Chinese Shrimp and Broccoli is not just another stir-fry; it’s a game-changer in your kitchen! This recipe brings together juicy shrimp and crisp broccoli in a light, flavorful ginger garlic sauce. It’s the perfect simple and healthy dinner for the whole family. You’ll learn how to master this classic with ease, making it a go-to favorite.

If you love homemade Chinese takeout, don’t miss our takes on Paleo Beef and Broccoli and Chinese Chicken and Broccoli. They are my readers’ all-time favorites with over 200+ five-star reviews!

Image shows Chinese shrimp and broccoli stir fry dish served on a plate.
Healthy, simple, and delicious shrimp and broccoli in garlic sauce


Picking fresh ingredients is crucial for the best shrimp with broccoli Chinese style, as it’s simple and not covered in heavy sauce. The freshness of shrimp and crisp broccoli are what makes it truly stand out. Now, let’s take a look at the ingredients needed for this tasty dish

  • Broccoli florets: Can use either pre-cut florets in a bag or trim the whole crown of broccoli; the key is to choose fresh ingredients for the best flavor and texture in the stir fry.
  • Garlic: This aromatic enhances the dish with a pungent, slightly spicy flavor, essential for that classic stir-fry taste.
  • Green onions: They provide a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a pop of color, with the white and green parts offering different textures and intensities.
  • Large shrimp: Use peeled and deveined shrimp with either tail on or off to save time; previously frozen shrimp are totally fine, making it a convenient and versatile choice for this dish.
  • Avocado oil: Chosen for its mild flavor and high smoke point, perfect for stir-frying without overpowering the other ingredients.
  • Coarse sea salt: Enhances the natural flavors of the ingredients and helps in seasoning the dish evenly.

For the garlic sauce ingredients:

  • Coconut aminos: A soy sauce substitute perfect for Paleo users, offering a less salty and naturally sweeter flavor; alternatively, regular soy sauce combined with a touch of brown sugar can be used to balance the salty flavor.
  • Chicken stock: Adds depth and richness to the sauce, creating a savory base that complements the shrimp broccoli stir fry.
  • Fresh ginger: Brings a warm, spicy note that pairs beautifully with garlic, elevating the overall flavor profile.
  • Toasted sesame oil: Contributes a nutty aroma and taste, giving the dish an authentic Asian flair.
  • Tapioca starch: Used as a thickener to give the sauce a glossy, appealing texture that coats the broccoli stir fry shrimp nicely.

Substitutions and variations

  • Frozen Shrimp: It’s okay to use previously frozen shrimp. Defrost them the night before in the fridge in a bowl that’s loosely covered. Don’t defrost shrimp in a sealed plastic bag. Use pre-peeled or easy-peel large frozen raw shrimp to save time.
  • Vegetable Variations: Want more veggies? Try adding sliced carrots, snow peas, asparagus, sugar snap peas, or diced celery. Quickly blanch these veggies in hot water, then shock them in cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Brown Sauce Alternative: For a different twist, try light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, or vegetarian oyster sauce instead of the regular sauce. See my Chinese pantry staples for gluten-free choices.
  • Spicing Up the Garlic Sauce: To add some heat, consider a touch of garlic chili sauce, red pepper flakes, sriracha, or white pepper to the garlic sauce.

Tip: I don’t recommend adding rice vinegar to this combination of stir fry sauce.

How to make shrimp and broccoli Chinese-style

Now that we’ve got our fresh ingredients and know all about the tasty variations we can make, it’s time to start cooking! This garlic shrimp and broccoli is all about simplicity and flavor. Follow these easy steps to bring this delicious dish to life in your kitchen.

Person demos how to cook shrimp with broccoli Chinese style.
  1. Prepare the Broccoli: Cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Microwave them with water for 1.5 minutes, stirring halfway, until vibrant and crisp but not fully cooked. Alternatively, blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes, then rinse in cold water and drain.
  2. Make the Garlic Sauce: Mix coconut aminos, chicken stock, grated ginger, sesame oil, and tapioca starch in a bowl.
  3. Cook the Shrimp: Pat the shrimp dry and optionally butterfly them. In a hot skillet with oil, cook the shrimp in a single layer for 2-3 minutes on one side, then 1-2 minutes on the other, until lightly browned but not fully cooked. Remove and set aside.
  4. Sauté the Vegetables: In the same pan, add oil, garlic, and white parts of green onions with a pinch of salt. Sauté for 5 seconds, add broccoli and cook for 30 seconds on high heat.
  5. Combine and Finish: Return shrimp to the pan, pour in the sauce, and stir for 30 seconds until thickened. Turn off the heat, transfer to a serving plate, garnish with green onion parts, and drizzle with sesame oil.

