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Friday, February 12, 2016

General Tso's Popcorn Shrimp

General Tso's Popcorn Shrimp
Once every couple of months or so, we order Chinese takeout from a favorite local restaurant. It's a small family restaurant which means that either the owner or one of her two kids usually answers the phone. When I call to place our order, the owner doesn't even ask our name. She knows us by our order—two large General Tso's Chicken with white (sticky) rice and one small Chicken Broccoli.

When one of us walks through the door to pick it up, she calls a hello and either brings us our order or tells us it's almost ready. I love that. But I also love saving money and time...and not having to go outside when it's in single (or negative) digits. Therefore, sometimes I like to make homemade takeout. Isn't that a fun oxymoron?

I do make the chicken in my kitchen from time to time, but I thought it would be fun to switch things up. I mention how much I love fish and seafood fairly often. I also mention that while we live right in the midst of the Great Lakes, we don't live on a coast. That means that I often turn to the freezer section. I thought that I'd make my shrimp-loving guys happy by switching out our usual chicken for shrimp this time. SeaPak Shrimp & Seafood Co. Popcorn Shrimp is the perfect thing to use. It goes straight from the freezer to the oven (or fryer) and cooks in about 11 minutes.
General Tso's Popcorn Shrimp
If you have all of your ingredients ready to go, you can steam some fresh broccoli, cook up a batch of sticky rice, bake your shrimp, make your sauce AND STILL HAVE THIS DISH IN FRONT OF YOUR FAMILY IN 30 MINUTES OR LESS!

My guys were tickled pink. Get it, Yeah, and I was stoked that they said they wanted General Tso's Popcorn Shrimp to be a regular part of our monthly meal plans (I use that term loosely since I'm not a very good meal planner). Plus it means a delicious way for my family to get at least one of the USDA's two recommended servings of seafood for the week.
General Tso's Popcorn Shrimp
yield: serves 4-6print recipe

General Tso's Popcorn Shrimp

prep time: 10 MINScook time: 15 MINStotal time: 25 mins
Using popcorn shrimp is a simple shortcut for making this twist on my favorite Chinese takeout dish at home in under 30 minutes — sweet and spicy General Tso's.


  • 1 (18 ounce) box SeaPak Popcorn Shrimp
For the sauce:
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons + 1/4 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons + 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
Everything else:
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red chile flakes or to taste
  • 4 dried thin red chile peppers (such as chiles de arbol), optional
  • 8 ounces (~4 cups) trimmed broccoli florets, steamed
  • cooked white rice (3-4 cups), warm


  1. Cook popcorn shrimp according the package directions.
  2. uncooked SeaPak popcorn shrimp
  3. While the shrimp is cooking, whisk the water, hoisin, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, and cornstarch together in a small bowl.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add garlic, ginger, red chile flakes, and whole red chiles if using; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour in the sauce and heat to a simmer; let cook until the sauce has thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. making the sauce
  6. Add the still hot shrimp into the pan and toss to coat. Serve immediately with warm rice and broccoli.

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