Annoyed Shrimp

I have to confess, cooking has been such a pain lately that I was going to call this dish “Angry Shrimp.” But it’s not all that hot, and besides, I’m really feeling more stressed out and annoyed rather than out-right angry. It seems like I’ve suddenly lost my knife skills, am getting way better at spilling than stirring, my temperature control is iffy, and I can never find the ingredient I need when I need it. Grrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

But since this blog is called “Food & Fire” not “Food & Therapy” let’s get on with the cooking…

This recipe started out as Weight Watchers Sesame Noodles with Chicken, but I switched to shrimp, bumped up the veggies and heat, and stir-fried the whole works.

6 ounces gluten-free spaghetti
1/2 cup uncooked scallion, green parts only, chopped
1 pound raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups broccoli, chopped
1 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 gluten-free soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (get the real stuff made with plums if you can)
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon chili sauce with garlic
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper or Szechuan peppercorns
2 tsp sesame seeds

Arrive home with barely enough time to make dinner before heading out to yoga class. Change clothes and head to the kitchen to discover that your dear wife has the veggies chopped and the water boiling.

Thank dear wife.

Realize that the peeled and deveined shrimp aren’t. Prep shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and stash in the fridge.

Snap spaghetti in half, sending broken bits flying across stove top. Cook noodles according to package directions. Hunt for colander with one hand while trying to hold sauce pan full of boiling water in the other hand. Drain, rinse, and set aside.

Combine the vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, chili sauce, honey, and corn starch. Find out that you don’t have enough rice vinegar. Call to dear wife to see if there is any more. No. Curse. Make do. Whisk to combine, making sure to break up and corn starch lumps that just don’t seem to want to break up.

Heat oil in a wok or large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Dump in the still wet broccoli and bob and weave to avoid the splattering oil. Curse. Dig for the slotted wok spoon and stir to coat with oil. Sauté for about a minute. Add the carrots and sauté for another minute.

Add the soy sauce mixture to the pan. Bring to a simmer and add the shrimp. Simmer for another 2 or 3 minutes, or until the shrimp is pink and just cooked through.

Remove pan from heat and add the noodles, which have congealed into a stringy lump. Try to break pasta apart with tongs – no go. Look in three different places for pasta scoop. Break up noodles, add scallions and mix well to combine. Serve with more sesame seeds and some Sriracha hot sauce.

Pause, breathe, enjoy the meal, smile at dear wife, and then run off to class.

The Verdict: ★★★★★
This is a very tasty dish that even shone through despite the rushed and disorganized cooking process. Love the sweet and tangy sauce that has just enough heat to make it interesting. For the next version I’m going to try grilling the meat and making the pasta and veggies as a side dish.

However, I was not at all happy with the whole prep and cooking process – too much stress and mess, not enough fun. It’s my hope that a combination of better menu planning, sharing some of the sous chef duties, taking some more yoga, and making a big effort on my part to get my cooking act together (the French call this mise en place, look for a post about this soon) will make it fun again.

The Nutrition:
Makes about 4, 1 1/2 cup servings at 10 Weight Watchers points per serving. I think you could easily add more veggies to this dish to make it even healthier.

ONE YEAR AGO –  Chicken Thighs & Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

TWO YEARS AGO – Pulled Pork – Hot & Fast Butts


5 thoughts on “Annoyed Shrimp”

  1. Looks/sounds awesome! And since you just described a cooking process that mirrors my own, I think I might actually be qualified to make this. 🙂 Thanks for the post/recipe.

  2. Very entertaining post! I always enjoy and get a lot from your recipes and cooking tips/experiences. Keep ’em coming.

  3. ok, I’m annoyed just reading this! The peeled and deveined were’t peeled and deveined? How annoying. Lumps of cornstarch = annoying. Digging for utensils = annoying. And finding out I may be purchasing subpar Hoisin as opposed to the stuff made with plums …. annoyed. With all that said, this sounds delicious! 🙂 Pinned so I can make it.

  4. Thanks all – I try for dinners that are mostly drama-free, but this one was a challenge. I’d rather take 5 hours to make ribs than 30 minutes to get food on the table.

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