Recipe - Shrimp Celery Cashew Stir-Fry

My friends and I have lamented the fact that some people will add ginger and sesame oil to a dish and immediately call it Asian. It's not entirely accurate but I can see why you would note an Asian influence. I put together this dish simply because we had ingredients on hand and needed a quick dinner. Is it considered an Asian dish? I don't know really. I did call it a stir-fry since that's what I ended up doing. I love the combination of hearty, fat shrimp with celery and cashews, especially since my mom used to make something similar when I was younger. I added in a bit of a spicy kick to it too with chili pepper. Hope you'll enjoy this recipe.

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 2 servings)

  • 1/2 lb shrimp (16-20)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsps sesame oil
  • 1 tbsps ginger, freshly julienned
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 4-5 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cashews, halved
  • salt, to taste

Step 2: Prepping ingredients
Devein shrimp, remove shells, and butterfly cut. Julienne ginger and slice scallions; separate whites and greens. Slice celery and break cashews (if desired). In a mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, red pepper, and scallions.

Step 3: Cooking
In a medium-sized skillet on medium heat, add oil. When shimmering, cook celery and cashews together for 3-4 minutes so the celery retains its crunchiness. Remove from the pan. Lay shrimp into hot skillet for about a minute per side. Then add in sauce.

Step 4: Finishing
Stir briefly before re-adding celery and cashews to the pan. Stir for 2-3 minutes before removing from heat and onto serving plate. You don't want to cook too long lest the shrimp become rubbery or the celery too soft. Enjoy!

Photography by Duc Duong and Minerva Thai.