Thai Shrimp Stir-fry with Tomatoes and Basil

/// September 14th, 2011

I always do this…

I find something I like, and I get hooked. When it comes to finding a food I love – i’ll eat it nonstop until I find the next food victim I fall for… or until the delivery guy tells me I order too much – true story (sushi delivery dude – such a jerk!)

The latest obsession has been thai food. A few weeks ago I was in a pinch for time, racking my brain – and maybe slightly freaking out – on what the heck to make C and I for dinner. I don’t cook well under pressure. Instead of dishes and potential kitchen meltdowns, I made an executive decision to just grab take out.

Now – this can be more work than it seems. I am so indecisive when it comes to meals; ordering dinner for two people can be tricky, and I’m always eager to please.

I did some extensive yelp! searches and found a decent thai restaurant offering take out – and reasonable prices – just a few blocks from my apartment. C and I both like thai; ding ding ding – we have a winner! I called, ordered a few dishes, picked them up at the promised time, and set on home. I was not exactly expecting to love my dinner; it’s a rarity that take out has the “wow” factor.

Oh – dear sweet friends – how wrong I was. How did I forget about thai food?!

I love thai food! Love = thai food. Thai food = love.

It’s bright! It’s spicy! It’s – dare I say it – exciting! I’m excited by food… hmmm – this is not shocking I suppose.

I ordered thai the next night too. C gave me a strange look, but enjoyed his noodles and didn’t seem to mind. The past few weeks I’ve sneakily picked up the little habit of swiping an order of pan fried noodles or curry on my walk home; I got even lazier last week and began getting it delivered. Taking out my recycling and seeing the mountain of take out containers shocked me back to life – back to cooking. That, and my increasingly tighter jeans.

I googled recipes for hours. I consistently came up with recipes I knew I would never succeed in doing – recipes for disaster. My kitchen is small. I fear flying grease. I drink wine while I cook and get frustrated easily.

I finally found this “slimmed” recipe, and felt like I would get a decent meal from this without any fires, tears, or caving into just getting the damn food delivered.

The ingredient list is a bit extensive. Most of it is produce, and worth all the chopping. Now, whatever you do – do not skip the fresh basil and mint. The basil and mint make this dish worth making. I promise. I loved the spicy kick from the jalapeno and chili flakes, but the fresh lime juice does mellow out the heat – don’t get scared off!

While this dish didn’t speak fluent thai to me – it did the trick. In fact, I’ve made this twice now. It has great flavor for a stir fry. I’ve been loving it over a bed of jasmine rice. And it’s a nice change from the normal pasta dinners I usually go to by habit on the weekdays. Fresh ingredients, full of flavor, and easy on the waistline makes it easy to love.

Do you ever get stuck in a delivery/ take out rut?

Thai Shrimp Stir – fry with Tomatoes and Basil – The Food Network Kitchens


  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons Southeast Asian fish sauce
  • 4 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated, peeled, fresh ginger
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 medium red onion, cut in 1-inch dice
  • 1 medium yellow pepper, seeded, cut in 1-inch dice
  • jalapeno chile, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Serving suggestion: Jasmine rice


In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, water, fish sauce, and sugar; set aside. Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and chile flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and stir-fry until pink but still translucent in the middle, about 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon. Add the onion, pepper, and chile to the skillet, and stir-fry until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Return the shrimp to the pan along with the soy sauce mixture. Bring to a boil, and stir-fry until the sauce glazes the shrimp, about 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes and stir until coated with sauce, about 15 seconds. Remove pan from the heat, stir in the basil, mint, and lime juice. Transfer to a serving dish, serve immediately.

Thai Shrimp Stir-fry with Tomatoes and Basil

46 thoughts on “Thai Shrimp Stir-fry with Tomatoes and Basil

  1. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen

    As far as Thai recipes go, this one is actually not too bad with the ingredient list. Perhaps doable actually! I took an Essentials of Thai Cooking class in NYC in March to try and overcome my fear of cooking it. It wasn’t necessarily hard, it’s just stuff I don’t have in my pantry which makes it annoying! I’ll definitely be trying this one out, just need to man up and buy the damn fish sauce next time. It’s in every Asian dish!

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Grace! It was actually a piece of cake to prepare; chopping and stirring are the main steps. I really dug the ending result: spicy, fresh, and relatively healthy!

      Ps – loooooovvvvveeeee my cast iron skillet!

  2. Charles

    Totally agree – Love = Thai Food! It’s so good… there’s a Thai place near me which is so good – they make some good stuff, although they’re missing quite a few really famous Thai dishes. Always loved the use of basil in the cooking! Beautiful looking stir-fry – the juicy shrimps and basil are the icing on the cake!

  3. Linda

    I don’t do take out, BUT I do get caught up repeating dishes that I just get stuck on!! Especially breakfast, I’ll ride one kick for weeks on end! This dish just might do it to me too! I love all the colors and chopping away is therapeutic for me, so it’s a winner all around!

  4. Joanne

    I agree on your Thai food = love stance. Unfortunately, all the thai food around me is pretty sucky…so I either have to make it myself or go without! This looks fabulous. Definitely making this when the next craving hits.

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Joanne! We have some pretty crappy thai places here too, but i’ve done my research in finding the more decent ones. Making it yourself is a surefire recipe for love; this dish was delicious!

  5. Parsley Sage

    That dish is totally exciting! I love how bright and pretty it is :) Pretty food is very important to my tummy. It sounds delicious too, which is what we’re all really here for!

    We don’t do take out too often but we do have a nasty habit of picking up pizza at least twice month. So naughty. But its sooooo good :)

    As for the sushi delivery guy, I hope you switched takeaway restaurants after that butthead!

  6. nancy at good food matters

    I love the vibrant flavors of Thai food, although I don’t cook it very often. It is a refreshing change. If you can find Thai basil, which has a more pungent taste, hotter, and more “cinnamony” it will really add to the dish.

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Nancy! I love thai basil. It definitely adds something special to these dishes, but it can be difficult to hunt down, so I just use the regular stuff if I can’t find it.

  7. Karen (Back Road Journal)

    Spicy Thai Shrimp with Basil is one of my favorite dishes. I found that Thai food is very easy to prepare. It is the prep work that is time consuming. Oh, to have a sous chef or other kitchen help to do that prep work. Once I have all my chopped and diced ingredients in their little bowls, the cooking is a piece of cake.

  8. Charlie

    Looks so good :) You have a really nice food blog. I forgot all about zucchini loafs. Jessica and I had a garden back home and it would grow way to many zucchini’s. Enough that you had to be creative in your recipes :)

    Thanks for visiting my blog and the great comment :)

  9. Jeanette

    Thai food is one of my favorites – all the sweet, sour, spicy flavors. If you find Thai basil (in an Asian grocery store), you should try it in this dish, it’s very different than Italian basil, although this dish sounds like it came out terrific!

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      I love thai basil! I just have a harder time finding it consistently, and like to provide “keeping it real” instructions so people don’t freak out and not make a delicious dish because of one harder to find ingredient.

  10. Candace

    ohmygosh! My husband and I crave Thai food and we couldn’t get it delivered if we wanted to here in the wilds of New Hampshire. In fact, it would take me 45 minutes to even get to the closest restaurant. I.needed.this.recipe! This looks absolutely amazing and it’s definitely going on the menu for next week. I have all the herbs growing in my little garden already. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! :)


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