Simple, super quick, make ahead, versatile, fresh, gorgeous, sensationally delicious!
Being one of those cooks who’s always exploring new and often uncharted culinary territory, I frequently get in a bit of trouble for the lack of repeated performances here at The Café. You see, there’s always a stack of recipes torn out of magazines or pinned online that I want to try, and just as many swirling around in my brain; recipes I’m creating as I’m inspired by something fresh and delicious at the market, something sensational I try at a restaurant or often, something that seemingly comes to me from out of nowhere.
So when I make something three times in a two-week stretch of time, you can be sure it’s something fabulous, something worthy of rave reviews, like this Thai-Style Shrimp & Asparagus Fried Rice w/ Golden Raisins & Cashews.
The rice needs to be cooked and cooled in advance, otherwise this meal comes together in a snap. If you’re serving guests, it can be tossed together before the doorbell rings with the exception of the shrimp. Cook up the shrimp at the last minute, combine with the rice/veggie mix and serve with a scatter with fresh herbs and cashews. You will hear rave reviews, for sure!
It’s simple, super quick, make ahead, versatile, gorgeous, fresh, sensationally delicious! Oops, I almost forgot to tell you, it makes fabulous leftovers, so you just might want to make a double batch!!
- 1 pound extra-large shrimp 26 to 30 per lb., peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons plus one teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup salted toasted cashew halves
- 1 pound fresh asparagus rough ends snapped off and thinly sliced on a long diagonal
- 1 medium sweet onion such as Maui or Vidalia, halved and fairly thinly sliced lengthwise (about 2 cups)
- 1 large bunch scallions thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 ½ teaspoons finely minced fresh garlic
- 1 ½ teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce available in the Asian section at most larger grocers
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce available in the Asian section at most larger grocers
- 3 cups day-old unsalted cooked jasmine rice I like to use jasmine rice
- 2 cups tiny frozen peas thawed
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- sea salt to taste
- small basil cilantro and mint leaves, for garnish
- Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and season with ½ tsp. salt and a generous scatter of freshly ground black pepper.
- Heat one teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add cashews and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir continuously for one to two minutes until golden. Remove from pan to small bowl and set aside.
- Combine the fish sauce, garlic and ginger in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the same pan over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the shrimp and cook, flipping once, until pink and opaque, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a plate. (If preparing ahead, skip this step and proceed to next step, see directions below.)
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the skillet until shimmering hot. Add the asparagus, onions, scallions and golden raisins and stir continuously for one minute. Add the fish sauce mixture and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds.
- Add rice, stirring to break up any clumps, until the mixture is well combined and heated through, about 2 minutes. (If preparing ahead, add the rice but don't heat at this time, see directions below.)
- Add shrimp, peas and chopped cilantro, stir to combine.
- Taste and season with sea salt, if needed.
- Serve garnished with fresh herb leaves and a scatter of the toasted cashews.
- ~ This dish is very versatile. Instead of shrimp it is delicious with shredded roasted chicken, roasted pork bits or as a vegetarian dish with a scrambled egg or two added just before serving. You can also substitute any other vegetables that are in season or add extra veggies. The original recipe calls for pineapple which is also quite delicious.
- ~ To make ahead, prepare as directed, up to one hour in advance, omitting step four and stopping after step 6. Just before serving, cook shrimp. Add rice mixture to shrimp and heat over medium heat until hot. Finish with steps 8 and 9.
~ To make ahead, prepare as directed, up to one hour in advance, omitting step four and stopping after step 6. Just before serving, cook shrimp. Add rice mixture to shrimp and heat over medium heat until hot. Finish with steps 8 and 9.