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Chinese Shrimp and Broccoli Stir-Fry

As a child, my favorite foods were pizza and pasta. At home, we had Chinese food at least 5 nights every week. If I was lucky, we would have spaghetti, hamburgers or pizza. I would roll my eyes dramatically when we would be having Chinese food for dinner, again.

When I moved to Vancouver after graduating from university, I was homesick and found myself craving Chinese food. My husband (then boyfriend) and I would drive to one of the many Chinese restaurants in Vancouver and Richmond to satiate those cravings. Chinese food in Vancouver is delicious and extremely affordable, so there was not a need to learn how to make Chinese food especially if someone else can do it better, cheaper and faster.

That was my life up until March of this year when my little man was diagnosed with peanut and almond allergies. It was then that I discovered how dangerous Chinese food can be for people with food allergies. For example, peanut oil and other nuts are used in sauces, in stir-fries and in baked goods just to name a few. I was devastated but did not want my little man to avoid eating Chinese food altogether. So I set out to learn how to cook Chinese food.

One of our family favorite Chinese recipes is Chinese Restaurant Style Steamed Fish. But I think we may have found another favorite with this Shrimp and Broccoli stir-fry recipe. It is a quick and simple dish that you can make in 15 minutes or less. It is even quicker if you use peeled and deveined shrimp. Needless to say, this is the little man's favorite combination of foods right now: plump and juicy shrimp combined with crisp tender broccoli florets. I'm on a roll! (Insert Carlton Banks "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" dancing here.)

Serves: 4 as a part of a multi-course meal

15 medium shrimp (31 to 40 count per pound)
1 large head of broccoli, separated into florets and broccoli stems chopped into large matchsticks
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
1 can water chestnuts, drained and rinsed (FYI: water chestnuts are not a tree nut)
2 tbsps vegetable oil

Did you know, Winco sells water chestnuts at a reasonable price?

Sauce Mixture
3 tbsps soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup chicken stock (or water)

Cornstarch Slurry
1 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsps cold water

1. Add 1 inch of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Place broccoli in a steamer basket and steam for 2 to 3 minutes until the broccoli is tender crisp.

2. In a cold pan, add oil and garlic. Turn the heat to medium high and stir-fry the garlic in oil until fragrant and translucent.

3. Add ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds.

4. Pour in the sauce mixture (soy sauce, sugar, chicken stock) and bring the liquid to a boil.

5. Add shrimp and cook the shrimp until it starts to turn pink.

6. To the pan, toss in the broccoli florets and stems, green onions and water chestnuts. Stir-fry until the sauce coats the vegetables.

7. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and water. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the pan, stir-fry until the sauce thickens.

8. Serve immediately.

Source: Frugal Allergy Mom

P.S. If you are a Fresh Prince of Bel Air fan, may I suggest watching Alfonso dance "The Carlton" on Dancing with the Stars?

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