This Spicy Shrimp + Napa Cabbage Stir-Fry is a quick and delicious Chinese-inspired seafood meal. You won’t even miss the rice!
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Spicy Shrimp + Napa Cabbage Stir-Fry

A quick and delicious Chinese-inspired seafood stir-fry. Napa cabbage is such a hearty, low-carb swap that you won’t even miss the rice!

I haven’t made a good stir-fry in a while.

I blame it on the fact that until recently, I was a total wimp when it came to high heat in the kitchen.

No joke.

But I’ve grown past the need for crazy long tongs and unnecessary splatter guards and embraced the heat.

And thank goodness, because this stir-fry turned out fabulously!

Overhead view of a platter with spicy shrimp + Napa cabbage stir-fry

My family loves rice, but I didn’t have any leftover in the fridge.

And leftover rice is the best stuff to use when making fried rice.

I had picked up a big head of Napa cabbage from the Farmers Market. So I figured why not stir-fry that and top it with some sweet-yet-spicy marinated shrimp?

It worked out so well.

I let the shrimp marinate while I stir-fried the cabbage.

Once the shrimp was done cooking, I boiled the pan juices down to make a rich, golden sauce to pour over top.

Big platter of Spicy Shrimp + Napa Cabbage Stir-Fry

This meal totally hit the spot, and without a big pile of rice underneath, we didn’t feel too full of carbs, which was a nice change from typical stir-fry meals.

In the tradition of Archer, I highly recommend making this for Stir Friday (or any day)!

Looking for more shrimp recipes? Check out some of our favorites:

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This Spicy Shrimp + Napa Cabbage Stir-Fry is a quick and delicious Chinese-inspired seafood meal. You won’t even miss the rice!

Spicy Shrimp + Napa Cabbage Stir-Fry

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Ashley Covelli
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Stir-Fry
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Chinese


A quick and delicious Chinese-inspired seafood stir-fry. Napa cabbage is such a hearty, low-carb swap that you won’t even miss the rice!


Units Scale

For marinade:

For stir-fry:


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, sesame oil and chili garlic sauce. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Let marinate while you prepare the cabbage.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil over high heat in a large skillet, preferably cast iron (or a wok, if you have one). Once hot, add garlic, ginger and the white portion of the green onions and stir-fry until fragrant. Add cabbage, chili garlic sauce and soy sauce and stir-fry until the cabbage is crisp-tender (tongs work really well for this). Transfer cabbage to a platter and wipe out the pan.
  3. Heat remaining tablespoon of peanut oil over high heat. Add shrimp and stir-fry until cooked through. Place shrimp on top of the cooked cabbage, and return the skillet back to the stovetop and allow the pan juices to reduce to a nice glaze, stirring occasionally. Once reduced, pour over top of the shrimp and garnish with remaining green onions and some toasted sesame seeds.


* optional: use gluten-free


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 291
  • Sugar: 7.3 g
  • Sodium: 737.9 mg
  • Fat: 15.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.4 g
  • Fiber: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 26.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 182.6 mg

Keywords: shrimp stiry fry, napa cabbage, grain-free

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Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.


  • Laura @MotherWouldKnow

    I love to stir fry and this one definitely looks like a winner. Your Napa cabbage is a great low carb “bed” for the shrimp.

  • Crystal Withrow

    If you are going to mark your recipes as gluten-free PLEASE educate yourself. Not all soy sauces and Hoisin sauces are gluten-free, actually, most are not. This is a HUGE risk for those with Celiac Disease. We know these things but family members and friends do not. You could make someone seriously ill or worse. You need to be aware some people have anaphylactic reactions to wheat and can die. I am not posting this to be mean but I am sure you would never want to one of your recipes to make someone ill.

    • Ashley

      Hi Crystal – thank you so much for catching that! I typically mark ingredients like soy sauce with a * and write to use GF as an option, but it either got overlooked in this recipe, or those notes fell off when I updated the type of recipe cards I use when I redesigned my site. I’m going in to edit the notes on it now.

    • Ashley

      Crystal – one more note – I went in and checked and this recipe wasn’t categorized as gluten-free, so it’s possible that the search function was acting wonky. I didn’t mention gluten at all within the post, but I went in and made the notes to the recipe anyway and have added gluten-free as a category. Hope that clears up any confusion. Have a great day!

      • Lala

        I am GF, and beacuse I am I know how to adjust all reciepts to gf. I just wanted to let you know because I thought the comment was kind of harsh. So if people are gf, no worries, if you’ve ever had a reaction you learn to read and learn and grow. I love your site and your reciepts. This one is no exception! Happy Day!

        • Ashley

          Thanks for the kind words, Lala! I think that person has misread and thought it was marked as GF. I absolutely hope that anyone with an allergy or intolerance reads ingredient labels well before using them. Luckily there are lots of GF alternatives out there these days!

          • Ashley

            Hi Jenn – 1 serving will be around 1/4 pound of shrimp (the number of shrimp depends on how big your shrimp are) and about 1-2 cups of cabbage (depending on how much you use and how much it ends up cooking down). I hope that’s helpful!

  • JM Almond

    I absolutely love this one!! I knew it was a keeper when I discovered the Recipe at Big Flavours in the summer. It’s still a keeper!

  • Linda Wilshusen

    Great concept w the main ingredients, sauces & marinade. Of course I made adjustments (under today’s circumstances) but the basic idea was just what I was looking for. Thank you!

  • Helene Ragovin

    I made this recipe for dinner last night and we loved it! Quick, easy, and—yes!—full of Big Flavors. My Napa cabbage was kind of measly, so I also added in part of a red cabbage I had in the fridge. Topped with finely chopped peanuts because I had no sesame seeds. A 10:10 on my Taste:Effort Scale.

    • Ashley

      I’m so glad to hear this was a hit for you, Laurie! Easy and delicious are 2 of my favorite recipe qualities ;). Thank you for the review!

  • Catherine

    This was a big winner at our house last night. Followed the recipe almost exactly but I used savoy cabbage instead of Napa since it looked fresher at the store and I added a squeeze of lemon juice at the end. No one missed the rice we would have usually had! Thanks for the recipe.

    • Ashley

      I’m so glad this was a hit, Catherine! I’ve had to swap out the type of cabbage before, too. Sometimes Napa can be tricky to find!

  • Desiree nicoles

    This was delicious! I didn’t want to use rice because I wanted this to be a healthier less filling meal. It came together wonderfully. The marinade for the shrimp was delicious and I poured it in when I sautéed the shrimp. You can adjust the heat with the chili paste. I will be making this again, and thank you so much!

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