This light dish can be served warm or cold, so it can be made in advance for an especially hectic night or brought to a potluck or party. When possible, buy shrimp that are farmed in the U.S. or Canada, which have stricter environmental regulations than Asian and South American countries that often export shrimp to the U.S.
Let your kids help you measure the ingredients for the rice pilaf, make the dressing, peel the carrot, and snip the scallions with a pair of scissors.
I love the flavor and crunch from the addition of peanuts to the pilaf. Peanuts pack a serious nutritional punch and offer a variety of health benefits. Peanuts are good sources of vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein and manganese. We love to add peanuts to trail mix and stir fries, and make peanut butter, banana and chocolate Monkey Milkshakes.
Recipe: Asian Shrimp Pilaf
A crunchy and flavorful pilaf recipe.
- 6 oz. rice pilaf, such as Near East, original style (or use 1 1/2 cup white rice)
- 1 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. minced garlic (about 1 clove)
- 1 large carrot, diced or shredded (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced (1/2 cup)
- 2 – 3 scallions, sliced (1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined (alternatively, use drained, diced and sautéed extra-firm tofu or cooked and diced chicken breast)
- Prepare the rice pilaf mix according to package directions, omitting the butter or oil.
- Put a separate large pot of water on the stove to boil for the shrimp.
- In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, honey and garlic (if you don’t like the taste of raw garlic, sauté the garlic first for a minute in ½ tsp. of olive oil until it is lightly browned).
- Put the carrots, bell peppers, scallions and peanuts in a medium serving bowl. When the rice is cooked, stir it into the vegetables and stir in the soy sauce mixture.
- Drop the shrimp in the boiling water for 2 - 3 minutes and cook them until they are pink and opaque. Drain them well and add them to the rice mixture. Serve the pilaf warm or cold (you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days).