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Do you love Asian inspired meals? This Quick and Easy Spicy Pineapple Shrimp is ready in 15 minutes, making it the perfect meal for your family to celebrate Chinese New Year.
If you’ve been following my blog since the beginning of January, then you know I have decided to get more international with my recipes. Chinese New Year is in a few days, and I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to get a little creative in the kitchen as well as learn about new traditions. If you’re looking for a delicious and quick Chinese inspired meal, then look no further. My Spicy Pineapple Shrimp is quick and easy, and perfect for this festive occasion. Want to bring yourself extra luck during dinner? Wear red.
Also known as Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is based on the old Chinese calendar and represents the start of the new year. Back in the old times, it was a time to honor deities and ancestors, but in the modern times, it’s turned into a festival of good food, family, friends, and celebrations. By the way, those red envelopes and coins you’re seeing in the pictures have a purpose. The red envelope contains money, and the color red brings good luck and wards off evil spirits. The coins represent heaven and earth and brings good fortune.
Did you know that the biggest celebration of Chinese New Year outside of China is in San Francisco? Pretty cool, huh? Each year is named for one of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac. This year happens to be the Year of the Monkey, which I am super excited about, because monkeys are my favorite. I literally have a closet full of monkeys. That’s a whole different post, though. Here’s a fun fact: You know why you see dragons all the time in Chinese celebrations and decorations? Chinese are believed to have been descended from them! The 15 day tradition is a lot like Diwali and Western New Year. Houses are cleaned to get rid of bad luck associated with the old year, and different foods are eaten and gifts are given for good luck in the new year. On the 15th day, there’s a lantern festival. Any of this sound familiar? New Year’s resolutions or India’s Festival of Lights ring a bell? I thought so.
What really made this one of the easiest meals I’ve ever made are the three stars of the show: Minute® Rice, Dole Pineapple Chunks, and Kikkoman Soy Sauce. The Minute Rice allowed me to make rice in five minutes. 5. Where else can you get quality cooked rice that actually tastes great in that short amount of time? Not to mention it’s gluten-free and doesn’t have any preservatives. Dole’s pineapple chunks allowed me to have a sweet flavor for the sauce without having to add any sugar, and bonus points for Vitamin C, and Kikkoman’s soy sauce gave it the extra boost in flavor. Seriously though. This meal is so easy. From start to finish you can have a complete meal for the whole family in around 15 minutes.
I found all three ingredients at my local Kroger. I got the Dole Pineapple Chunks from the canned fruit aisle, Kikkoman Soy Sauce in the Asian food aisle, and Minute Rice in the rice and beans aisle. For a coupon for 55 cents off Kikkoman, click here. For a coupon for a dollar off Dole products, click here.
I wanted a really good batter for the shrimp that was light and crunchy, so I took inspiration from my friend Byron over at Pretty Practical Pantry. He has a cauliflower dish that has the most amazing looking batter that I knew would be perfect for the shrimp. I wanted the pineapple sauce to be sweet and spicy and to highlight the pineapple chunks. Get this, the pineapple sauce only has 3 ingredients: pineapple, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes. I told you I don’t play around.
I hope this post has taught you something interesting about a new culture as well as inspired you to make a great meal. For more Asian-inspired recipe inspiration, visit the Chinese New Year Eats social hub.
- 1 lb shrimp, raw, deveined, peeled
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp rice flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1½ cups flour, split into 1 cup and ½ cup
- 2¼ cup water
- oil for frying
- 1 red bell pepper, diced (optional, for color and texture)
- 1 tbsp Kikkoman Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 20 oz can Dole Pineapple Chunks
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 cups Minute White Rice
- 2 cups water
- Heat oil to 375
- Add all of the dry ingredients and the one cup of flour in a large bowl. Mix. Add the sesame oil and the water. Mix.
- Add the ½ cup flour in a paper bag, or a container large enough to hold the shrimp. Set aside.
- Add the shrimp to the batter, toss around to make sure they are all nice and wet with the batter. It's a thin batter, so even though it might look like it's not sticking, it is.
- Immediately add the shrimp to the container with the extra flour and toss around evenly coating the shrimp with the flour.
- Fry in batches until golden.
- Drain on paper towel.
- Heat the oil in a saute pan. Add the bell pepper. Saute for 3-5 minutes.
- Add the can of pineapple chunks, juice included. Stir.
- Add the soy sauce and red pepper flakes. Stir.
- Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Stir in shrimp.
- Add the water to a pan. Bring to a boil. Add the rice. Cover and remove from flame. Let rest for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. This can be done while the sauce is simmering.