How do Chinese restaurants get broccoli so crispy

  • Choose Fresh Broccoli: Always use fresh broccoli instead of frozen. Cut the florets into similar bite-sized pieces for even cooking.
  • Blanching Method: Blanch the broccoli in hot water for about 1.5 minutes, then immediately shock them in cold water. This stops the cooking process and keeps the broccoli tender but crisp.
  • Microwave Shortcut: Alternatively, you can microwave the broccoli on high for 2-2.5 minutes with 2 tablespoons of water. This method is quick and effective, much like in my Broccoli with garlic sauce or Garlic Butter Broccoli recipes.
  • Tip for Pre-Cut Florets: If you’re using pre-cut broccoli florets, remember they cook faster than florets cut from a whole head of broccoli.
  • What to look for: The key to perfectly blanched broccoli is to look for a vibrant green color, and a texture that is crisp, tender, and still has a bit of bite.

How to make ahead, store, and reheat

Planning is always a great idea, especially on busy days. Let’s talk about how you can prep this stir fry shrimp with broccoli in advance, and how to store and reheat it to keep it tasting fresh and delicious.

  • Make-ahead: This dish is quick to prepare, but if you’re looking to save time, you can blanch the broccoli beforehand. Additionally, if your shrimp aren’t already prepped, you can peel and devein them in advance.
  • Storage: After cooking, store the stir fry in an airtight container in the fridge. It’ll stay good for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat: When you’re ready to enjoy it again, reheat it in the microwave on medium. Heat for 1 minute, stir it, and continue heating until it’s warmed through.

What to serve with Chinese broccoli with shrimp

Selecting the right sides to accompany our shrimp and broccoli in garlic sauce can elevate the entire meal. Whether you’re in the mood for some greens, a hearty grain, or a comforting soup, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are my recommendations:

Expert tips

  • Prioritize Fresh Ingredients: The quality of this dish heavily relies on using fresh ingredients. Fresh broccoli and good-quality shrimp are essential for the best flavor and texture.
  • Crisp Broccoli: To achieve crisp, vibrant broccoli florets, blanch them in hot water for 1.5 minutes, then shock in cold water. This process ensures they are tender but not mushy.
  • Shrimp Preparation: If using frozen shrimp, ensure they are properly defrosted and patted dry. To butterfly the shrimp, make a shallow slice along the back and open them slightly. This not only helps them cook evenly but also gives a pleasing presentation, similar to what you’d find in restaurants.
  • Even Cooking: Cut broccoli into similar sizes for uniform cooking. This helps in maintaining consistent texture throughout the dish.
  • Heat Management: When cooking, keep your pan hot enough to sear the shrimp well, but avoid overcooking. The shrimp should be just cooked through, retaining their juiciness.
  • Broccoli shrimp garlic sauce: The key to a great garlic sauce lies in using freshly grated garlic and ginger. These are the foundation flavors for this light and healthy stir fry. Ensure they’re finely grated to integrate seamlessly into the stir-fry sauce, enhancing its overall taste and aroma.


Is shrimp and broccoli healthy?

Yes, shrimp and broccoli stir fry are healthy. It’s rich in protein from the shrimp, vitamins from the broccoli, and typically low in calories, especially when cooked with less oil and less starch.

What is shrimp and broccoli sauce made of?

Shrimp and broccoli sauce is typically made of garlic, ginger, soy sauce, or coconut aminos for a Paleo version, chicken stock, and a thickener like tapioca starch. The restaurant version often includes a brown sauce made from a combination of light and dark soy sauce, and oyster sauce, thickened with cornstarch.

How many calories in chinese shrimp and broccoli without rice?

Chinese broccoli and shrimp stir fry without rice in a homemade version contains about 347 calories and has 0 grams of added sugar, making it a healthier choice.

