30 Minute Shrimp Asian Stir Fry

I don’t understand something. Why the hell do we go through years of college, spend thousands of dollars and countless nights studying, if they don’t plan to give us any insight into the real world? It makes no effing sense. Never once in college was I told, “Hey, if you’re a business owner of an LLC, you’ll have to pay quarterlies.” Thank the lawd I figured that out early because of my mother. Never once in college was I told, “Hey, credit is bullish*t. You need to pay all of your balances in full, on time, perfectly, and you’ll still be doing something wrong.” Never once in college was I told, “Buying a house is the most stressful thing ever. Understanding all the paperwork will be close to impossible. So good luck!” College taught me the USDA guildelines to diet (which is obviously all bullsh*t), it taught me how to calculate BMI (which is obviously all bullsh*t) and I had a teacher who taught me to never cry at work. I think that one is a good idea, but I work from home so I cry at my work all the time. So her tip was obviously all bullsh*t.

I also had a class that we talked about rotting food. Then we had to smell different kinds of rotting food. Yeah. That course was paid for. Ridiculous.

It’s so frustrating that none of the really important sh*t that we need to understand is ever taught to us. Right now, I’m in the process of closing on my first home. OMGI’MSOFREAKINGEXCITED!!! But being a small business owner, there are about a million hoops to jump through first. I’m continuously getting calls from different people asking for different paperwork with different words I’ve never even used before. I just wish I would have had classes on how to create a website, or be a business owner, or all about credit, or about a mortgage, or how to manage money, or all the damn insurance I need. All these things would have been helpful the day I graduated. Thankfully, most of this I have figured out on my own…because I hire people to help me figure it out. But fuuuuu, I’m still annoyed about my whole college experience.

Except for the partying. That all was awesome.

But let’s get back to the news. We are buying our first house!! I’ve been looking for houses since summer, pretty much all around Denver, but I always had one neighborhood in mind that I REALLY hoped we could find a house in. After months and months and months of looking, I found a house on Redfin that barely had any pictures of it because it was in the process of fixing-and-flipping. But since the house was in the neighborhood we loved so much, I went over there right away. It was hard to visualize the final product because it was being painted and no appliances or anything had been put it yet. But I loved it. So I forced Brian to come see the house with me. He had a harder time visualizing the place. BUT the house was under our budget, it fit all the requirements we had, AND if our offer was accepted early enough, we would be able to pick all of our finishes for the kitchen. Pretty much the house became our blank slate. Never once did I think I would be able to create my own kitchen with my own vision and it was finally possible. So we put down an offer still questioning if it was the right house and it was accepted the next day!! I about died. It all happened so fast. Before we knew it, we were signing paperwork after paperwork, picking out granite, choosing our cabinets, thinking about backsplash. It’s all pretty amazing.

And pretty effing stressful.

After going through this process, I firmly believe they should institute a college course entitled, “How to not have a complete panic attack on the floor of your bathroom while in the process of purchasing your first home”.


30 Minute Shrimp Asian Stir Fry

  • Yield: 3-4 1x


  • 4 tablespoons butter, ghee or coconut oil (divided)
  • 1 pound shrimp, deveined and peeled
  • 1 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 1215 asparagus spears (ends removed), cut into 1 inch pieces
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds


  1. Place a large pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter to melt. Once pan is hot, add shrimp to the pan (making sure not to overcrowd) along with a pinch of salt, and cook on both sides for just a couple minutes, until the shrimp turn pink and begin to curl up. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. In the same pan over medium heat, add coconut aminos, fish sauce and red pepper flakes. Bring to a low boil then reduce heat to thicken the sauce. This will take about 10+ minutes. By the end, the sauce should coat the back of a spoon.
  3. While the sauce is simmering, place another medium-large pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms to pan, making sure not to overcrowd them. Cook on both sides for about 5 minutes, until a nice brown appears.
  4. Lastly, add the asparagus spears to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Once sauce has thickened, pour it on top of the veggies and toss with shrimp and sesame seeds.

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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


51 thoughts on “30 Minute Shrimp Asian Stir Fry”

  1. Im in my fifth year of business school, and only now am I learning (very vaguely I might add), about credit and mortgages. And thats because I chose to take that class! I totally feel ya.

  2. I totally agree about a course or something to cope with buying a house. We just went from our first place to our current place last summer, it was one hell of a roller coaster! It was worse than the first time around…SIGH! Lots of crying, arguing, and alcohol! LOL

  3. Congrats!! That is so freaking exciting!! Renting sucks and is such a waste of money, but I don’t think the bf and I are close to buying a house. This year is turning out to be amazing for you!!

    Agree to the college thing as well. How the hell are you supposed to decide what you want to do when you are 18. I feel like I wasted $100k of my parents money. I still don’t know what I want to do for my career. Such is life..

  4. This made me laugh…I’m guessing you were some sort of Dietetics/Nutrition/Exercise Science Major? I was too and now think everything I learned was absolute BS!!! And ironically, I always questioned why most of my professors were overweight. The only good thing that came of it, was learning the science behind it and how to research. Helped me figure out all my digestive issues and find Paleo!

  5. and WHY is college so expensive? with our economy, students will just graduate with a bunch of debt ( because they can take out limitless amounts) and not find a job after that pays much. WOMP

    congrats on your home!! We bought a home two years ago. It’s so expensive!! Every project, yard work, etc just adds up. Hopefully your husband to be doesn’t insist that you needs 3 acres. 🙂

  6. I so feel you on the home buying front. My husband and I are small business owners, and we just bought a house, but it was a hell of a struggle and I just could not even comprehend the amount of paperwork involved. I swear, it never ended! Then my dad told me it only gets worse every time you buy a house… Great, I’m never selling mine!

  7. So excited for your house! And, I hear ya on the stress of buying. UGGGG. Especially when it’s so hard to find something you like…why are there so many ugly interiors everywhere?! But when you do, wham bam, it happens so fast and feels freaky! So happy you found the right place. YAY. And amen about college. Seriously, who comes up with the curriculum and when do they overhaul it? I think college helped me develop awareness and practice deep thinking, but as far as actually applying what I learned in real life? Eh, not so much. YIPES. Now I learn more from podcasts. Thanks Juli! Love a good stir fry, and trying to convert the hubs to it. : )

  8. Looking back (I’m now 40), I’ve always thought that replacing home ec in (where we learned to make tote bags and peanut brittle- very useful, ha) would have been time better spent learning about credit and finances. Btw- congrats on the house! I’m a realtor in Boston- feel free to ask any questions you’re too afraid to ask your agent;)

  9. CONGRATS!!! You’re not alone being stressed out. When I was buying my first house I called my honey every hour bawling my eyes out thinking we weren’t going to get it.

  10. OMG, we just went under contract on our first house yesterday! I also love in Denver- we are buying a fixer upper in Barnum. I have never been so stressed out in my life! But you and I are both so lucky to find something in this market- congrats!

  11. We also bought a house right around the time we were planning a wedding! Talk about stressful. House was 73829374839 times more stressful than wedding was though. It’s a lot more money! Everything works out and is worth it in the end!

  12. CONGRATS on the house!

    I couldn’t agree more! I was literally just talking about this. I think they should have a class in HS about student loans and what that actually means. I feel like the kids going into college have no idea that they will be paying their loans off for years… and that the salary in their field may not even cover their payments. Just saying!

    Also think you should learn about health insurance, the stock market, 401K, etc! Gen eds are stupid!

  13. Congratulations on your house! It is a great milestone, and in the end you laugh over the stress.

    And thank you for having the courage to tell it like it is regarding the state of modern education.

  14. This is dead on and I say the same thing all the time – why don’t we tool people with life skills they need when they graduate? Having moved several times, I can tell you the only thing more stressful than buying a house is selling one!!! Hopefully, you don’ t plan on moving!

    Thanks for all the great recipes and humor, it is always so appreciated!

  15. I was cracking up while reading what you wrote about what we didn’t learn in college because I’m always saying the same thing! The first and only time I was taught to write a check was in the 2nd grade. Do you know how many years it took to actually use that skill??? Thank goodness for Google, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have basic survival skills in this world. I thought I would learn a lot about the purchasing process for homes, cars, etc in a class we all had to take in high school but instead it was learning how to pick a car off Craigslist that’s was within our imaginary budget. We also learned credit cards are evil. Yeah, super helpful class haha
    Congrats on the new home! I think it’s awesome you get to design your own kitchen. I’m pretty jealous right now 😉

  16. College is a crock, especially these days when EVERYONE and their grandmother has a degree. My husband and I both have masters degrees and are going to be heading back to school for a trade, something useful in which we can actually get a job!!!
    Congrats on the house! You will now officially always have a project. LOL.

  17. Can’t wait to try this recipe! Looks easy and delish!
    Congrats on the house – I work in Littleton, live in aurora and my hubby works in Johnstown (near Loveland). We have been looking at houses in Westminster & Arvada for over 4 months now! I’ve been beaten out of contracts 2 other times now and am on my 3rd try… (find out tonight – pins & needles)
    Very effing stressful!!!

    1. I got beat out for the 3rd time… dried my tears going hunting again this weekend…. meditating for peace & patience…

  18. I think I’ve had a panic attack every time I’ve gone to closing on a house (I’m on #3)
    If you find a class, let me know!

  19. Julie Bauer, I love you. Not in a creepy, romantic, “look at the” time, gotta’ run” kinda’ way, I promise. More like a OMG! Did I write that?” kind of way. Or the “pretty much every recipe I need comes from PaleOmg”way. LOL I love your site, your sense of humor and you are my Paleo inspiration. Thank you.

    I have an answer to the question in your post, “Why the hell do we go through years of college, spend thousands of dollars and countless nights studying, if they don’t plan to give us any insight into the real world?”. Because what you are taught is not the point. Education is really not about what it is you are studying. It is about training your brain to function, like training our muscles in our bodies, kinda’. As you learn new things it makes our brain process and react differently. Unfortunately, sometimes that ideal is lost and gets replaced with lots and lots of non-useful data puke. They cram a bunch of irrelevant and often inaccurate crap down our throats, we hold it in just long enough to throw it up on a test and then, since it has no practical application in most peoples lives it gets lost. Math based studies and ones that inspire thought and creativity, not regurgitation excluded. I hope I explained that properly.
    Woo hoo! on the house. That is so cool. My biz actually addresses EXACTLY what you mention as being one of the biggest challenges you had as many others do, as well. I am a Home Stager (redesign and organization, too). My job is to help the buyer be able to see themselves in the home. Only 10% of people can visualize themselves in a vacant home. So, I leave nothing to the imagination. I create a home, not just a house. I help develop the image of a lifestyle the buyers aspire to after i have identified and studied the target persona so it speaks directly to them.
    Do you mind if I quote you and this article as an example of this particular scenario? I would really appreciate it.
    Please, keep up the amazing work you do for us in the kitchen and the closet. not to mention the gym. You are a total rock star in my book!!!

    Oh yeah! Jackson being such a significant part of your life only serves to endear you to me that much more. I miss my Cassanova

  20. Juli, I think you are on to something. Sometime in the future I predict life lessons…starting with how to buy a house on your blog. That is what I love most about visiting here. Watching your life evolve, love the recipes, and totally love how no matter what is going on you make the story super funny.

  21. Congrats on the house!

    And a quick question about the recipe: Are the amounts of coconut aminos and fish sauce turned around? I’ve never actually tried coconut aminos before, but I thought it was similar to soy sauce, and that seems like a lot. Thanks!

    I want to try this recipe right away. It looks yummy!

  22. The only reason I learned about taxes/personal finance/managing my own money etc in college is because 1) I was a finance major and we were required to take a Personal Finance class (which I believe every undergrad in every college should be required to take!) and 2) I was an accounting minor so that’s where the tax info came from (also a required class as part of the minor). My parents have also been very open and honest about money and finances since I was young, so I also learned a lot from them and it’s absolutely not a taboo subject within our family…though it is in America and basically the world, which I just flat out don’t understand.

