big shrimpin’ up in nyc

With the majority of dishes ridden with soy sauce, breading, and flour noodles, Chinese cuisine is often viewed as a red hot danger zone for celiacs. Although there are admittedly very few safe options for dining out (unless you want a meal of plain rice and steamed veggies), there are an increasing number of products that make romantic, home-cooked gf Chinese dates easier–and tastier–than ever! Tamari soy sauce, gf teriyaki sauce, gf panko crumbs, rice noodles, rice flour: all these replace the celiac’s nightmares of Panda Express assembly lines with happy realities of safe and delicious home-cooked eats.

Although rice noodles can be easily substituted for their flour counterparts, spiralizers and julienne techniques make veggie noodles equally interchangeable in Chinese and Italian recipes. In the following recipe, I used my spiralizer to make a zucchini noodle dish that wowed my lovely celiatonic GF (XOXO, mom)!


Date Night with Your GF: Kung Pao Shrimp (Makes 2 Servings)

Total delay of Peaky Blinders marathon: 30 minutes

Total time explaining why your netflix account is still your ex-GF’s: ….good luck, soldier.

For the main dish:

  • 2 medium zucchini, about 8 oz each
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed or canola oil
  • 16  de-veined, tail-less shrimp (8 per person)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 fresh mango, cubed
  • 1 tsp sesame or coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp crushed dry-roasted peanuts
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced scallions along diagonal
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup half moon slices of canned water chestnuts

For the sauce:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp reduced soy sauce (tamari for gluten free)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp hoisin sauce (check label to make sure it is gf)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tbsp Sambal Oelek Red Chili Paste
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

Using a spiralizer fitted with a shredder blade, cut the zucchini into long spaghetti-like strips. Use kitchen scissors to cut the strands into pieces that are about 8 inches long (unless you’re trying for a Lady in the Tramp). Don’t have a spiralizer? Use your mandoline fit with a julienne blade to achieve a similar effect.

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, balsamic, hoisin, water, red chili paste, sugar and cornstarch; set aside.

If shrimp are frozen, place in colander and rinse, remove tails when halfway defrosted. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat canola oil in a large, deep nonstick pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until orange on both sides (takes very little time).

Reduce heat to medium, add sesame oil (or coconut oil), sesame seeds, garlic and ginger to the skillet and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the mango and water chestnuts, stir in soy sauce mixture, and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened and bubbling, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in zucchini noodles and cook, mixing for about two minutes until just tender and mixed with the sauce. If it seems dry, don’t worry because the zucchini will release moisture. Once cooked, mix in shrimp and divide between 2 bowls (about 2 cups each) and top with peanuts and scallions. Serve while hot. Pairs well with jasmine rice and an ice cold Damm Daura.

*Pro Dating Tip: Kung pao got your tongue? Follow up this spicy stir fry with a quick, delicious GF DF milkshake and get right back to Tommy.

Note: This recipe has been adapted from a GF kung pao chicken recipe that can be found at Bell peppers and other vegetables may also be added to the mixture alongside the mango and water chestnuts! This is what makes stir fry so easy…You can throw everything but the kitchen sink into your wok and your gf will be wowed by your creative genius…



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