If you like shrimp, as many do, it's the best selling seafood in America - and love sweet summer corn, here is the perfect dish for a quick and colorful meal.

If you got carried away buying ears of fresh corn, this skillet stir-fry is also an ideal way to use any ears still around after a day or two, including those that have been cooked and are leftover. (Fresh corn is needed to make this dish - frozen or canned kernels turn mushy.)

Because this stir-fry features a few, clear flavors, you want to use the best ingredients possible. That is easy for the corn and other vegetables. Getting the shrimp at a reliable fish store, or the counter of a good supermarket helps, but most offer several kinds, as well as shrimp in several sizes. Which do you want?

First, there are hundreds of species of shrimp. White, pink, brown and black tiger shrimp all taste different. So do shrimp that come from China, Vietnam, Ecuador, Mexico or other places, which, even when they are the same color, may be different species.

To find out which you prefer, try boiling up a few of every kind you can get at one time. See which taste sweeter, milder, or faintly like iodine, and have a better texture.

Although you may find fresh shrimp, the vast majority are, or have been, frozen. (Truly fresh shrimp are usually worth any higher cost, as they taste sweeter and their texture is tender yet firm.) There are now also farmed organic shrimp, fed on organic meal.

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Size, irrelevant to flavor, affects price. Using the smallest ones you are willing to clean, will keep the cost down and give more shrimp per serving. Clean the vein only if it is dark and gritty. Or use rock shrimp, which are always sold peeled and have no vein.

Shrimp and Corn with Basil

Makes 4 servings.


Content Continues Below ⤵ ↷

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 3/4 lb. medium shrimp, shelled
  • Kernels cuts from 3 ears fresh sweet corn, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 4 scallions, green and white, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 large basil leaves, cut into thin strips


  1. Melt the butter in a deep medium skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onion until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the shrimp and corn, mixing occasionally until the shrimp turn pink and are cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in the scallions, lemon juice and zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Off the heat, mix in the basil. Divide the saute among 4 plates and serve immediately. (Steamed brown rice makes a good accompaniment.)

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
209 calories,
8 g. total fat,
4 g. saturated fat,
16 g. carbohydrate,
19 g. protein,
3 g. dietary fiber,
141 mg. sodium

Diabetic Exchanges:1 Bread/Starch, 1 Vegetable, 2-1/2 Medium Fat Meat