This quick and easy Mongolian Shrimp is coated in a sweet, spicy and savory sauce that has a little kick from some extra chili. Make it in under 30 minutes for an easy and healthy fuss free dinner.
- Sweet, spicy and savory Mongolian sauce
- Its a light and healthy dinner under 500 calories
- A quick 20 minute marinade makes all the difference
- Uses sugar free maple syrup as the sweetener
- Quick, healthy and doesn't use batter
- Easy to adjust the level of spice up or down
Mongolian Sauce Ingredients
Mongolian sauce typically includes sugar to balance out the sweet and savory elements, however I have swapped the usual brown sugar for sugar free maple syrup instead, but you wouldn't even know it.
My mongolian sauce recipe still includes all the typical ingredients like soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar and chicken stock just with a natural sweetener instead. I also used a garlic chili oil, but you could easily substitute that with garlic cloves and red pepper flakes for the same effect. Adding a little extra freshly grated ginger also works well.
Other Ingredient Notes
Prawns: Raw prawns or raw shrimp are best for this recipe as they will take on more flavor from the marinade. I recommend getting bigger prawns over small ones if you can as they tend to be more tender and juicer.
Oil: I used sesame oil for this recipe as I love the smoky earthy undertone it gives to the overall dish, however you can also use vegetable oil, or avocado oil.
Vegetables: I used green onions (shallots), white onion and red capsicum (red bell pepper) to keep things simple. However chopping a large head of broccoli into bite sized pieces to add to the stir fry is also something I often do when I want more veggies.
Sesame Seeds: believe it or not, these do make a difference and I use them on many of my healthy Asian recipes. Even adding a sprinkling straight from the jar adds color, texture and flavor.
My Mongolian Chicken recipe is also a popular dinner favorite with readers !
How To Make
- Marinate Prawns/Shrimp: Combine soy sauce, rice wine, cornstarch, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic; toss shrimp in the mixture and marinate for 15-20 minutes.
- Prepare Sauce: Mix hoisin sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar free maple syrup, chili garlic sauce, and broth in a large bowl; set aside.
- Cook Prawns/Shrimp: Stir-fry marinated shrimp in hot vegetable oil until they are no longer translucent; remove from wok.
- Add Onions, Capsicums/Peppers: Stir-fry sliced onions and capsicum/red bell pepper in more vegetable oil until translucent and tender.
- Add Sauce: Pour Mongolian sauce into the wok; stir continuously and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Make Sauce Thicker (Optional): Create a slurry with cornstarch and water; add to the sauce and simmer until thickened.
- Add Prawns back in, Garnish & Serve: Return cooked shrimp to the wok, toss with sauce and vegetables; garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. Serve over steamed rice or noodles.
Use Fresh Prawns or Shrimp: you'll definitely get a better result using fresh uncooked prawns over cooked prawns as they will take on much more flavour. You can use frozen uncooked prawns, just make sure they are defrosted with the moisture drained before putting into the marinade.
I love eating Mongolian Prawns with either fresh cooked white rice, or I'll throw in a packet of precooked noodles udon or ramen noodles towards the end of the cooking to heat through. Making prawn noodles is one of my go to mid week dishes since it is so quick to whip up. Perfect if you're looking for a tasty 500 calorie dinner!
A great low carb option is to have it with cauliflower rice which can be a great way to also get in that extra serve of veggies!
How To Make it Perfect Every Time
- Marinating: Allow the shrimp to marinate for at least 15-20 minutes. This helps infuse the flavors and tenderize the shrimp.
- Don't overcook the Shrimp: it will cook quickly and will turn rubbery and chewy if overcooked. When it stops being translucent and has turned white it is cooked
- Peel and Devein Shrimp: If you're using whole shrimp, make sure to peel and devein them. This not only improves the appearance of the dish but also enhances the texture and flavor.
- Prepare Ingredients in Advance: Measure and prepare all your ingredients before you start cooking. Mongolian shrimp is a quick stir-fry, and having everything ready will help you stay organized and prevent overcooking.
