oil - whatever you have on hand)
  • 2 cups shrimp stock
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. granulated garlic
Melt the butter and oil in a sauce pan over medium low heat. Add the onion and stir. Cook the onion until it becomes translucent and add in the rice. Stir to coat the rice and add in the dry spices and the stock. Mix well, put the saucepan lid on and let it come up to almost a boil on medium high heat. When you see the first bubbles, turn the rice down to a simmer and keep the lid on during the cooking process. Check it at about 15 minutes, stir, and taste to see if you need a little bit more stock. The rice is generally done in 18-20 minutes. All of the liquid should be absorbed and the rice tender.

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