More Chinese shrimp stir-fry recipes you might like

If you’re a fan of our Chinese Shrimp and Broccoli, you’ll enjoy these other scrumptious shrimp dishes. Each one brings its unique twist and flavors that are sure to delight your taste buds

  • Mongolian Shrimp: A Taiwanese favorite shrimp stir fry with a sweet and savory sauce.
  • General Tso Shrimp: Experience the perfect mix of spicy and sweet with crispy shrimp in a tangy sauce.
  • Kung Pao Shrimp: This dish is a spicy and nutty sensation, combining shrimp, nuts, veggies, and chili peppers for a bold and exciting flavor.
  • Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp: A popular favorite, this dish features crispy shrimp in a milky honey sauce, topped with candied walnuts for a delightful crunch and sweetness.
A close shot image shows shrimp and broccoli in garlic sauce stir fried and served on a plate.
Shrimp Broccoli Stir Fry
Recipe image shows shrimp and broccoli stir fried in garlic sauce and served on a plate.
5 from 16 votes

Chinese shrimp and broccoli stir fry recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 serving
Author: ChihYu Smith
Chinese shrimp and broccoli with garlic sauce is an easy and healthy stir-fry dish with crisp broccoli and juicy shrimp, ready in about 20 minutes.
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  • 14 oz. broccoli florets
  • 0.5 oz. garlic, minced, 3 medium cloves
  • 2 bulb green onions, chopped. Separate green and white parts
  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined with or without tail-on
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil, divided
  • 3 pinches coarse sea salt

For the garlic sauce


To blanch the broccoli florets:

  • Trim the broccoli to bite sizes. Place them in a large microwave safe bowl with 2 tbsp water. Cover the bowl and microwave on high for 1.5 minute. Toss the florets and microwave for 1 additional minute. The florets should be in vibrant green, crisp, not completely cooked through with some bites to them. Rinse them in cold water and set aside to drain well.

Aromatics and garlic sauce:

  • Prepare the garlic and green onions and separate the white and green parts. Combine the sauce from coconut aminos to starch in a small bowl. Stir-well.

Prepare the shrimp:

  • Pat dry the shrimp with clean paper towels. Butterfly them with a small paring knife – make a shallow slice on the back of them shrimp down the middle, cutting almost but not all the way through to expose the vein. The butterfly step is optional but will help the shrimp cook evenly and more pleasing in presentation.

Sear the shrimp:

  • Preheat a large skillet or wok over medium heat until it feels hot, add 1.5 tbsp oil. Quickly place the shrimp one-by-one to the skillet and fry them in a single layer over medium-high heat about 2-3 minutes on the first side. Do not flip or move around the shrimp. Then, quickly flip them with a tong or chopsticks to fry the second side for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Keep your pan hot when searing the shrimp. You want to the outer is lightly browned and the inside is not completely cooked through. You should hear sizzling sound throughout. This way the shrimp will retain their juices without turning rubbery.
  • Scoop them out along with pan juice and scrape off any brown bits into a bowl and set aside to keep warm.


  • Use the same pan, add the remaining oil. Add the garlic and white scallion parts with a pinch of salt and saute over medium heat for 5 seconds.
  • Add the blanched broccoli and season with 2 pinches of salt. Turn heat up to medium-high, keep stir frying and tossing for 30 seconds.
  • Return the shrimp to the pan. Stir the sauce again then pour it in. Keep tossing and scooping for 30 more seconds. The sauce should thicken.
  • Turn off heat. Transfer to a larger serving plate. Garnish with green scallion parts and drizzle with sesame oil. Serve warm.


  • To blanch the broccoli florets: Bring a large pot of water to boil. In the meantime, trim the broccoli to bite sizes. For stems, remove the outer tough part and dice to bite sizes. Rinse and set aside. Blanch the broccoli florets in hot boiling water for about 1.5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside to drain well or use a clean kitchen towel to pat dry the florets. Note: If using pre-cut florets, blanch for 1 minute total.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 241kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 143mg, Sodium: 1038mg, Potassium: 473mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 828IU, Vitamin C: 90mg, Calcium: 116mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American Chinese
Keyword: Chinese Shrimp and broccoli, Shrimp with broccoli Chinese
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