Wokkin’ the Swiss Around – part I: Shrimp & Asparagus Stir-fry

shrimp & asparagus stir-fryAs part of our never-ending quest to eat healthy (most days) and try new things, Mr. Cheese and I set out to buy our first wok.  I have to admit, I’d never cooked with a wok before and I was naïve in thinking “how hard can this be?” 

 I learned there is a science to what order the aromatics go into the wok, versus the veggies and meat or seafood.  While that’s enough to figure out, the wok is smoking hot so the decision as to what goes in and when, must be made prior to cook time and all ingredients should be chopped up in advance.  For novice cooks, this is where the lesson of mise en place comes in. 

There are also things to consider, such as what sauce or flavorings to use and will the sauce stick to the ingredients?  If you need a thickener, do you reach for cornstarch, arrowroot or the natural thickeners that may leach out of a vegetable you might be using?  wokery

Delving into the world of ‘wokery’ has brought me back to the most basic lesson I picked up in cooking school:  there is so much to learn and the flavor combinations and possibilities when working with food, are endless.  It all makes me hungrier for more.

 Shrimp & Asparagus

  • 1 Tablespoons Thai chili sauce
  • 1 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon arrowroot
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ sweet onion, small dice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 ½ pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup asparagus, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 medium tomato, small dice
  • ½ teaspoon salt 

How to Make It!

Mix together the Thai chili sauce, soy sauce, sherry vinegar and arrowroot and set aside.  Put the wok on high heat and once hot, add the sesame oil and a minute later, add the onion, garlic and ginger.  Let cook for about 3-5 minutes, then add the asparagus and shrimp.  Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the shrimp are almost fully cooked and add the tomatoes.  Stir together for a minute or two.  Stir the sauce into the wok and allow to cook for another 2 minutes to reduce.  Salt, to taste.  Serves 4


About tossingtheswissaround

I have been obsessed with food since I can remember. I grew up watching the Frugal Gourmet and Julia Childs in black and white repeats on TV. I made an elementary version of veal parmesan when I was all of 8 years old and even concocted a homemade version of vomit to drizzle along the hallway and oh-so-carefully in the bathroom so I could get of school whenever I wanted. Dad never caught on but I eventually came clean about that vomit recipe. About two years ago. My skills have greatly improved and my obsession has only deepened as the years go by. In the mornings, I ask my co-workers what’s for lunch, what they ate last night and what is on the menu tonight. I groan when I eat almost anything I like because I can barely contain my excitement. Because, well, because it’s food! I was technically trained and once worked as a formal chef but physically that takes its toll so I joined the much less strenuous, albeit entertaining, world of HR. Food is still at the forefront of my mind as I continue to cook and love all things food. Enjoy!
This entry was posted in asparagus, food, healthy, Home, how-to, marinades, recipes, shrimp, Stir-fry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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