Orange Peel Shrimp!
Remember a few weeks ago when we ditched unhealthy, deep fried carryout for homemade Sesame Chicken?
Well, life in the Better Than Carryout Department is about to get a whole lot better!
Orange Peel Shrimp is so good, so quick, so easy to make at home that you’ll never pay for the over priced, over MSG-ed, gloppy carryout version again.
While this has what some might consider a few “speciality” ingredients, I make enough Asian-ish food that things like soy sauce, rice vinegar, and especially chili garlic sauce are regulars in my pantry/fridge. Some goes for fresh ginger. Plus, these are all ingredients that you can find easily at the regular supermarket.
Here’s what you need:
Shrimp, Orange, Ginger, Chili Garlic Sauce, Brown Sugar, Rice Vinegar, Soy Sauce/Tamari, Chicken Broth, Cornstarch, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper.
Also recommended (but not pictured) is rice for serving and some sort of green veg as a side.
I like to serve this over brown rice but any type of rice like basmati, jasmine, white, etc. will do the trick.
The rice takes longer than the shrimp so start to cook it FIRST before you even prep your other ingredients.
I usually use 1 regular navel orange for this recipe but had a bowl full of tangerines on the counter that I needed to use. Any kind of orange citrus will work here.
First thing is to use a microplane or other small grater to remove the rind or zest from the orange. You’ll want at least 2 teaspoons of zest.
Then squeeze the juice from the orange (or tangerines) to equal 1/2 cup.
To make the tangy orange sauce, place the 1/2 cup of orange juice in a medium sauce pan. Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth, 3 Tablespoons of rice vinegar, and 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce (or tamari for GF) to the pot.
Add 1/4 cup of brown sugar and grate in a 1 inch piece of peeled fresh ginger.
Add 1/2 Tablespoon (that’s 1½ teaspoons but really just add it to taste) of chili garlic sauce.
I LOVE chili garlic sauce. Like the name says, it’s 2 essential flavors in one easy jar. When added to sauces it’s not overly hot…like Sriracha sauce, it has flavor rather than just screaming HOT SAUCE in your face.
Notice that we have NOT added the orange zest yet. That goes in at the very end to preserve the fresh orange flavor.
Bring the sauce to a boil over medium heat.
In a small bowl, dissolve 1 Tablespoon cornstarch in 1-2 Tablespoons of water. Stir this around with your finger until it is lump free.
When the sauce is boiling, slowly add the cornstarch mixture. You might not need all of the cornstarch. Rather than dumping it in all at once, add about 1/2 and see how well your sauce thickens. If you need more, you can add it as you go to get the thickness that you’d prefer.
Stir the cornstarch into the sauce as it magically thickens, then remove it from the heat and set aside.
Now is a good time to taste your sauce and add more chili garlic sauce, and/or salt & pepper.
Peel and devein 1 pound of big, fresh shrimp. I always prefer freshly caught shrimp to farmed shrimp. Since the shrimp is the star of the show here, get good ones.
Season the shrimp with salt & pepper. I also have a little bit of garlic seasoning on there but that’s totally optional and not something I usually do for this recipe.
Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat in a large, nonstick pan.
Add the shrimp and cook them very quickly, only 1-2 minutes at the most per side.
Shrimp are like little thermometers…they will turn bright pink and start to curl around the edges when they are done.
About 3 minutes total is all you will need as the shrimp will continue to cook in the sauce.
Speaking of sauce, add the sauce to the hot pan of shrimp and bring the sauce to a quick boil.
Give it a stir to combine then add the grated orange peel.
Once you’ve added the orange peel, turn the heat off. The heat of the pan should be enough to keep the sauce hot.
Spoon the shrimp and lots of the orange peel sauce over a bed of rice.
Add a green veg like steamed broccoli, snow peas, or sugar snap peas.
I love making my own Orange Peel Shrimp at home.
Once you get a hang of making the sauce, you can whip this dish up in just the time it takes to cook the rice.
Or if you’re someone who is good at meal planning, you can even make the rice days ahead, keep it in the fridge, and reheat it. That turns this from a 30 minute dinner into something you can have on the table in about 15 minutes!
This has definitely become a favorite at our house!
Here’s the recipe: