Here's a light, fresh-tasting recipe for lemon garlic shrimp and snow pea stir fry with hints of ginger and bright notes from lemon. Serve this shrimp stir fry with pea pods and red peppers over rice or noodles for a quick nutritious meal. Ready in less than 30 minutes!
This Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Snow Pea Stir Fry is a light, fresh-tasting stir fry with hints of lemon and ginger. It's a healthy gluten-free meal that you can make in 30 minutes or so!
I make this easy Japanese Chicken Stir Fry with Broccoli and teriyaki sauce often, but sometimes I like to choose something light and lemony. Shrimp or prawns work beautifully with these flavours.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- Quick and easy. Stir fry meals are great for busy weeknights. They're quick, nutritious and you can vary the ingredients according to what you have on hand.
- Perfectly cooked shrimp. Shrimp (or prawns) can sometimes become rubbery in a stir fry when they are overcooked, but this recipe ensures they will be perfectly cooked and tender!
- Delicious! Lean proteins like shrimp or chicken are delicious when combined with light sauces and marinades. The lemon garlic sauce in this recipe perfectly complements the shrimp.
- Light and fresh! It's light, delicately lemony and I know you'll love this shrimp stir fry with sugar snap peas or snow peas and peppers!
Love to cook with shrimp and prawns? Wondering what's the best way to buy, cook or thaw shrimp? You'll find all the answers in this Complete Guide to Cooking Shrimp and Prawns.
And you'll discover over 20 favourite ways to cook shrimp in this round-up of my Best Healthy Shrimp Recipes.
Let's get started. Here's what you'll need to make this easy shrimp stir-fry recipe.
For the lemon sauce: one lemon, chicken broth, soy sauce and a sweetener
For the shrimp and veggies:
- large shrimp or prawns: peeled and deveined. You can remove the tails or leave them on. They do add flavour to the dish, but you may not like having to remove them when you eat.
- You'll marinate these in soy sauce: for that umami flavour! Keep it gluten-free by using tamari, or use coconut aminos for a paleo diet.
- You'll also add a little dry sherry to the marinade: just a tablespoon adds a little sweetness and balances the saltiness of the tamari. No sherry? No worries. See my list of possible substitutions below.
- high-heat vegetable oil: I use avocado oil when cooking over high heat. Extra-virgin olive oil is not the best oil to use in this recipe. For more information and a list of high-heat cooking oils, see this article: The Best Oils for Cooking and Which to Avoid.
- aromatics: garlic cloves, fresh ginger and green onions (scallions)
- snow peas: or stringless sugar snap peas
- bell peppers: red, yellow or orange add bright colours to this dish
- sesame seeds: for garnish (optional)
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
It's best to prepare all the ingredients first before starting to cook. Have everything measured, mixed and cut, as this stir fry takes only a few minutes to make.
Here's an overview of what you'll do to make this easy shrimp stir fry. Complete instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Combine the lemon sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Add the tamari soy sauce and sherry to the shrimp and set aside to marinate.
- Mince the fresh ginger and garlic and finely slice the green onions. Combine with 1 teaspoon oil.
- Slice the peppers and remove any stems or strings from the pea pods.
- Measure ¼ cup water and place it beside the stove.
- Heat oil in the pan, and begin by cooking the shrimp. Remove to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
- Add the snow peas to the pan, sauté quickly and add to the bowl with the shrimp. It's better to undercook them and remove them while they still have an appetizing bright green colour
- Add the peppers to the pan, sauté, push to the side of the skillet, then add the ginger-garlic-onion mixture.
- Transfer the shrimp and sugar snap or snow peas back into the skillet, add the lemon sauce and stir to combine.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and serve hot.
👍🏼 Helpful tips
As mentioned above, stir-fry recipes are quick to cook. It's best to have all your ingredients prepared and ready beside the stove.
Shrimp or prawns are best when they're cooked for a very short time over high heat. You'll know they're done when they lose their translucence and curl into a C-shape. They're safe to eat when they’ve turned completely opaque with a pink colour and bright-red tails.
You can either remove the tails before cooking or leave them on. The tails add extra flavour, but some people don't like to have to remove them with their fingers while they're eating. Your choice!
Sugar snap peas or snow peas are best when cooked quickly for no more than 3-5 minutes. After that, their bright green colour turns to a more olive green and while they're still delicious, they're not as appealing to the eye.
Make it your own! Sauté mushrooms and/or red onions. Substitute asparagus spears for the sugar snap peas. Add tiny broccoli florets. This is an easy recipe to adapt to what you have in your fridge!
❓Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe works well in a 12-inch skillet or cast iron pan or a large non-stick skillet.
You do not have to use a wok to make stir fry. In fact, most modern Western stoves are not designed to use a round-bottomed wok.
A heavy-bottomed skillet is my preference. I love my cast iron fry pans for stir fry, as I can heat them to high heat. If you have a newer nonstick skillet, it will be safe to use at high heat as well.
And if you need more convincing that you don't need a wok to make stir fry, read this: 10 reasons to use a frying pan instead of a wok to make stir fry meals.
If you don't have sherry on hand, you can substitute dry vermouth, dry white wine or even chicken stock with a squeeze of lemon juice.
🍽 Serving suggestions
This shrimp stir fry recipe with sugar snap peas and peppers serves two. It's delicious as is, or when served over either rice or brown rice or noodles. Sometimes I cook rice in my Instant Pot while preparing the stir fry.
⏰ Storing and reheating
This shrimp stir-fry is best served right away. However, you can refrigerate leftovers and reheat them in a skillet the following day.
🗒 More 30-minute meal ideas
- 10-Minute Chimichurri Shrimp Skewers
- Easy Cajun Shrimp Fried Rice
- Quick Indonesian Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng)
- Vietnamese Prawn (or Shrimp) Noodle Bowl
❓Did you make this shrimp stir-fry recipe?
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Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Snow Pea Stir-Fry
For the Lemon Sauce
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons chicken broth, low-sodium
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari sauce, or soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar, or natural 0-calorie sweetener
For the Shrimp and Veggies
- 1 pound large prawns or shrimp, 21- 25 shrimp, depending on their size
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari sauce, or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons avocado oil, or other high-heat oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced or grated
- 1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced or grated
- 2 green onions
- 6 ounces snow peas or sugar snap peas, stringless
- ¼ cup water
- ½ medium each of red, yellow and orange bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, for garnish
- Combine the lemon sauce ingredients in a measuring cup or small bowl and set aside.
- Toss the prawns (or shrimp) with the tamari and sherry in a small bowl. Let stand to marinate for 10 - 30 minutes.
- In another small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon oil, ginger, garlic and green onions.
- In a nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp and cook for about 1 minute without stirring. Then stir to flip them over and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and cover with foil.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and return to high heat. Add the pea pods and cook, stirring for 2 minutes or until just beginning to soften. Remove them from the pan and add to the shrimp in the bowl.
- Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the skillet. Return to high heat and add the peppers. Cook and stir for 1 - 2 minutes. Move the peppers to the edge of the skillet.
- Add the ginger-garlic-onion mixture to the center of the skillet and cook for a minute. Combine with the peppers.
- Add the snow peas and shrimp back into the skillet with any juices in the bottom of the bowl. Add the sauce and cook, tossing with the shrimp and vegetables until well combined and the sauce has thickened slightly. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired. Serve hot as is, or over rice or noodles.
This shrimp stir fry recipe was adapted from Stir-Fried Shrimp, Asparagus and Yellow Pepper with Lemon Sauce from America's Test Kitchen.
This recipe was originally published in 2019. I've updated it with new photos and information.