Last Sunday night, Adam and I were eating a quick dinner at PF Changs (got a gift card for Christmas!) and like every other time I have ever been to PF Changs in my life, I ordered my absolute favorite dish: Orange Peel Shrimp with brown rice.
Oh, orange peel shrimp!!! How I love you. I was in between mouthfuls and was licking the last little bit of sweet and spicy glaze off my fork when it dawned on me that I should try to recreate it at home. It couldn’t be that hard, right? Hah! Think again. It was totally hard! I think of myself way more of a baker than a cook, mostly because I love the guarantee and safety of “if I measure this exactly and follow the recipe it will turn out”. I know that yeast + water + salt + flour = bread….in some way, shape or form. I’m not the type of girl that can open a fridge and make a meal on nothing….that’s Bev, and my mom. Sure, I’ve learned a lot over the past few years of cooking practically every day, but it still doesn’t come as naturally as kneading dough and frosting cupcakes.
So, to develop this recipe I stood over my stove for hours—tasting, testing and jotting down notes in my grease splattered journal. First it was too spicy, then it was too salty…then it wasn’t sweet enough.
Then finally, just like that……it was PERFECT.
I mean, really perfect! I was excited that I ate half of it and carefully covered up the other half with plastic wrap before driving it down to Adam’s house for him to try. He loved it, too, and we both agreed that it gave PF Changs a run for their money.
The secret is using marmalade….and tossing your shrimp in cornstarch before lightly frying. The cornstarch forms a super crunchy outer shell on the shrimp that keeps even when doused in the delicious orange peel sauce.
And guess what? Monday is Chinese New Year! You should totally make this to celebrate.
Head to PBS Food for the recipe!