An American In London Eats Stirfry

from this to that.

from this to that.

It’s a point of pride for me that I prepare most of the food I eat (give or take about 85%). I once skipped a Halloween night out with friends and opted for a self imposed home chef challenge – create a multi-course gourmet meal, using only ingredients you have on hand at home. Spooky stuff.

When I’m out of town this can be challenging (without my spices, pantry or cookware), but the spontaneity and resourcefulness that become necessary make it feel like an adventure.

This week I’m back in good old London town again, and last night when I didn’t get out of the office until 8pm (and add in the 45 min to get home), I knew I needed to pit-stop on the way to the Tube. The easy out would have been pre-made/take-out, but beyond the need for adventure, when I’m away cooking helps make my second-home feel like one.

Whatever I was going to make had to be quick, and comprised of relatively simple ingredients. Enter M+S Simply Food…


1 half lb of shrimp
1 bag of baby spinach
Mixed veggies for stir fry (mushrooms, bean sprouts, shredded cabbage, matchstick carrots, broccoli florets, etc.). Grab either a pre-pack or mixture of your own personal favorites
15 (approximately) asparagus stalks trimmed and cut into 1.5 inch pieces
3 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
2 tsp red chili flakes
2 tbsp chopped garlic
4 tbsp chopped coriander
Olive oil


1. Season shrimp with salt and pepper and olive oil. Set aside.

2. Ideally you would use Wok, or at least a large sauté pan – however I used a medium sized saucepan because that’s all I had available.  Ideally you need something that you can cover, because you’ll want to steam the veggies a bit.

3. Heat 3 tbsp oil over medium-high heat with 1 tbsp garlic and chili flakes, and add 1 tbsp of the ginger. When it becomes aromatic, add the stir fry veggie medley and asparagus pieces. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in spinach, remaining ginger, and coriander. Cook for an additional minute or so. Add 2 tbsp of water, cover and turn heat to low. Steam for about 3 or 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the asparagus cooked through, but still crunchy, and the mushrooms tender. Uncover and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.

4. In sauté pan heat 1 tbsp oil and remaining garlic. Add shrimp and cook until the shrimp is opaque in color.

5. Plate the veggie stir fry, place shrimp on top, and garnish with additional coriander.

Cherri-o! –China Moss

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