Shrimps with Walnuts
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Some days call for an easy recipe like Shrimps with Walnuts. This dish tastes as absolutely superb as one you cooked for hours, but actually it took me only a few minutes.
I was previously inspired by the classic Chinese takeout honey shrimps with walnuts, but I only had a limited list of ingredients in my pantry. So, I took a good look at what I had and did my own hack of the recipe.
Walnuts: I had a large bag of walnuts, one of my staple ingredients for baking. I pre-cooked candied walnuts for the recipe, which only took 4 minutes. The hardest part about these walnuts is restraining yourself from munching on these candied nuts before cooking.
Shrimps: I had just returned from food shopping and had a large batch of fresh shrimps. Inspiration kicked in. It’s always best to cook them the day you came from the market.
Snow peas: are also known as sitsaro to Filipinos, and usually are available year round. These are flat pods, about 2 inches long, and have pointed tips, which contain those string-like stems.
Prep time only takes a few minutes. Stir-frying all the ingredients together took no time at all and filled the kitchen with luscious aromas of cooked shrimp, which reminded me to make the steamed rice. And in a short time, the savory shrimps, were done in the skillet. So, I nestled the sweet candied walnuts, next to the crisp snow peas and it all came together beautifully. This is sheer comfort food without even trying.
Shrimps with Walnuts
- Small Non-Stick Skillet
- Large wok or skillet (12 to 14 inches diameter)
For Candied Walnuts
- 1 cup roasted walnuts, unsalted
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, unsalted
- 1 pound large fresh shrimps, peeled, heads and tails removed
- 1 Tablespoon calamansi or lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 whole medium-sized white or yellow onion
- 2 stalks whites of scallions, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon shao xing rice wine
- 1 Tablespoon toyo (soy sauce like Silver Swan or Chinese brands)
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
- 250 grams snow peas, edges trimmed; about 1 1/4 cups
- 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 2 stalks greens of scallions, chopped, for garnish
- steamed rice
To make the candied walnuts:
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on top of a large platter, to contain the candied nuts. Set aside.In a small non-stick skillet, combine the walnuts, sugar and butter. Over medium heat, melt the butter and sugar together with the walnuts. Stir every so often.Keep heat to a medium simmer, and not higher or the nuts will burn.The sugar and butter will transform to a caramel-colored syrup. Stir to combine with the walnuts. After 4 minutes, the syrup will turn a dark amber color, and will start to solidify.Quickly pour the entire walnuts and syrup mixture on the platter with parchment paper. Set aside to cool.
To prepare the shrimps:
- Sprinkle calamansi or lemon juice all over the shrimps. Coat the shrimps with cornstarch and set aside.
- In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add the oil.When the oil is hot enough, add the garlic, onions and scallion whites. Stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes till fragrant.Add the shrimps to the skillet and combine well. The shrimps will cook and turn from grey to pink in about 6 to 7 minutes.
- To the same skillet of the shrimps, pour the shao xing rice wine, soy sauce, and broth. Add the snow peas. Combine all ingredients. Season with sesame oil, salt and pepper.Continue cooking for 6 minutes more for the vegetables to cook and flavors to blend. The cornstarch coating of the shrimps will render a slightly thick sauce. Stir mixture so it doesn't stick to the bottom of pan.Add the candied walnuts to the snow peas and shrimps. Mix well.Garnish with scallion greens. Serve warm with rice.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided in the recipe links is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
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