Sichuan-Style Shrimp

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Chinese cooks typically stir-fry shrimp in their shells for a more flavorful dish. You can do the same, but we recommend first removing the tiny legs. While rice may seem like the logical side, braised greens, such as chard or spinach, are actually just as traditional.

Sichuan-Style Shrimp
photographer: Ken Burris
Nutritionist Tested & Approved

Time: 30 minutes

  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 2 teaspoons Chinkiang vinegar (see Tips) or balsamic vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper , or to taste

  • 1 pound raw shrimp (21-25 per pound), peeled and deveined (see Tips)

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil , divided

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

  • 1 large green bell pepper , cut into 1-inch dice

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. To prepare sauce: Whisk broth, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch and crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Set the sauce near the stove.

  2. To prepare shrimp: Place shrimp in a colander and rinse under cold water. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.

  3. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or large skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 1 tablespoon oil; add garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the shrimp and stir-fry until the shrimp just begin to turn color, 1 minute. Add bell pepper and salt and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Swirl in the reserved sauce and stir-fry until the shrimp is just cooked, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Chinkiang vinegar is a dark, slightly sweet rice vinegar with a smoky flavor available in many Asian specialty markets. Balsamic vinegar is an acceptable substitute.

Shrimp is usually sold by the number needed to make one pound. For example, “21-25 count” means there will be 21 to 25 shrimp in a pound. Size names, such as “large” or “extra large,” are not standardized, so to get the size you want, order by the count per pound. Both wild-caught and farm-raised shrimp can damage the surrounding ecosystems when not managed properly. Fortunately, it is possible to buy shrimp that have been raised or caught with sound environmental practices. Look for fresh or frozen shrimp certified by an independent agency, such as the Marine Stewardship Council. If you can’t find certified shrimp, choose wild-caught shrimp from North America—it’s more likely to be sustainably caught.

Nutritional Facts

Serving Size
about 3/4 cup
6 g
9 g
Saturated Fat
1 g
16 g
143 mg
Dietary Fiber
1 g
270 mg
389 mg
4 servings
about 3/4 cup each
2 1/2 lean meat
1 fat
Vitamin C
58% daily value

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