Stir-Fried Shrimp with Celery

Fast, easy, healthy, and infinitely better than takeout.
TIME 20 to 30 minutes
MAKES 4 servings
1½ pounds medium or large shrimp, peeled (save the shells)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
8 celery stalks, cut into sticks
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
¼ cup chopped cashews for garnish, optional

1 If you peeled the shrimp yourself, put the shells in a saucepan with 1 cup water, turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover, and let the stock simmer while you prepare the stir-fry. (If you bought peeled shrimp, skip this step.)

2 Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over high heat. When it’s hot, add the shrimp and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are pink all over and almost opaque in the center, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer them to a plate with a slotted spoon.

3 Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, then immediately add the garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, for 15 seconds, then add the onion and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, until the celery has softened a bit but is still crunchy, 3 to 5 minutes. (If you made shrimp stock, strain it.)

4 Stir the shrimp back into the skillet, add ½ cup of the shrimp stock (or use water if you didn’t have shells), the soy sauce, and the sesame oil, and cook until some of the liquid evaporates, another minute. (If the mixture looks too dry, add more liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time.) Turn off the heat, stir in the cashews if you’re using them, and serve.

  • 7 Other Vegetables You Can Stir-Fry with Shrimp. In this recipe you have lots of options to substitute for the celery. The cooking times may vary a bit, so check for doneness frequently:
1 Carrots, cut into sticks or coins
2 Red bell pepper, sliced
3 Fennel (bulb only), halved and sliced
4 Asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
5 Green beans, whole or cut in half
6 Snow peas, trimmed
7 Bean sprouts

  • If you can, buy shell-on shrimp and peel them yourself. It’s a little more work, but the quick shrimp stock adds a ton of flavor, so it’s well worth the effort.
  • I like to cut celery into long thin sticks for stir-fry, but you can chop it however you like.
  • You can serve stir-fries with any rice or noodles. Your choice.

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