Friday, March 26, 2010

Stirrin' It Up

Spicy Ginger-Soy Shrimp Stir Fry With Soba Noodles

I come by my foodie ways honestly. My parents are foodies. My mother is the most amazing cook ever . . . I get that everyone says that about his or her own mother, but in my case it's really true. Growing up she always exposed my brother and me to different sorts of foods- Italian, Chinese, Mexican, Russian, whatever. And it was always delicious. While we never lacked for variety at the table, there were certain recipes that would pop up more often than others and a stir-fry was among these frequent dinner time guest stars. Usually chicken, pork, or beef with some kind of vibrant green vegetable, water chestnuts, bok choy, and a heaping scoop of steamed white rice. I loved it. I have many memories of sitting around the table making feeble attempts to use chopsticks while my dad coached me: "No, Liz. Hold it like you hold a pencil."

It wasn't until several years ago when my dad outfitted my brother and me with our own stir fry gear for Christmas that I attempted it on my own. Flipping through the simple cookbook accompanying the wok, chop sticks, wooden paddle, and other related accessories I realized the elegant simplicity of stir fry. Protein, vegetables, starch, and some sort of sauce. Poof! That's it. Fast, cheap, and easy. It's magic.

For my first attempts I stuck with the cookbook and the recipes that sounded familiar. Beef With Broccoli. Pork and Snow Peas. Then strolling up and down the Asian foods section of the supermarket, I realized what a tasty adventure stir fry could be. Elegant jars of duck sauce, bottles of rice wine, new varieties of noodles and rice inspired me to go off-book. I threw this together the other day after picking up a bottle of
Sriracha sauce (the bottle with the picture of the rooster). I hope you like it!

Incidentally, if you don't have a wok . . . any large non-stick skillet will do!


- 1 lb. medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 lb. broccoli florets
- 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce
- 1 Tbsp. Hoisin sauce
- 2 Tbsp. plum sauce
- l bunch of scallions, trimmed and chopped
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 8 oz. whole wheat soba noodles

In a medium bowl, whisk together ginger, soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, and Sriracha. Add shrimp to bowl and toss to cover with sauce. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together plum sauce and rice vinegar in a separate bowl. Set aside. Chop scallions and garlic. Bring large pot of water to a boil for soba noodles.

After shrimp have marinated. Heat vegetable oil in wok or large skillet over high, swirl around to distribute oil. Add shrimp and stir fry 2-3 minutes until shrimp are pink and nearly cooked through. Remove shrimp from wok, add 3 Tbsp. water and broccoli. Cover and steam 2-3 minutes until broccoli is tender and bright green. Meanwhile, add soba noodles to boiling water and cook 6-8 minutes (see package directions).

When broccoli is cooked, turn off heat. Add garlic, scallions, and cooked and drained soba noodles. Toss to combine. Add plum sauce and rice wine mixture and shrimp. Toss until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Eat with chopsticks! Serve with extra Sriracha sauce if you like things spicy!


  1. It's true. Your mom IS the best cook in the world.

  2. Yeah. It's so true. People don't believe me when I say it, so I'm glad you have my back.

  3. It's true. Your mom IS the best cook in the world.