- Hot Wok or Pan: Ensure your wok or pan is hot before adding any ingredients. This helps to quickly sear the shrimp, giving it a nice caramelized exterior while keeping the inside juicy.
- Don't Overcrowd the Pan: Cook the shrimp in batches if needed. Overcrowding the pan can lower the temperature, causing the shrimp to release water and steam instead of getting that desirable sear. You want them to cook quickly and evenly.
Prawns and shrimp are perfect for cooking mid week and this fresh Thai prawn salad is ideal for the warmer months.
I personally think it is a good idea to do so, however it is a matter of personal preference
A slurry consisting of 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons tap water added to the pan while it is on the heat will quickly thicken the sauce.
This mongolian shrimp recipe is lighter in calories than some others since it' doesn't use 's not coated in a batter, but the sauce is still very much infused into the shrimp thanks to a quick 20 minute marinade. It also stays on so you can taste all that delicious sweet, savory, spicy sauciness.
Mongolian Prawns (Shrimp)
For the Shrimp Marinade:
- 500 grams /1 pound Raw large Prawns or Shrimp - peeled and deveined
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon garlic - minced
For the Mongolian Sauce: double
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar free maple syrup
- 2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce - adjust to your spice preference
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ cup onion - diced
- ½ cup red capsicum/bell pepper - diced
- 2 green onions - chopped (white and green parts separated)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds - toasted (optional, for garnish)
- 2 cups Jasmine rice (cooked)
- Marinate Prawns/Shrimp: In a medium-sized bowl or plastic bag, combine all the shrimp marinade ingredients (soy sauce, rice wine, cornstarch, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic). Add the peeled and deveined shrimp, toss to coat well, and let it marinate for about 15-20 minutes.
- Prepare Sauce: In a separate bowl, mix all the Mongolian sauce ingredients together (hoisin sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, honey, chili garlic sauce, and chicken or vegetable broth). Set the sauce aside for later.
- Cook Prawns/Shrimp: Heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the marinated shrimp (discard the marinade) and stir-fry until they turn pink and are cooked through. Remove the shrimp from the wok and set them aside.
- Add Onions, Capsicums/Peppers: In the same wok, add another tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the sliced onions and capsicum/red bell pepper, stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes until they become translucent and slightly tender.
- Add Sauce: Pour the Mongolian sauce into the wok, stirring continuously to coat the vegetables. Let the sauce simmer for 2-3 minutes. This is a thin sauce. If you’d like to make it thicker, make a slurry by mixing 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water until no lumps remain. Add the slurry to the sauce while mixing, let simmer until it thickens.
- Add Prawns back in: Return the cooked shrimp to the wok, tossing them with the sauce and vegetables until everything is well coated and heated through.
- Garnish & Serve: Sprinkle the chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds (if using) on top of the Mongolian shrimp for garnish. Serve the Mongolian shrimp over ½ cup of Jasmine rice per serve.
- Use Fresh Prawns or Shrimp: you'll definitely get a better result using fresh uncooked prawns over cooked prawns as they will take on much more flavour. You can use frozen uncooked prawns, just make sure they are defrosted with the moisture drained before putting into the marinade.
- Marinate Time: Allow the shrimp to marinate for at least 15-20 minutes. This helps infuse the flavors and tenderize the shrimp.
- Sweetness: If you can't find sugar free maple surup, you can use the same amount of granulated sweetener that measures like sugar. My favorite one is the brown or golden Monkfruit that looks like brown sugar! Its available in the baking aisle of supermarkets.
- Spiciness: I also used a garlic chili oil, but you could easily substitute that with garlic cloves and red pepper flakes for the same effect. Adding a little extra freshly grated ginger also works well.
Note: Sugars contained in this recipe are from naturally occurring sugars in fruits, vegetables or other natural sweeteners. Calories have been calculated for your convenience using My Fitness Pal and are based on the ingredients listed in the recipe card.