I admit it. I love going out to eat. That way, I don’t have to worry about what to cook or clean up! But, lately my daughter and I have been bonding in the kitchen and cooking for our favorite guy: Dad (my hubby). He’s the perfect Guinea pig to test out recipes on. For Father’s Day we recreated the Pacific Chili Shrimp entree from Panda Express. Why not have the best of both worlds? Eat your favorite restaurant dishes at home!
The Pacific Chili Shrimp is available for a limited time at Panda Express but now you can make it home to enjoy once it’s gone! I have to say that our meal closely matched the taste of the chain’s dish with the right amount of heat, crispy veggies and plenty of shrimp! Yes! It was easy to make and I had many of the ingredients on hand. I never thought a dish from Panda Express would be easy to make at home but we managed to pull it off.
I encourage families to cook together in the kitchen. Kids get a wonderful sense of accomplishment and pride when the roles are reversed and they take over the kitchen. With parents guidance and safety tips kids can don a chef’s hat for a few meals a week. My daughter helped prep the meal which included cutting up the veggies (definitely keep an eye on young children or purchase knives meant for little hands), mix the sauces and even prepare the table for Dad’s dinner! We even cooked rice in a rice cooker as a side-dish to complete the meal.
We prepared our shopping list together, laughed and bonded throughout the whole process. Kids can learn organizations skills during the process and it’s really important to sit down together as a family. Life is way too fast paced and eating together shouldn’t always be on the run! Plus, cooking at home usually means saving $$$.
So, next time you’re not sure what to get someone for that special someone or if it’s just a “because” gift, cook them a delicious meal made with love! Cooking with kids doesn’t have to be scary! You could even turn time in the kitchen into a cultural lesson. We cooked Americanized Chinese food. Why not learn something about the country that inspired your meal?
I used a wok and wooden spoon/spatula for this recipe!
Ingredients for Pacific Chili Shrimp
- 1 lb Peeled and deveined shrimp (Any shrimp species will be fine)
- ¼ tsp Sea salt
- ½ tsp Rice wine or water
- 1 pinch White pepper
- 1 oz Cooking oil
- 3 oz Cooking oil
- 2 oz Red bell pepper diced into 1” pieces
- 2 oz Yellow onion sliced into ¼” pieces
- 4 oz Sugar snap peas (or any peas in pods)
- ½ tsp Crushed red chili flakes
- ½ tsp Minced garlic
- 1 tsp Minced fresh ginger
- 2 oz Rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbs Sugar
- 2 tbs Soy sauce
- 1 tbs Water
- ½ tsp Sesame oil
- 1 tbs Water mixed with 1 tbs corn starch (sauce thickener)
- Combine defrosted shrimp with salt, pepper, rice wine and oil. Marinate for at least 15 minutes.
- Combine chili flakes, ginger and garlic in a small container. Combine soy sauce, water, vinegar and sugar in a separate container.
- Heat a nonstick 10” (or larger) pan with high heat until white smoke appears on top. Add 3 oz cooking oil followed by the marinated shrimp. Quickly stir the shrimp in high heat until it is cooked through (roughly 1 minute).
- Remove only the shrimp from the pan and leave the leftover oil. Continue to cook the prepared fresh vegetables.
- Add cooked shrimp back into the pan along with crushed chili mixture. Cook for 30 seconds.
- Add sauce mixture into the pan, allowing it to come to boil, and quickly stir in the sauce thickener.
- Top with sesame oil and serve immediately alone or on top of rice!
I’m going to try this recipe with chicken next time. I’m sure it would even be yummy with tofu!
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