Shrimp Stir Fry

Love stir fry? Then you’ll love this shrimp stir fry recipe. It’s quick, easy, and delicious—just like a stir fry should be!

Is there anything better than stir fry for a weeknight meal? I think not. It’s quick and easy. It’s typically heavy on healthy veggies. And it’s delicious.

This shrimp stir fry checks all those boxes. Plus—shrimp! I love it, as you’ve maybe noticed from all the shrimp recipes on my site. :)

A great stir fry for beginners and seasoned pros

If you’re new to making stir fry, this recipe is a great way to try your hand at it. Because it uses a very basic stir fry method and relatively basic pantry staples.

About the only “exotic” ingredient on the list is toasted sesame oil, and I put “exotic” in quotes because it’s actually available at most any supermarket. Look in the Asian or ethnic food section. Be sure to grab toasted sesame oil, which is used more like a flavoring or condiment, rather than plain sesame oil, which is used more like a cooking oil. Toasted will add more flavor to the stir fry sauce.

If you make stir fry a lot, you’ll enjoy this recipe as a simple, easy-to-throw-together addition to your repertoire. (You also might enjoy my Shrimp Fried Rice.)

Stir fry secrets

First of all, prepare your ingredients before you start cooking. Stir fry comes together fast, and you don’t want your broccoli to get overcooked while you’re madly trying to trim your snow peas in time to add them.

(I recommend always having all your ingredients prepared before you start cooking for the same reason, but it’s especially important with quick-cooking stir fry.)

Second, rest assured that you don’t need a wok to make stir fry. All you really need is a skillet that can get good and hot. A wok is nice, but not a requirement.

Third, do get that wok or skillet good and hot! It doesn’t have to have flames licking the sides of the pan like you see at an Asian restaurant, but high heat is part of what keeps stir-fried foods from sticking and gives them their signature crisp-tender texture.

Heat the pan before adding the oil. If a drop of water sizzles when it hits the pan, it’s ready for the oil.

Finally, once you add the food, keep it moving. That’s another thing that gives stir fry it’s signature crisp-tender texture—food that’s cooked over high heat, but not left in any one spot long enough to get much browning.

An exception here is the initial cooking of the shrimp—spread it out in the pan and leave it for a minute or so to get a little color, for flavor. But that, like using a wok, isn’t imperative.

Shopping for shrimp

Because they’re so central to the recipe, start off with good shrimp. I use frozen because shrimp are frozen right on the boat when they’re caught—you can’t get much fresher than that. For this recipe, defrost them shortly before you plan to use them (here’s info on how to thaw shrimp quickly), and then gently pat them dry so they won’t be watery when you start to cook.

Once you have this basic recipe down, experiment! You could use diced chicken, pork, or beef instead of the shrimp, although a different protein might need a minute or two more to cook depending on the size of the pieces. You could try mirin or aji-mirin, a sweet cooking wine also available in the ethnic food section of most supermarkets, in place of the orange juice. And you could, of course, try different combinations of vegetables.

Let me know what you think, and enjoy!



Shrimp Stir Fry

  • Author: Jill Hough
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


Love stir fry? Then you’ll love this shrimp stir fry recipe. It’s quick, easy, and delicious—just like a stir fry should be!


  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, or more to taste (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. cooking oil, divided
  • 12 oz. medium raw shrimp (31 to 40 per pound, peeled, deveined, and with the tail removed)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-in. strips
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 1 Tbsp. minced or grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced


  1. Combine the orange juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes, if using. Whisk in the cornstarch and set aside.
  2. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, tilting the wok to coat the pan. Add the shrimp, spread it into a single layer, and cook without stirring until browned on one side, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside (it won’t be cooked through yet).
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok. Add the broccoli and bell pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the snow peas and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Re-whisk the sauce and add it to the wok. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens and the shrimp are cooked through. About 1 minute.
  5. Serve garnished with the scallions and more red pepper flakes to taste.