Szechuan Shrimp for Chinese New Year

  • Author: Robin


This spicy, garlicky shrimp is quick and easy to make but full of flavor. It uses both spicy bean paste and chili oil with fermented black beans, both of which can be found in Chinese or Asian markets or the international foods aisle of many supermarkets.


1 ½ pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons sherry or Chinese cooking wine, divided
3 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
½ cup plus 1 teaspoon water, divided
1 ½ tablespoons spicy bean paste
1 ½ tablespoons chili oil with fermented black beans
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 garlic cloves, minced
2-inch piece ginger, minced
2 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish


  1. In a medium bowl, toss together the shrimp with 2 tablespoons of the cooking wine and the cornstarch.
  2. In a small bowl, combine ½ cup of the water, chili oil with black beans, spicy bean paste, soy sauce, and the remaining tablespoon of cooking wine.
  3. In a separate small bowl, combine the remaining teaspoon of cornstarch with the remaining teaspoon of water.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet pan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, until just opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the skillet.
  5. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, for a minute or two and then add the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Bring back to a boil and add the cornstarch-water mixture. Cook, stirring, for another minute or two until the shrimp is heated through and the sauce thickens. Serve hot, garnished with cilantro.
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