    Congrats on the first purchase! I feel like I want to rent for life because house purchasing/maintenance/taxes etc is clearly insanely stressful. (Also, I live in NYC. Rent itself is expensive, let alone owning something!) My parents recently moved from Seattle to Boulder and are trying to purchase a house in Boulder. There is literally NOTHING available and they are basically having weekly arguments (in front of agents!) regarding compromises… and this would be the 4th house they’ve purchased together over the course of their marriage! So, yeah. Apparently this is something that NEVER gets easier. GOOD LUCK!

  23. How very fortunate you are to be able to purchase a home. So many young people just simply can not afford a home of their own and then there are the multitude of displaced people due to war.


    the next time the notion that actually being able to purchase a home is anything like stressful crosses your mind you could try replaceing it with gratitude remembering that the world is filled with millions of homeless human beings.

    1. you’re so right! i’ve said that to my fiancé before that I need to remember how lucky we are to be able to make such a big purchase. thanks for the reminder to stay grateful 🙂

  24. Ugh the process of buying a house is the worst. But it’s awesome once you have it! Just don’t get frustrated and settle for some thing you don’t want because you’re sick of the process. You can do it! We made this recipe for dinner last night. Sooo delicious. I already want to make it again.

  25. Wow. I have never commented online before, but this recipe warrants many accolades. I added sliced water chestnuts (entire can) and about a half of a red pepper to give the dish some crunch and color. KAZAM! My boyfriend and I absolutely loved it. I guessed on the red pepper flakes- just kept shaking more into the sauce – maybe doubled it? And the sauce had just the right amount of “kick”. Served it over pureed cauliflower. This recipe is one I will do over and over and over again. Thank you!!!

  26. I loved college so much I decided to get a masters degree — from a super expensive private university — because I just couldn’t stop learning/partying, so I hear you on the lack of financial preparation it gives you for the real world x2. After my own financial meltdown in 2009, I took a Dave Ramsey class and brought a financial advisor in to speak to the sorority I was advising because NO ONE is teaching this stuff to people!!!

    Good luck on the home purchase! Decorating is SO much fun!!! I can’t wait to try this recipe! Mmmm

  27. I am always a bit skeptical of stir-fry recipes as they can be poorly done quite easily, but this one is really tasty. A few things to note: 1) don’t overcook the asparagus; crunchy is good and 2) when reducing the sauce make sure it doesn’t get too hot or it will have a burnt taste. Overall this is very easy and doesn’t need anything else – it’s great the way it is. Good work Juli!

    (And btw, I’ve bought 2 places in my 34 years on earth and as soon as you move in the stress goes away. There’s really very little difference.)

  28. This sounds yummy …. and sorry to be dense, but where does the other 2T of oil/butter/ghee come in? Step 3? Or are we cooking shrimp in two batches? Yeah…I’m a true novice…

    Congrats on the house!

  29. Hi Juli luv the site,was just wondering what the coconut aminos is that you use as I have never heard if it here in Australia soo enjoying cooking the recipies.

    1. This is the brand I use here (http://www.amazon.com/Coconut-Secret-Original-Soy-Free-Seasoning/dp/B00LWQLCJ4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436157888&sr=8-1&keywords=coconut+aminos). I did a quick search “where to buy coconut aminos in australia” and a few options came up. I didn’t want to direct link since I’m not familiar with those sites, but you should hopefully be able to find it from a trusted source. If not you could use gluten free soy sauce or tamari if you tolerate those.

  30. I don’t regularly comment. I save these for when I think a meal is so amazing I can convince my non-Paleo husband and son to love it. They were willing to have this over their regular Chinese takeout. #Win

  31. Juli- I don’t know what happened but the recipe failed miserably. I used Braggs liquid aminos and the recipe was so terribly salty, I feel poisoned! It would reduce to coat a spoon either, causing even more problems for my perfectly stir fried asperagus, mushrooms and shrimp. ???? Did you really mean 1cup?? I even made a beautiful cauli-rice to serve with it but I can’t even fathom trying to recover what remains in my fridge as the dreaded leftovers…..

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