Mar 8, 2011

shrimp asparagus spinach stir fry

this is a dish i've been returning too often, now that the spring asparagus is in, with it's very thin, grassy stalks. perfect for this dish. this is based on a thai/vietnamese stir fry traditions, but i invented it myself. the prep work takes about 20 minutes but the cooking takes less than 5. so fast. great for a weeknight dinner. kind of want to eat this a couple of nights a week at this point, it is so fast and easy, yet full on flavor.

Shrimp and Asparagus Stir Fry
serves 4

marinate the shrimp for 20 minutes while you chop the other ingredients:
1lb peeled and deveined shrimp
1.5 TBSP fish sauce
1.5 TBSP grated palm sugar (could substitute brown sugar or honey or agave nectar here, but i do love palm sugar in this)
1 TSP minced cilantro stems
place shrimp in a bowl, add in the fish sauce, palm sugar and cilantro stems. stir several times to coat the shrimp in the mixture. set aside.

1 large bunch thin-stalked asparagus, cut into 2 inch lengths
1 large bunch scallions cut into 2 inch lengths
2 cups of baby spinach leaves (4-6 oz)
1 large shallot, minced
5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 TBSP minced cilantro stems
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 cup of water

to finish the dish
1 cup of cilantro leaves
juice of 1 lime

get your wok nice and hot. sizzling hot. add in the oil and the garlic/cilantro stems/shallot and shrimp quickly. dont stir for a minute while the shrimp sizzles and sears on one side. then stir. now add in the asparagus. stir again. add in the 1/2 cup of water and cover for 1 minute. maybe 2. until the asparagus is tender/crisp and bright green. add in the spinach and scallions. stir fry for 1 minute. it should be done now. add in the lime juice and cilantro leaves and stir one more time to combine. serve at once with some fluffy jasmine rice. guaranteed deliciousness.


  1. This is really good! Thanks for posting about palm sugar--what else can it be used in?

  2. hi cw, so glad you like it. palm sugar can be used in anything. it has the same sweetness as brown sugar or white sugar so a 1:1 ratio is fine. i think palm sugar has a wonderful lightness to it, and a slightly more caramel-y flavor. i see it called for most in vietnamese and thai dishes. apparently it is less processed than white or brown sugar so also has a few more micronutrients. enjoy!

  3. oh my goodness... this looks so good. Gotta give this a try. So glad that I found you!