For a touch of Asian cuisine use some basic Asian condiments and methods for an easy touch of Eastern flair. In this case I use Udon noodles and Lemon Grass along with Shrimp.
Critical to stir-fry is having all the ingredients ready. The French term for this is Mise en place. This means nothing more than having all the ingredients prepped: Cut into ready to use pieces, measured, etc. This is because when stir-frying you use high heat and cook the food quickly. If you take the time to peel, chop, etc. what you have in the pan will burn. So have everything ready and sitting next to the stove in order to add ingredients quickly. You also want to add ingredients to the pan in order of length of cooking. Start with hard vegetables such as carrots and celery, then onion, then courgette, and so forth ending with garlic, mushrooms and shrimp. Shrimp cooks very quickly and should be added last along with the Udon noodles. If using beef, pork or chicken add it earlier (along with the onions).
You may have trouble finding Lemon Grass depending on where you are. You may be able to find plants yourself. It’s very easy to grow (after all it is a grass) just needing good amounts of sunshine. Here’s mine next to my bay leaf. It’s not a critical ingredient, but I like it’s subtle flavor.
Udon noodles are available at Asian shops and most good groceries. A great match with Shrimp, pork or chicken.
The choice of vegetables is up to you, this is just my list of favorites. The seasonings are also flexible (except perhaps the soy sauce). If you are a fan of 5 spice powder by all means use it, but I find the flavor overpowering and it tends to overwhelm the dish. It’s fine for strong things such as duck or peasant, but too much for shrimp in my opinion. Any soft noodle will do but I’m a fan of Udon if I’m having shrimp.
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tsp corn starch with just enough water added to dissolve
- 1 package (200g/7 oz.) Udon noodles
- 1/2 medium carrot cut into small sticks
- 1/2 medium red capsicum (red bell pepper) cut into small sticks
- 1 small celery stalk, cut into small sticks
- 1/2 red onion, cut into small chunks
- 1 spring onion. cut into small pieces
- 1/2 medium courgette (zucchini) cut into small strips
- 2 mushrooms cut into slices
- 2 cloves Chinese garlic (or 1 clove French garlic) finely diced
- 1 Tbl grated fresh ginger
- 2 leaves lemon grass, cut into small pieces
- 3 Tbl fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 cup shrimp, peeled and deveined and cut into bite size pieces
- salt, pepper and all purpose seasoning to taste
- soy sauce to taste
- vegetable oil
Cook the chicken stock over medium heat along with about 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 of the lemon grass. Simmer for 5 minutes, turn off heat and cover.
Heat a large frypan over medium-high heat until quite hot. Add 1 Tbl oil and let the oil get hot. Add the vegetables: first carrot/capsicum/celery, stir frequently for about 2 minutes, then onions and courgette again cooking and stirring about 2 minutes, then mushrooms, garlic and ginger and the rest of the lemon grass. After sting about a minute finally add the shrimp, Udon noodles and seasonings.
When the shrimp has just started turning pink and curling up add 1 cup of the seasoned chicken stock and when it’s boiling add just enough of the corn starch mixture to thicken to your liking. The total amount of chicken stock and corn starch is whatever amount and thickness you want to serve.
Serve in bowls and garnish with parsley with additional soy sauce available. Shrimp with Udon Noodles – easy if you prep ahead if time and delicious!