In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

A Quick Shrimp Stir Fry.

trni chow mein recipe (12)

One of my weaknesses when it comes to food when I’m on the islands is definitely Chinese. I just love the unique way through the years our “chinee” food evolved to what it is today. Be it the use of local ingredients or the influence of the many other culture/races that make up Trinidad and Tobago, but I assure you that you will not find the same sort of Chinese dishes elsewhere (taste). I guess Trinbagonians will also the say the same thing about KFC ?

As a youth Saturdays my dad would take me and my brother to see Kung Fu movies in San Fernando and besides being excited about seeing all the fighting scenes we’d try to emulate when we got home (on each other), it also meant food from some of the popular Chinese restaurants on Mucurapo (sp) street. There’s this sort of rum shop/restaurant on the corner or Lord and Mucurapo street, which I still visit to this day as they have the best fried pork (Chinese style) I’ve ever had. With just the right amount or fat and crispy skin that goes well with the pepper sauce they top the sandwiches with. All on “hops” bread.

Yes, the cuisine of Trinidad and Tobago and many of the Caribbean islands are heavily influenced by the Chinese, in case you’re wondering why you’re finding a stir fry recipe on this site. Over the coming months I try my best to share some of those dishes I grew up craving.

You’ll Need…
1/2 lb shrimp (peeled/deveined)
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
3 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 carrot sliced thin
christophene (“chocho” to my Jamaican friends)
snow peas
bell peppers (orange, green and red – anything to add some colour)
baby pak choi (bok choi)
large onion
3 tablespoon soya sauce (dark)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon Oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional – to give it a kick)
fresh ground white pepper (optional)

* You can control what vegetables you add and how much you actually use. In this recipe I used about 1 1/2 cups of each and I tried my best to cut them in similar sizes so they cook uniformly. The finished dish could easily be enough for about 4-5 people using my recipe.

* It’s very important that you have everything prepped, including the sauce mixture before you gets started. I’d also like to mention that since I’m using soy sauce I didn’t have the need to add any additional salt to the dish, but this is entirely up to you as I’m sure your love for salt will be different than mine.

Start by prepping the vegetables and shrimp (peel and devein). Remember to try and keep the vegetables the same size when dicing.

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guyanese chow mein

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I forgot to take a pic of the cleaned shrimp, but we’re ready to get started. I was hyped at using my new wok for the first time. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in the wok or pan on fairly high heat, then add the shrimp. Cook for a couple minutes then remove from the wok. Add the additional 2 tablespoons of  oil and toss in the onion, garlic and ginger. Let that cook till the onion is soft (about 2-3 minutes). The entire kitchen should already start smelling good.

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Now it’s time to add all the other ingredients (vegetables) and stir as you add to allow everything to hit the bottom of the wok and start cooking. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes, then add back the shrimp and fresh ground white pepper if you have some.

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In a small bowl I added the soy, Oyster and Hoisin sauces, as well as the Sesame oil and pepper sauce, gave it a good stir with a whisk, so now I can pour it over the vegetables and stir well. Basically all you’re doing now is heating the sauce and allowing it to coat all those wonderful vegetables. I like my stir fry with a bit of a crunch, so I don’t cook it much longer than this. So about 2-3 minutes after I add the sauces I remove it off the heat. Remember to check for salt.

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If shrimp is not your thing, you can certainly use chicken or go vegetarian. I think I saw some vegetarian oyster and hoisin (simulated flavor thing) in the local Asian store I went to. I had a huge plate of this immediately after it was done, as the longer it stay in the pot or if you cover after making, it will continue cooking and go soggy. Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

happy cooking


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  1. July 20, 2019 / 11:19 am

    Great meal.

  2. July 15, 2019 / 9:53 am

    I simply love this. Thanks!

  3. J
    April 24, 2015 / 12:16 pm

    I just tried this recipe and it was delicious. I also used you cocnut shrimp recipe and the family loved it.

    • Junior
      July 28, 2018 / 12:00 pm

      I’m receiving your recipes and I love them a lot.
      Greating form the Caribbean (Aruba)


  4. October 27, 2013 / 7:46 am

    Love how the recipe was so straight forward. Many thanks Chris.

