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Authentic Vietnamese recipes from the Motherland

Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas and Shitake Mushrooms with Shrimp

I grow sugar snap peas in the garden and my favorite thing to do with the kids is eat the peas directly from the vines. It is a lot of fun picking them from the vines, opening up the pods, and popping the peas in our mouths. The kids forget that they are eating vegetables and now have come to love snap peas. That's a total score for mom!

Last night's dinner was a stir-fry dish with shrimp, shitake mushrooms and the beloved sugar snap peas. I love buying shrimp with the heads still attached. Some people avoid the heads but they fail to realize that's where all the flavors are stored. The smell of pan-fried shrimp heads was enough to lure down the husband and children from upstairs. The finished dish was a savory and delicious complement to fluffy white rice . Needless to say, it was devoured quickly.

Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas and Shitake Mushrooms with Shrimp

Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas and Shitake Mushrooms with Shrimp

Recipe for Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas and Shitake Mushrooms with Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 24 shrimps with heads, removed heads and deveined; set heads aside
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lb of sugar snap peas; ends removed and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup water or chicken stock
  • Half a large white or yellow onion; sliced thin
  • 1 cup of shitakes; sliced thin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cooking wine

Directions

Marinate the shrimp
Marinate the shelled and deveined shrimp with garlic powder and a light dusting of salt and pepper. Marinate for at least 15 minutes.

Get the flavors from the shrimp heads (you can skip this step entirely if preferred)

  1. In a pan, heat up 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on medium high heat
  2. Pan-fry the shrimp heads for 3-5 minutes until fully cooked
  3. Smash the heads with a wooden spoon to get all the goodness out of the heads and onto the pan
  4. Discard the heads and leave all the “head fat” in the pan
Shrimp heads are very flavorful. Don't toss them! Extract the flavors.

Shrimp heads are very flavorful. Don't toss them! Extract the flavors.

Blanch the peas

  1. In a small pot, fill it with enough water to fully submerge the peas
  2. Heat it to a rolling boil
  3. Add the baking soda
  4. Add the peas
  5. Blanch the peas for 30 seconds to 1 minute
  6. Drain and transfer the peas to ice cold water to stop the cooking process
  7. The baking soda and ice cold water will keep the peas firm and green
Blanched Snow Peas. Secret: Keep them green by blanching them with a bit of baking soda.

Blanched Snow Peas. Secret: Keep them green by blanching them with a bit of baking soda.

Make the sauce

In a small bowl, mix together the oyster sauce, sugar, tapioca starch, and water/chicken stock

Putting it all together

  1. In the same pan that you used to pan-fry the shrimp, add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and heat it on medium high
  2. Add in the onions and shitake mushrooms
  3. Cook for 2-3 minutes
  4. Add the shrimp and snow peas
  5. Add the sauce and cook for another 2 minutes
  6. Lightly toss so that everything is incorporated
  7. Before you turn off the heat, splash the wine against the inside rim of the pan. This will produce the finishing aroma – a secret I learned from a restaurant cook.
  8. Transfer everything to a serving plate and lightly dust with pepper
  9. Serve with white rice
Sliced Shitake mushrooms, onions and shrimp

Sliced Shitake mushrooms, onions and shrimp