When I think about peanut sauce, especially when I’m forced to look at food porny images of it, like right now, it kicks one of my saliva glands so high into gear that I literally start to drool. Even though it technically lasts for weeks in the fridge, fresh peanut sauce rarely sticks around for a very long time in my kitchen.
Those of you who are familiar with the stuff can probably sympathize. Last month, before I left for vacation with my family, I had a slew of recipes to test. My friend Sarah was coming over for lunch and I was planning on pawning off a few of the dishes on her. I listed off potential menu options and against my better judgment, slipped a mention of peanut sauce in between sweet potato mash and fish tacos. Obviously, being someone with impeccable taste, all she heard was peanut sauce, and wanted in on that.
When you’re serving peanut sauce, it really doesn’t matter too much what else is on the plate. So I opted for something simple and quick: a shrimp stir fry with finely sliced bok choy, carrots and scallions. It’s strange that I don’t feature more of these rice bowl style recipes on this site, because I make them all the time. But stir fries are so easy, writing about them almost feels like cheating.
I don’t usually make diet-related resolutions. But one thing I’m really focusing on this year is being less wasteful. When you develop as many recipes as I do, it’s easy to start throwing little bits of this and that by the wayside in favor of the 5 completed dishes (that could easily feed 20 people) already sitting in the fridge. But these scraps – a handful of shredded carrots, a small piece of ginger, one lonely bok choy – are stir fry gold. And if it happens to be snowing outside, like it is right now, you will be very grateful to have that healthy, quick fix meal at your fingertips, even if your friends have already cleaned you out of peanut sauce.
- 2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup julienned or thinly sliced carrots (from 1 medium carrot)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 baby bok choy (or 1 large), thinly sliced
- 4 cups cooked short grain brown rice (from 1 cup uncooked rice)
- Gluten-Free Peanut Sauce
- In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Stir fry the shrimp over high heat until pink and curled, about 3 minutes. Remove to a plate. Add the remaining oil. Stir fry the shallots, serrano, and carrots until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and bok chok and continue to cook until the greens are wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and cook until heated through.
- Divide the brown rice among 4 bowls and top with the shrimp stir fry. Serve with the peanut sauce.