Easy Shrimp Stir-Fry

4.83 from 39 votes
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Easy shrimp stir-fry recipe ready in 30 minutes or less! Tender pieces of succulent shrimp, crunchy snow peas, and red bell peppers tossed in a sweet and savory orange sauce with a hint of spiciness.

Shrimp stir-fry in a bowl with cooked rice and bell peppers.

This stir-fry shrimp recipe is an easy weeknight dinner! The tool of choice is a wok, cooking each ingredient quickly and adding surface flavor to the shrimp while retaining the crunchy textures of each vegetable. Using a wok requires very little oil, just enough to coat the pan’s surface, so the ingredients don’t stick, making the meal low in fat.

Every good wok-fired dish needs a delicious stir-fry sauce. I’ve created a naturally sweetened and t, tangye sauce with a little heat kick. Its lighter consistency perfectly coats the shrimp, so each bite gets a bright citrus flavor. Grab your wok. It’s time to turn up the heat!

Apple cider vinegar in a small glass jar.

Make the stir-fry sauce

The sauce combines freshly squeezed orange juice, vegetable broth, soy sauce, red pepper chili flakes, and cornstarch. To make the sauce gluten-free, substitute coconut aminos for soy sauce. Apple cider vinegar is my secret ingredient to instantly boost the orange notes while balancing the sweet and savory flavors.

I always keep different types of vinegar handy in my pantry because there are many versatile uses. Raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar naturally adds acidity to recipes, providing brightness and a new dimension of taste to any dish.

Prepare the shrimp

Use fresh or frozen shrimp that has already been peeled and deveined. I use an extra jumbo 16/20 count size. This size gives a nice two-bite portion and ensures the shrimp don’t cook too quickly and shrink into tiny pieces. Dry the pieces with a paper towel, then season with salt and pepper.

Shrimp with their tails attached cooking in a wok.

Cook the shrimp

Stir-frying is a simple technique. If you don’t have a wok, a 12-inch saute pan works well. Ensure the pan and oils are nice and hot, then carefully add the shrimp in a single layer for fast and even cooking. Briefly sear the surface for about a minute on each side.

You want the colors to go from a grey-translucent appearance to one that’s pink and opaque. Beware, shrimp can turn rubbery when overcooked! Make sure it slightly curls into a “C” shape and not a tight “O.” To halt the cooking process, transfer the shrimp to a plate when cooking the vegetables.

Pouring apple cider vinegar into a wok with shrimp and vegetables.

Stir-fry the vegetables

Pieces of red bell pepper and snow peas add a crunchy texture to the dish. Add them to the pan, and cool for about a minute without moving to lightly brown the vegetables. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds to cook to other sides.

Minced ginger and garlic are briefly sauteed, and add intense notes and aroma. Add the shrimp back to the pan to heat with the orange sauce.

Spoon mixing shrimp and vegetables stir-frying in a wok.

Cook the sauce

Once the orange sauce ingredients are whisked together, they are added to the shrimp mixture to warm. The last step of cooking stir-fry is to thicken the sauce mixture in the wok. A cornstarch slurry is added to the hot pan, adding volume to the sauce in under a minute!

The sauce becomes a golden orange glaze, delicately coating everything in the pan. I like to garnish the dish with sesame seeds, sliced green onions, and cilantro seeds. I often serve this shrimp stir-fry with steamed white or brown rice or my shrimp fried rice recipe. For a low-carb option, try sauteed cauliflower rice.

More shrimp recipes

Top down view of a bowl of shrimp stir fry over a bed of rice.

Recipe Science

Why you should wait to add garlic and ginger

When stir-frying delicate aromatics in a wok, it’s best to add them towards the end of cooking instead of at the beginning. The wok’s surface is extremely hot, so the small minced pieces of garlic and ginger can quickly burn in seconds, creating bitter flavors. To prevent this, the vegetables cook first, once the pan slightly lowers in temperature, then the aromatics. This helps prolong the aromas and keeps the flavors unharmed.

