Shrimp Ankake Donburi (with Zucchini and Potatoes)
Shrimp ankake donburi is a very simple dish that’s quite popular in Japanese cooking. It’s a little sweet, salty, umami and the sauce has that typical sticky and starchy texture found in many Chinese stir fries. Think of it as really good Chinese take out! My version of shrimp ankake donburi isn’t very traditional because I have added a boatload of vegetables: zucchini, potatoes, spinach and onions. But the ankake flavors are very present! The shrimp and veggies are cooked in a mix of dashi broth, soy sauce, mirin, garlic and ginger. SO tasty and healthy too!
Stir fries are a quick and easy way to make dinner. If you have a busy life but still prefer home made meals to frozen ones, having a few stir fry recipes in your cooking repertoire will come in handy. What I love about stir fries is that the basic steps are always the same: Start frying garlic (sometimes ginger) with a little oil, throw in your favorite combination of protein and veggies and finish by adding a little sauce. Ankake donburi is more or less the same as a stir fry (ankake means food covered with a starchy sauce and donburi means rice bowl dish.) The only difference is that there is more sauce in an ankake donburi than in a regular stir fry and the sauce is thickened with potato starch (katakuriko).
What is also different about this particular ankake donburi recipe is the addition of a potato. Potatoes aren’t an ingredient commonly found in ankake donburi and stir fries though I personally think they should be! Potatoes absorb the flavor of the sauce so well and can act as a vehicle for it, with every bite taken. I think they are absolutely delicious and complement other vegetables. They also make a meal more filling.
My favorite way to eat this shrimp ankake donburi is over rice and with a side of daikon miso soup and some pickled cucumbers and ginger. If you are still hungry for dessert, give this delicious matcha roll cake with fresh blueberries a try!
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 thumb size ginger, peeled and cut into thin strips
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 large potato, peeled and cut bite size (small bites, about ½ to ¾ inch)
- 2 small zucchini, chopped bite size
- 12-14 large shrimps (3oz)
- 2 heaped cups baby spinach
- 1½ cup dashi broth
- 3 tbsp soy sauce (for gluten-free substitue with tamari or liquid amino)
- ½ tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp sake
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 2 tbsp potato starch (or corn starch) mixed with 2 tbsp cold water
- white pepper (optional)
- In a large deep skillet over medium high heat, add oil, garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute, until garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add onions and cook for 3 minutes, until onions are translucent.
- Add potatoes and cook for 4 minutes, stirring often to prevent the ingredients from burning.
- Add zucchini and shrimp and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add spinach, dashi broth, soy sauce, sugar, sake and mirin and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
- Add mixture of potato starch and water and stir well, until the sauce thickens (about 1 minute).
- Turn the heat off and serve on top of rice with white pepper.