Quick and Savoury Honey Garlic Shrimp + A Lesson on Umami
Honey is sweet but all the recipes you use it in don’t have to be!
So far, all my collaborations with Drizzle Honey have been on the sweeter side of things: Honey and Elderflower Coconut Lemonade, Cherry Honey Almond Muffins, and Cardamom Cherry Chia Jam. It was definitely time to switch things up and show what honey can do in savoury recipes too!
(I gotta let you know Drizzle Honey kindly sent some of their products to try. Read my full disclosure policy here. )
Most chefs will actually use the sweet/savoury harmony to their advantage — it gets your taste buds tingling! It’s all about balancing the five basic tastes: Sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami. In this recipe, the sweet honey (which has it’s own aroma and taste, and is not just used as a sweetener) is balanced by the sourness and heat of the ginger, spiciness of the chili flakes, saltiness and buttery flavours from the miso, and finished by the smokiness of the soy sauce. I also added broccoli for a hint of bitterness, red pepper to accent the sweetness and add a bit more heat, and topped with green onions for a bite of brightness.
I want to back up for a second and talk about umami — the relatively new fifth taste. We all remember being in grade school and learning about taste. Our teachers would blindfold us and bring out candy to teach us about sweetness, lemons for sourness, maybe a pretzel for saltiness and unsweetened chocolate to showcase bitterness. We’d all get the picture but be quickly asking for some water and extra candy to blur out the sour and bitter tastes! But, back then, umami wasn’t considered to be the fifth taste — Heck, it wasn’t even part of our daily foodie language.
Umami was discovered thousands of years ago, but has only been highly recognized in Western culture for the past few decades. Umami translated from Japanese means a delicious, savoury taste. In simple terms, it’s that extra flavour you can’t quite pinpoint but instinctively know it’s what makes the dish extra special. Common sources of umami include broth, stocks, mushrooms, milk, green tea and fermented foods. In this recipe, sources of umami include the soy sauce and miso.
With all the five tastes combined in this dish, and served over a bed of mellow brown rice, this recipe is vibrant and perfect for a summer evening. It’s also simple to prep and great to serve on a night where dinner in 30-minutes or less is a must!
Quick and Savoury Honey Garlic Shrimp
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled/deveined
- 1 cup fresh broccoli, chopped into small bite-size florets
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup green onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- ½ inch wedge, fresh ginger
- 1 tsp. chili flakes
- 4 Tbsp. Drizzle honey
- 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. miso
- salt and pepper
1) In a large pot, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Once boiling, place broccoli and red pepper in steaming basket over water. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Remove from heat once done.
2) Make sauce and divide it in half – one half to be used to marinate shrimp, one half to be used as a topping.
3) Prep shrimp as needed and marinate in sauce for 10 minutes.
4) In a large pan, heat oil. Once hot, add shrimp and marinade. Cook until shrimp are opaque.
5) Add the broccoli, red pepper and remaining sauce to the pan. Stir to combine ingredients together.
Serve over rice and top with green onion plus any remaining sauce in the pan.