Spicy Garlic Shrimp and Bok Choy

This Spicy Garlic Shrimp and Bok Choy recipe started out as Pesto Shrimp. Well, the original plan was to make pesto shrimp. Obviously, it didn’t quite work out. The basil was so bitter, I couldn’t salvage the dish. This usually happens with leaves that are too mature or the plant hasn’t been pruned. No amount of sugar was going to make that thing edible.

So, I think I’ll just wait until the spring when I can find fresh, sweet, basil plants. It’s a great recipe and I want to do it justice.

Spicy Garlic Shrimp and Bok Choy

With inedible pesto on my counter and 1 1/2 pounds of deveined shrimp in the sink, I had to come up with a new recipe quickly. Plus, it was 6 pm and everyone was starting to get hungry.

I had a bit of bok choy (Chinese cabbage) in the fridge, so I decided to switch to an Asian theme. I know, Italian to Asian is a pretty big jump.

But it worked.

This is my go-to stir fry sauce with a kick. The Sriracha and chili paste add a bit of heat, which gives this sauce a nice twist.

Spicy Garlic Shrimp and Bok Choy

The best part about this recipe? It’s super-quick! From mixing the sauce together, to cooking the shrimp, this entire dish can be complete in about 10 minutes. It takes longer to wash the bok choy and get the ingredients out of the fridge than it does to cook.

Well, unless you are like me and have to peel and devein 1 1/2 pounds of shrimp. That’s my own fault. Just buy shrimp that is already cleaned and you’ll be one step ahead of me.

Spicy Garlic Shrimp and Bok Choy

The Spicy Garlic Shrimp and Bok Choy can be served over rice, quinoa, or just as-is. It definitely has enough flavor to stand up on its own!

I also think this spicy garlic sauce would be excellent over halved baby bok choy as a side dish. You could steam the bok choy, plate it cut side down, then drizzle the garlic sauce over it. I better stop. Otherwise, this is going to become a recipe within a recipe. Or Recipe Inception. Too far. I know. It’s late.

I guess the bitter pesto fiasco turned out okay after all.

Spicy Garlic Shrimp and Bok Choy
  • 1½ pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 6 heads of baby bok choy, chopped
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chili paste
  • 2 tsp Chinese rice wine or mirin
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, Sriracha, sesame oil, chili paste, rice wine, and sugar. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat a dash of olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Then, add the soy sauce mixture. Reduce the heat to low, stirring occasionally. To sweeten the sauce, add a tablespoon of honey. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a separate pan, heat a dash of olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the shrimp and cook until just opaque, about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the heat and set aside.
  4. Add the chopped bok choy stalks to the spicy garlic sauce. Cook until the stalks becomes tender, then add the leaves and shrimp. Stir all ingredients together and serve.