So you’re ready to put on an apron and try your luck in the kitchen. The occasion? Date night, of course! Few things seal a romantic deal like a home-cooked meal. Some people think that fancy restaurants are where it’s at, but those folks are missing out—cooking at home is cozier, more affordable, and can be far more romantic than an extravagant restaurant. When you put effort into preparing a meal either for your date, it shows you really care.
We’re in love with all things Asian, so this recipe features a spicy stir-fry sauce and the all-star ramen noodle. Organic ramen, such as what the highly recommended brand Hakubaku labels as “authentic Japanese wheat noodles,” are not fried in advance like the cheap ramen cups and blocks, and are much healthier. All you have to do is add some flavor!
Genuine Asian cuisine could take a lifetime to master if you’re neither a native nor a professional chef, but this recipe is certain to be a hit and is highly doable for anyone less comfortable in the kitchen.
The recipe is courtesy of chef Angela Davis, who runs The Kitchenista Diaries and Elevated Comfort catering. This dish, “Stir-Fried Shrimp, Cabbage & Ramen Noodles,” blends shrimp and healthy veggies with a distinctly Asian flavor profile in an easy-to-execute way. Give it a shot!
Stir-Fried Shrimp, Cabbage & Ramen Noodles
6 oz. organic dried ramen noodles
½ to 1 lb shrimp, either fresh or frozen
3 cups chicken stock
4 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp peanut oil
1 sweet onion, sliced
2 tbsp + 2 tsp minced ginger
3 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
1 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp Sriracha, or to taste
1 tbsp coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/3 c. chopped cilantro
1 lime, plus additional for garnish
Kosher salt, to taste
Cracked black pepper, to taste
Servings: 2 – 4
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Equipment Needed: Wok or deep skillet, additional small skillet, medium to large pot
First, thinly slice the onions, cabbage, and garlic, and mince the ginger. For the sauce, combine the peanut butter, Sriracha, rice wine vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, 2 tsp of minced ginger, and 2 tbsp of the soy sauce in a bowl.
Whether your shrimp is fresh or frozen, make sure it is thoroughly deveined, peeled, and rinsed. (And thawed, if it was frozen.)
Over medium high heat, cook the onions in your wok or deep skillet for a few minutes in 2 tbsp peanut oil, until they become translucent and brown around the edges.
Heat your chicken stock in the large pot while the onions are cooking, and add the remaining 2 tbsp of soy sauce to the chicken stock, which will increase flavor when you cook your noodles in it.
Add the sliced ginger and minced garlic to the onions, and stir for about a minute. Add a good pinch of red pepper flakes and another tbsp of peanut oil to the skillet.
Toss in the shredded cabbage, a few pinches of kosher salt and cracked black pepper, and cook for a few minutes until the cabbage starts to wilt.
When the chicken stock with soy sauce has come to a boil, add the ramen noodles. At about the same time as the noodles start, being cooking your shrimp in the other skillet, stirring them in the remaining tbsp of peanut oil over medium high heat.
Cook the noodles for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. The shrimp could take even less time—watch for when they start to turn pink and opaque around the edges, and then pour the prepared stir-fry sauce over them.
Drain the cooked noodles and transfer them directly into your stir-fry skillet, and don’t throw away the broth they were boiling in. You may want to thin your sauce later with a bit of the broth, and you can also use it as a soup base for a separate dish or an appetizer.
Stir the ramen noodles into the cabbage and onions, and reduce the heat to low. In your other skillet, gently toss the shrimp in the sauce to fully coat it, and stir in the zest of one lime. The shrimp will only need another minute or two to cook after this.
Transfer the cooked shrimp, with all of the sauce, into your stir-fry wok or skillet and toss to incorporate the shrimp and sauce with the noodles and cabbage. If your dish needs a little more liquid, add some of the chicken stock to the skillet.
Give it a taste and add a little more pepper or Sriracha if you want to turn up the heat, top it with the juice of the lime you just zested and a handful of chopped cilantro, and serve hot with a wedge of fresh lime.
Is your mouth watering yet? Whip up this dish for a night in with your special someone and she’s sure to be impressed.
Click here for step-by-step photos and more from Chef Angela, and have a delicious date night!
Recipe and image used with kind permission of Angela Davis.