Sweet and Sour Shrimp (the light version)


Most people hate Mondays, but I love them.  I only have one class on Mondays so I have the rest of the day to study, catch up on TV shows, and of course COOK!  I spent part of my afternoon making my Zesty Homemade Tomato Sauce, which I will be eating later this week when I don’t have time to cook.  Now I have moved to the other side of the globe, to make an Asian inspired dinner, Sweet and Sour Shrimp.

This recipe was based off of a Cooking Light recipe from their cook book “Complete Meals in Minutes” (a cook book I highly recommend purchasing).  Once again, I cut the recipe in half since I am only cooking for one person.  This will leave me with one left over dinner that I can reheat later in the week when I don’t have time to cook.  I have provided the measurements from the original recipe and my own measurement, which are shown in parenthesis.



(my measurements for the 2-serving-recipe are shown in parenthesis)

  • 2 (1) bag of boil-in-bag brown rice
  • 2 (1) tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 32 (16) peeled and de-veined large shrimp
  • 1/4 (~1/8) cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 (~1/8) cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 (1) tablespoons sugar
  • 3 (1 1/2) tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 (1/2) tablespoon chile garlic sauce (this is where the spice comes from so use more or less depending on how spicy you like things)
  • 2 (1) tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 2 (1) teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 (1/2) cups prechopped onion
  • 1 (1/2) of a red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pea pods, cut in halves (this is my little addition because I love pea pods in my stir fry’s)
  • 1 (1/2) tablespoon ground fresh ginger (I just use the bottled ginger)
  • 1 (8-ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice, drained


  1. Cook rice according to package directions
  2. Combine 1 (or 1/2) tablespoons cornstarch and shrimp
  3. Combine remaining cornstarch, broth, soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, and chile garlic sauce; set aside.
  4. Heat sesame oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add shrimp mixture to the pan, cooking about 1-2 minutes on each side, or until both sides are pink and the shrimp is cooked through. (Be very careful when cooking shrimp, it is easy to overcook and will not taste good if it is cooked for too long).  Remove shrimp from pan and set aside in a bowl.
  5. Heat canola oil in pan over medium-high heat.  Add onion, bell pepper, pea pods, ginger, and pineapple to pan; sauté about 2 minutes.
  6. Add shrimp and broth mixture to pan and cook about 1 minute.
  7. Split up the mixture among 2 or 4 plates, serving over the rice (each plate should have 8 shrimp)

The Frugality

Now for the low down on the costs.  Once again, I had many of these ingredients already, such as oils, spices, soy sauce, and chile garlic sauce.  These are all things that most people will likely have already, minus the chile garlic sauce (but if you start cooking stir fry’s more often you will definitely use it again).  Here is the layout of the costs, looking at what I had to purchase to make this meal.

  • Low sodium chicken broth $0.88 (the broth that I didn’t use, I put in the freezer in a plastic container to be used later)
  • 2 lb bag of frozen shrimp $18.59, seeing that I only used about 1/8th of the bag it really only cost $2.32 (if you buy frozen shrimp it keeps for a long time)
  • Onion $0.51, I only used half the onion so it was really $0.26
  • Red Bell pepper $1.14, I only used half the pepper so it was really $0.57
  • Pea pods $0.42
  • Pineapple chunks $1.25

The grand total for this recipe?? $5.95, making each serving only $2.98!


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