  5. Thomas Sawyer
    September 24, 2013 / 9:05 am

    Hey Chris was wondering if you have a good recipe for Chinese brown garlic sauce have been trying for years to duplicate it but just cant get that rich gooey concoction to appear in my pans great on wings and with beef. Love this shrimp recipe I have been blanching my veggies very quickly and then a quick stir fry to keep that crunchy goodness going on keep up the great work ..Also what is chocho ?

  6. specialswan
    August 4, 2013 / 9:49 am

    thanks Chris

  7. Cousin Carol
    July 9, 2013 / 11:31 am

    July 8, 2013…Just cooked and enjoyed this scrumptious, healthy recipe. Prep takes some time with all the veggies and sauces, but once that's done, it's only minutes to dinner so have the table set and ready to serve. I had rice as a base and will try Chinese noodles next time. This recipe now in my FAVORITES file. Thanks, Chris.

  8. beatrice
    December 9, 2012 / 3:23 pm

    this is the best cooking site ever. I am haitian and i just love this site. tx

  9. Richard
    June 20, 2012 / 10:45 pm

    I love shrimp Chris.Must try this out..As you say,you can't beat Trini chinese food.

  10. james
    April 15, 2012 / 4:54 pm

    if you want to add noodles, does the sauce amount change?

  11. salma
    February 18, 2012 / 12:19 pm

    Hey chris, I've tried this recipe already and it was delish………. thanks for a great meal

  12. Cheryl
    January 12, 2012 / 8:30 pm

    Well, now I know what to do with the shrimp in my freezer. I cook all the time (everyday) for hubby and the kids and coming up with recipes can prove daunting after awhile…tho I already know how to make stir fry, I'm thrilled at your recipe and can't wait to try it! I love getting your emailed recipes as that's usually what gets me out of a cooking rut where I start repeating things. My kids are gonna love this as they just 'discovered' how much fun it can be to eat snow peas!

  13. Carolanne
    November 14, 2011 / 11:48 am

    Chris, this came to me as Issue 140 as well as issue 139 – so I got the Stir Fry Shrimp twice and not the Akee and Salt Fish recipe that you stated should've been on this issue. I tried sending you an email but it bounced back to me so this medium is the only one I have.

    Many thnks for your halp

  14. geraldine
    November 1, 2011 / 5:02 pm

    I will definitely try out this recipe thanks a lot.

  15. kimani
    September 12, 2011 / 8:28 pm

    its an honor to share this experience with me,very good cooking thank you……………kimani

  16. cynthia
    August 15, 2011 / 5:47 pm

    I tried this recipe and it was really good. Do you have any other chinese recipes?

  17. Latina
    June 29, 2011 / 9:15 pm

    that looks good need to try it

  18. May 31, 2011 / 7:13 pm

    Nice! So healthy too!

  19. anjschon
    May 6, 2011 / 10:30 am

    minus the pak choi and mushroom 😛 yum yum

  20. Dria
    May 5, 2011 / 8:59 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this one. I always wanted to find out the great sauces I could use in this recipe. I really appreciate what you are doing Chris. Nuff love & stay blessed!

  21. Claudette
    April 13, 2011 / 7:16 pm

    How colourful and tasty looking. Whenever I visit your site its like what will Chris think of next. There's no question in my mind that you are a professional sir. Thanks for sharing once again, I certainly will be trying your version of chow mein soon.

  22. April 12, 2011 / 9:25 am

    great images, a person can do without reading or recipes. I want to make it. it is looking very yammi.

  23. ERIC
    April 7, 2011 / 1:12 pm

    Nice, I have been doing some research on the fusions of the different cultures that make up Island cuisine and you sir do a wonderful job teaching us mainland people,much respect!!

  24. Rudy
    April 5, 2011 / 4:42 pm

    My mouth is watering looking at this, I appreciate the pics, I have made this dish before but never with these paticular vegetables and ingredients and cannot wait to try ! I am Jamaican and appreciate you being aware of the names we call certain veggies such as (chocho) : )

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