Lucky Shrimp and Lotus Seeds is light, flavorful, crispy, crunchy, lucky Chinese stir fry that you can have on your table in 15 minutes flat. Fabulous way to ring in the Chinese New Year!
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year falls on the first day of the month of the new lunar calendar. We need to celebrate with more delicious Chinese dishes to make this lantern festival feel special.
Sharing Different Cultures and Food
I am blessed to have many friends who love teach me about their unique cultures and foods. It is fascinating to learn about this holiday's significance and all of the symbolism behind it. When family and friends gather, it is time to celebrate and look forward to all things good and new and the main way they do this is through food.
Yes-food! When it comes down to it. We are all the same in every culture. We gather! We socialize! We eat! From East to West this concept is one that is the same in every region. Well maybe an exception is at a weight watcher's meeting...
One of the aspects of this yearly celebration that is commonly emphasized is the foods that are eaten. My Chinese friends tend to associate certain foods with the things they wish for the New Year, like prosperity, fertility, and good health, based on the symbolism evoked by these foods.
What are Lotus Seeds?
Lotus seeds are seeds from the lotus flowers that grow in ponds.
Today I am going to make a quick and easy Chinese stir fry dish using fried lotus seeds and shrimp. Lotus seeds come from the beautiful lotus flower that grows in ponds and rivers. Have you ever been to People's Park in Shanghai, China? The pond in Peoples' Park is filled with gorgeous lotus flowers as far as you can see.
Lotus Seed Symbolism
In the Chinese culture, lotus seeds symbolizes fertility and good luck. More specifically lotus seeds are exactly what you need for a bountiful year with new bouncing babies in your home. So if you are like me with grown teenagers in the house and wish for no more, go easy on this dish...
I am hosting a Chinese family for a little lunar year celebration. So you may ask, what are you going to cook? Chinese dishes of course and I best brush up on my Mandarin.
How to Prepare Dried Lotus Seeds?
Dried lotus seeds cannot be eaten straight out of the bag. Here is the preparation method...
- Soak lotus seeds in water overnight
- Remove the green part in the lotus seed with a toothpick if you want to keep them whole or cut them and remove the inner green part. This little green part is very bitter.
- The easiest method is to cook them in the pressure cooker (Instant Pot) for about 10 minutes with about a 10 minute natural release of pressure. Alternatively, you can cook them on the stove top until tender. From there, they can be used in many recipes.
However, I think sometimes simple is best, especially when your hosting a meal offering maybe 4-5 Chinese entrée dishes. My goal was to create a light and easy dish that whipped up in less than 15 minutes flat using my lucky lotus seeds. We created Lucky Shrimp and Lotus Seeds and it is sublime.
How to Make?
I started out with usual stir fry with a little oil then added garlic (of course!) a little onion, baby corn and then some fresh shrimp from the wet market, created a cornstarch flavored slurry and then finished off the dish some baby peas and sprinkled crunchy fried lotus seeds on top of the dish.
15 Minute Dinner
This Chinese dish is light, flavorful, crispy, crunchy, lucky and I had it on the table in less than 15 minutes flat. Good luck shrimp and lotus seeds is also gluten-free. If you do not have or can't get your hands on lotus seeds, no worries as this dish is flavorful and delicious even without.
More Chinese New Year Recipes
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Lucky Shrimp and Lotus Seeds
- Instant Pot optional
Lotus Seeds (optional)
- lotus seeds
(after soaked and pressure cooked) - handful sprinkled on top - optional garnish
- water to soak lotus roots and to cook in pressure cooker
Lucky Shrimp Stir Fry
- 20 shrimp
(large, deveined and heads and tails off)
- 1 cup baby corns cut on a diagonal
- ½ cup peas
- ¼ onion
small peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon chicken powder
(gluten free) or chicken bouillon - 1 teaspoon or to taste
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- white pepper
- 1 tablespoon oil
- lotus seeds soaked and cooked - optional (Dish is also delicious with fried cashews or peanuts as a topping)
Optional - Lotus Seed Preparation
- If you plan on topping with optional Lotus seeds, soak dried lotus seeds in water overnight. Then, you can either use a toothpick to remove the green vein that is bitter or chop in half to remove. Then place lotus seeds in the pressure cooker (instant pot) and cover with an inch or 2 of water. Set the pressure cooker on high and cook for 10 minutes. Allow to naturally pressure release for 10 minutes and then release pressure. Drain and dry.
Lucky Shrimp Stir Fry
- Gather all your supplies and have everything chopped, cleaned and ready to go into the wok.
- Make your Cornstarch slurry mixture: In a little cup, place ¼ cup warm water and mix in your gluten free chicken powder until dissolved. Add 1 tablespoon cornstarch, sesame oil and white pepper to taste and stir. Set aside.
- In a wok or frying pan place olive oil and turn on burner to medium high heat. Add onions and garlic and stirfry until translucent.
- Add the baby corn and add a splash of water (couple of tablespoons and then place a lid on to top to help steam for about 1-2 minutes) Take the lid off of the vegetable-do not over cook, just until firm aldente.
- Add the shrimp and keep stirring until they turn slightly pink, then add your optional lotus seeds and stir fry for a minute of 2 and then your cornstarch slurry mixture.
- Add your peas and keep stirring until the mixture is light and has a silky broth. If broth is too thin add more diluted cornstarch and water. If mixture is too thick, add more water. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Set your lucky shrimp stir fry on to a serving platter and enjoy with steamed rice.