In a hurry? I get it. Some days there just isn't enough time to get everything done that needs to be done!
Those days are the reason I keep a bag of shrimp in the freezer. Shrimp quickly defrost in cold water and cook in only a few minutes.
My favorite way to cook shrimp is to stir fry it, just barely enough to cook it through. Too much cooking and you end up with something rubbery and dry.
This stir fry shrimp is perfect for a quick midweek meal. You marinate the shrimp in a soy sauce mixture with ginger, sesame oil, garlic, and rice vinegar, and then cook it on almost-smoking high heat for just a couple of minutes.
Toss with some sliced green onions, sprinkle with sesame seeds and you're done! Great with rice, noodles, spinach, or bok choy.
Ginger Sesame Marinade Swaps and Substitutions
- For a less salty marinade, use reduced sodium soy sauce instead of regular soy sauce.
- Substitute honey for the brown sugar.
- Add extra garlic and/or ginger if you want those flavors to stand out.
Can This Be Made With Pre-Cooked Shrimp?
Pre-cooked shrimp does not work in this recipe because the marinade must be used on raw shrimp to season it properly.
How To Thaw Shrimp Fast
An overnight thaw in the refrigerator is best for shrimp, but if that's not possible, thaw frozen shrimp in a large bowl of cold water. Change the water every 10 minutes. Depending on the size of the shrimp, it should thaw in about 30 minutes.
5 Great Dishes to Serve With Sesame Shrimp
- Shrimp Fried Rice
- Cauliflower Rice
- Ginger Pineapple Fried Rice
- Gochujang Green Beans
- Asian Noodle Salad
Ginger Garlic Sesame Shrimp
If you have only unseasoned rice vinegar, add 2 teaspoons of sugar to make up for the sugar that would have been in the seasoned rice vinegar.
If you're worried about sodium content, use low-sodium soy sauce in the marinade.
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce for gluten-free version)
- 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 pound 16-20 count shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil or canola oil
- 3 green onions, including onion greens, sliced on the diagonal
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
Marinate the shrimp:
In a medium bowl whisk together the soy sauce, seasoned rice vinegar, and brown sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Then whisk in the olive oil, sesame oil, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Place the shrimp in the bowl with the marinade. Toss to coat with the marinade and chill until ready to cook.
Toast the sesame seeds:
Toast the sesame seeds in a small sauté pan on medium high heat until lightly browned.
Stir-fry the shrimp and green onions:
Heat cooking oil in a large stick-free sauté pan or wok (can use seasoned cast iron) on high heat. When the oil is shimmering hot, almost smoking, use a slotted spoon to move the shrimp from the marinade into the hot pan. (Watch out, it will splatter.) Stir fry for a minute.
Add half of the sliced green onions. Continue to stir fry, turning the individual shrimp over if necessary, until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through. No more than 2 minutes max total cooking time, a minute on each side.
Reduce the marinade:
Remove shrimp from pan and transfer to a serving bowl. Place the remaining marinade in the hot sauté pan and simmer it until it has reduced to a syrup.
Pour the sauce over shrimp, sprinkle with sesame seeds, green onions:
Pour over the shrimp. Toss to coat. Sprinkle the shrimp with toasted sesame seeds and remaining green onions.
Serve immediately with rice, soba noodles, rice noodles, bok choy, spinach, broccoli, or asparagus.