This dish conjured up all sorts of culinary memories for me. The sticky, sweet and sour, slightly salty sauce reminded me of the westernized Chinese food I occasionally got to enjoy as a kid. Working with lovely, pink-hued Argentine shrimp brought me right back to the excitement I felt as I learned to cook seafood in my late teens. Shrimp are so easy to prepare and serve – the one caution I would offer is not to overcook them. Coating them in cornstarch before a very quick trip through the frying pan is a great way to make shrimp both tender and crispy. I encourage you to look for Argentine pink (or red) shrimp; aside from their unique colour, they have a great texture and a sweet flavour that reminds me a little of lobster. These shrimp are best served over rice.
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) freshly squeezed orange juice
- 3/4 teaspoon (3.5 mL) cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) canola oil
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) finely grated orange zest
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) finely grated gingerroot
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) dried red pepper flakes – or more, to taste
- 1/3 cup (90 mL) orange marmalade
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) honey
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) soy sauce
- 1/3 cup (90 mL) cornstarch
- Pinch salt
- 1 pound (454 g) Argentine pink shrimp, thawed, peeled and dried on a paper towel
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) canola oil
- Garnishes: Sesame seeds, additional sliced green onion tops and grated orange zest
- In a small bowl, combine the orange juice and 3/4 teaspoon of cornstarch, stirring until mixture is smooth. Set aside.
- Heat the 2 teaspoons of canola oil in medium pan or skillet over medium heat. When it is warm, add the orange zest, garlic, ginger, green onions and pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, for one minute.
- Add marmalade, honey and soy sauce to the spice mixture and cook, stirring, until it is bubbling (about a minute).
- Give the orange juice and cornstarch mixture a quick stir and add it to the marmalade mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce has thickened (about 1 – 2 minutes).
- Remove sauce from heat and cover pan to keep warm.
- Place the 1/3 cup cornstarch in a clean plastic bag with the pinch of salt. Add dry shrimp to the bag and twist bag closed. Shake gently to thoroughly coat the shrimp with cornstarch.
- Heat remaining canola oil in very large frying pan or wok over medium heat until shimmering. Fry shrimp for about 2 – 3 minutes, flipping once, until they are darker in colour and have curled up a bit.
- Quickly drain shrimp on a paper towel lined plate then add them to pan with the marmalade sauce and toss gently to combine.
- Divide the shrimp among two serving plates which each have a bed of rice on them.
- Garnish with sesame seeds, sliced green onions and grated orange zest.