Sweet & Sour Shrimp

Happy {Chinese} New Year! It's the year of the Goat/Sheep and this year, Patrick and I celebrated with delicious Chinese food of course! Come to think of it, I felt this past week was all about celebrating - Valentine's Day (last Saturday), Mardi Gras (this past Tuesday), Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent) and most recently, Chinese New Year (Thursday) - all in the same week. Thankfully, lots of good food can be had and this particular dish captures the Chinese flavors and is perfect for those abstaining from red meat for Lent too. This Sweet & Sour Shrimp is tossed with a flavorful sauce and served over crispy noodles with broccoli...

Shrimp is one of our favorite seafood and we particular like how versatile it is to work with. Not only does it cook quickly, it takes on flavors easily too. The sweet and sour sauce is easy to whisk together and is a nice blend of flavors - not too sweet nor sour. Also cooking with dark sesame oil really adds a depth of flavor and hint of smokiness to the broccoli. You could toss both the broccoli and shrimp in the sauce, but I prepared it below with the broccoli without the sauce so I could retain that sesame oil flavor. Also, you can serve over rice or crispy noodles. When I prepared this, I had both - rice for me (gluten free) and thin pan fried Chinese egg noodles for my boys.

Sweet & Sour Shrimp
recipe adapted from Cooking Light

2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
8 ounces peeled large shrimp 
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth 
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar 
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chile paste with garlic
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
cup broccoli florets
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons canola oil 
1/4 cup sliced green onions for garnish
rice or noodles for serving

Combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch and shrimp in a medium bowl, set aside.

In a 2-cup measuring cup, combine remaining cornstarch, broth, soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar and chile paste; set aside.

Heat sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli florets and saute for 3 minutes.  

Add water, then cover, Cook for 3-5 minutes until broccoli has steamed and water has evaporated.

Add the canola oil over the broccoli, followed by the shrimp. Stir fry for 3 minutes until and cook for 3-5 minutes, until shrimp is cooked through. Remove broccoli and set aside.

Add broth mixture to pan and toss with shrimp to coat cook 1 minute. Serve over noodles or rice, along with broccoli and garnish with green onions

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