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+ servings

Shrimp and Zucchini Stir Fry with Crispy Basil

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 7 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Servings 4 people
Calories 271 kcal


  • 1/2 pound shrimp shelled, deveined
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt (kosher or sea salt) divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil like canola, peanut, vegetable
  • 1 fresh chili pepper sliced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups sliced zucchini about 2 medium

For the Stir Fry Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

For the Crispy Basil

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil like canola, peanut or vegetable


  • Fill a medium bowl with the just 1 teaspoon of salt, ice and water. Add the shrimp and let soak for 15 minutes. While brining, proceed to next step to make crispy basil.
  • To make the crispy basil: Wash and pat very dry the basil leaves. The leaves MUST be very dry, or the oil will splatter. Add 4 tablespoons cooking oil to the wok or a small saute pan. When the oil is hot and shimmering (but not smoking quite yet), add in a single basil leaf to test. Deep fry the basil leaves in batches, and letting them cool on a plate with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
  • Back to the brining shrimp.... Drain and pat very dry on paper towels. Empty the bowl, wipe the bowl dry and return the shrimp, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, sesame oil and cornstarch. Stir to coat the shrimp.
  • Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add the cooking oil, swirling to coat the wok. Add the shrimp and immediately give each shrimp its own space on the wok, so that they aren't touching.
    Let fry, untouched for 1 minute. Flip shrimp and let fry for an additional minute, or just cooked through. Remove from wok, leaving as much oil in wok as possible.
  • You should still have 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in the wok. If not, add more cooking oil.
    Return the heat to medium-high and let the oil heat up. Add in the chili pepper and garlic and fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add in the zucchini slices and stir fry for 1-2 minutes, tossing every 15 seconds, until zucchini is just barely soft in the middle but still firm on the outer edge.
  • Pour in the stir fry sauce to the wok. Add back into wok the cooked shrimp. Toss everything together to allow the sauce to coat the shrimp and the zucchini. Top the dish with crispy basil.


Sodium: 1341mgCalcium: 105mgVitamin C: 31mgVitamin A: 548IUSugar: 2gFiber: 1gPotassium: 261mgCholesterol: 143mgCalories: 271kcalSaturated Fat: 2gFat: 23gProtein: 13gCarbohydrates: 4gIron: 2mg
Keyword shrimp, stir fry
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