Pan-Seared Shrimp with Ginger-Hoisin Glaze

We went through a really rough stretch a few months ago when we started trying to eat healthier dinners. I’d planned our meals for the week, and was genuinely excited about all of them. But one night after the next, we choked down something that was just barely edible – a super dry and bland pasta bake, buffalo chicken salad that wasn’t nearly as exciting as it sounded, flavorless chili…the list goes on. It was oh so tempting to just pick up the phone and order pizza on a few of those nights. I’m sure Shane wished I had, but he was a really good sport about the whole thing.

Pan-Seared Shrimp with Ginger-Hoisin Glaze

We hit a breakthrough the night I made this pan-seared shrimp recipe. Shane and I each took our first bite, looked at one another and breathed a sigh of relief. Dinner was actually good for the first time all week! We’ve never gobbled up a meal quite so quickly :) I’ve since made the recipe at least three more times, just to confirm it wasn’t a fluke, but this continues to be a favorite meal here.

There’s so much to love about this recipe. First, it is literally one of the fastest dinners I’ve ever made. From start to finish we’re talking maybe 10 minutes, if that, so it’s perfect for any night of the week! Second, hoisin sauce. I continue to be completely obsessed with the stuff, the sweet and tangy combo just works for me. And perhaps best of all, at least in my book, it’s low in calories and the portion size is quite large. It always leaves me feeling satisfied!

Pan-Seared Shrimp with Ginger-Hoisin Glaze
barely adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
pinch red pepper flakes
1 1/2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/8 teaspoon sugar
4 teaspoons canola oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced (to garnish)

In a small bowl, whisk together the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, water, ginger, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes. Set aside. Spread the shrimp on a double layer of paper towels and pat the tops dry with additional towels (you want both sides good and dry!). Season both sides with salt and pepper, as well as the sugar.

Set a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the oil and heat until shimmering. Add half of the shrimp to the pan and cook for about 1 minute per side, or until they are cooked through and browned on both sides. Remove to a plate. Repeat with remaining oil and the other half of the shrimp.

When the second batch of shrimp are cooked, add the first batch back to the pan along with the hoisin sauce. Toss the shrimp until they’ve all been coated with the sauce. Garnish with the scallions when serving (we like to serve over rice).