As you might expect, we cook a lot around here. Most of the time, I make the food, and my husband Ted makes sure it's good enough to share with you. Every now and then, however, I come up with something so thoroughly irresistible that we don't even want to share with each other. After photographing this shrimp and bell pepper stir-fry, I left the bowl on the kitchen counter. Despite the fact that it was 9:00 in the morning and we'd just finished breakfast, we couldn't stop nibbling, a shrimp here, a pepper there, until we were running our fingers inside the empty bowl to capture every last drop of the Asian cilantro vinaigrette. Fortunately we had some of the dressing left over (I made it with a mix of cilantro and a little bit of flat-leaf parsley, from our herb garden), and I used it the next day on a grilled flank steak, lettuce and avocado salad. We licked that plate clean, too.
Shrimp and bell pepper stir-fry with Asian cilantro vinaigrette
The vinaigrette dressing, adapted from Fine Cooking, makes more than you need for this recipe. The leftover keeps for a week in the refrigerator, and you'll be glad to have it. Serves 4.
For the Asian cilantro vinaigrette:
2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger root
1 large clove garlic, peeled
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, or a mix
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbsp fish sauce (I use Three Crabs brand)
Juice of 1 medium lime
1 Tbsp honey, or more to taste
8-10 drops of Sriracha sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp peanut or rice bran (or another neutral) oil, plus more for stir-frying
For the stir-fry:
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch dice
1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch dice
1/2 medium orange or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch dice
1/2 lb large (21-25 size) shrimp, defrosted, shelled and deveined
2 Tbsp roughly chopped unsalted roasted cashews
1 scallion, thinly sliced (white and green parts), for garnish
In a blender or small food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the garlic, ginger, cilantro, rice vinegar, fish sauce, lime juice, honey, Sriracha, sesame oil, and 2 tablespoons of peanut or rice bran oil. Blend until smooth, and set aside.
Heat 2 teaspoons of peanut or rice bran oil in a wok over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the three bell peppers. Stir-fry for one minute, then add the shrimp. Continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and just curled.
Remove from heat and transfer the shrimp and peppers to a large mixing bowl. Add half of the vinaigrette from the blender, and stir to combine. Then, add more dressing as needed, to your taste.
Transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Top the stir-fry with chopped cashews and scallions, and serve warm or at room temperature.
More spicy seafood and cilantro recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Spicy Asian shrimp cocktail
Salsa and shrimp stuffed avocado
Spicy tuna and avocado ceviche
Green curry fish with asparagus and peas
Salmon choo chee
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Brazilian shrimp stew, from I Breathe... I'm Hungry...
Coconut shrimp cakes with mango pineapple salsa, from Annie's Eats
Coconut curry shrimp with spicy peanut noodles, from Evil Shenanigans
Potato shrimp cakes with spicy Sriracha aioli, from Burnt Toast
Honey-soy Vietnamese shrimp spring rolls, from Food for My Family
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