Easy Shrimp Stir-Fry

Easy shrimp stir-fry recipe ready in 30 minutes or less! Tender pieces of succulent shrimp, crunchy snow peas, and red bell peppers tossed in a sweet and savory orange sauce with a hint of spiciness!
4.83 from 39 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time6 minutes
Total Time21 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine Chinese

Ingredients 
 

  • ½ cup orange juice
  • cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 pound shrimp, 16/20 count, peeled and deveined
  • kosher salt, as needed for seasoning
  • black pepper, as needed for seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, ½" dice
  • 2 cups snow peas
  • 1 tablespoon green onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves

Instructions 

  • Make Stir-Fry Sauce – In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together orange juice, vegetable broth, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and red chili flakes. Set aside.
  • Make Cornstarch Slurry – In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Set aside.
  • Season the Shrimp – Pat dry the shrimp between two paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Saute the Shrimp – Heat a wok or 12-inch saute pan over high heat. Add vegetable oil and sesame oil and heat until just smoking. Add the shrimp to the pan in a single layer and cook for 1 minute. Flip and cook until no longer translucent, about 1 minute. Transfer to a clean plate.
  • Add the Vegetables – Add bell pepper and snow peas to the wok in a single layer, and allow them to cook for 1 minute without moving. Stir the vegetables and cook until lightly browned and crisp, about 30 seconds.
  • Add Shrimp and Sauce – Add garlic and ginger to the pan, and fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the shrimp back in and stir to combine. Add the stir-fry sauce to the pan, stirring to warm, about 2 minutes.
    Whisk in the cornstarch slurry mixture, then add it to the center of the wok. Stirring continuously until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute.
  • To Serve – Season with salt and pepper as desired. Garnish with green onions, sesame seeds, and cilantro.

Equipment

Notes

  • Make it Whole30: Use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce; use arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch; use extra-virgin olive oil, ghee, or coconut oil instead of vegetable oil; and use sea salt instead of kosher salt.
  • Make it Gluten-Free: Use coconut aminos or tamari instead of soy sauce.
  • Make it Paleo: Use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce and arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch.
  • Storing: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating: Cover and microwave on high setting in 15-second increments until hot. 

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 230kcal (12%)Carbohydrates 15g (5%)Protein 26g (52%)Fat 7g (11%)Saturated Fat 1g (5%)Polyunsaturated Fat 2gMonounsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 170mg (57%)Sodium 810mg (34%)Potassium 142mg (4%)Fiber 2g (8%)Sugar 4g (4%)Vitamin A 2650IU (53%)Vitamin C 133.7mg (162%)Calcium 130mg (13%)Iron 3.6mg (20%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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14 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Kevin Quinlan says

    Jessica, I have a quite a bit of tiny Key West pink shrimp–very small. What do you think of using these in the recipe?

    Thank you–love your recipies, science explanations, and instructions.

    Kevin

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I definitely think you could add the small shrimp to the stir-fry. Cook according to the directions, but wait to add them to the pan until after you’ve heated and thickened the sauce. If you cook the shrimp much longer, they will become smaller and tougher.

  2. Donna says

    Jessica just made this for the first time. I enjoyed all the flavors, the crispness, and the heat of the red chili flakes. I added lots of different vegetables. Thank you, this is most definitely a keeper and one to share with my adult children.

  3. Freddo Dirk says

    Hey Jess I cook from your recipes all the time. You are better than Kylie Kwong who owns Asian cooking here in Australia…big praise!

  4. Mary says

    Made this last night. Under the Ingredients it lists 1 tsp sesame oil but the Instructions never say when to add the sesame oil. Is it to be added in the orange sauce?

  5. Delisa says

    Accidentally bought sugar snap peas instead. Added sliced mushrooms. Didn’t have enough OJ left after the family got to it, so only was able to use about a fourth cup. But this was so good! I will make it again and again. My daughter wants me to try it with chicken. Thank you!

  6. Dr Ken says

    I have made the Easy Shrimp Stir Fry twice. It’s a keeper!! Second time, I added some pineapple chunks.
    All great recipes!!

  7. Judy Caywood says

    Hi Jessica

    I made a shrimp stir fry with asparagus on Saturday and I was wondering at what point to add the ginger and garlic. I was very glad to find the information from you here.

    I have enough shrimp left to try your recipe here.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I’m so glad that I could help you answer that question Judy! I can’t wait to hear what you think about the recipe 🙂