1 pound medium shrimp (36/40 count), peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 celery stalks, diced
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 cup unsalted cashews
Heat a large wok or saucepan (preferably nonstick) over medium-high heat. The moment it begins to smoke, add the peanut oil and swirl it in the wok for 30 seconds. If using raw shrimp, add the, and stir and toss constantly for 1 minute. Add the celery and cook, stirring and tossing constantly for 1 minute, or until hot but still crisp. Add the ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Stir and toss for another 30 seconds. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, and the cocktail shrimp, if using. Raise the heat to high. When the sauce starts to boil, add the cashews. Stir and toss just until the nuts are well distributed and heated through. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Black Bean Cashew Shrimp: Reduce the soy sauce to 1 tablespoon. Add 1/4 cup dried salted Chinese black beans, slightly crushed, with the soy sauce.
Cashew Shrimp and Bamboo Shoots: Add 1 cup canned bamboo shoots, drained, a with the ginger.
Cashew Shrimp and Bean Thread Noodles: Pour boiling water over 2, 2 ounce packages dried bean thread noodles. Soak for 15 minutes. Drain and add them with the soy sauce. (Do not serve over rice.)
Cashew Shrimp and Carrots: Add 1 cup peeled and thinly sliced carrots with the celery.
Cashew Shrimp and Straw Mushrooms: Add 1 cup canned straw mushrooms, drained, with the ginger.
Hearty Cashew Shrimp: Add 1 onion, thinly sliced into rings, with the celery. Add 1 tablespoon hoi sin sauce with the soy sauce.
Mild Cashew Shrimp: Omit the red pepper flakes. Add 1/2 cup sliced scallions with the celery.
Sweet and Salty Cashew Shrimp: Use salted cashews, and add 1 teaspoon sugar with the soy sauce.
Szechwan Cashew Shrimp: Omit the red pepper flakes. Add 1 teaspoon chili oil, or more, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar with the ginger, and 1/2 cup sliced bananas with the vinegar.
Recipe obtained from The Ultimate Shrimp Book by Bruce Weinstein.