Szechuan Shrimp, A Classic Chinese Restaurant Dish
Prep time
Cook time
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Szechuan Shrimp was a classic Chinese restaurant dish that has since increased in popularity. This spicy, tangy Szechuan shrimp dish packs a ton of strong flavors on top of tender baby shrimp.
Recipe type: Fish and Seafood
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 pound shrimp (size 50/60, peeled and de-veined)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, plus 2 tablespoons (divided)
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons doubanjiang (chili bean sauce) or chili oil (NOTE: the chili oil should have flakes in it)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup minced shallots or red onion
  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • ¼ cup chopped water chestnuts (optional)
  • 1 medium carrot, very finely chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
  • Cornstarch slurry: 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  1. Mix the shrimp together with 1 teaspoon of oil and ½ teaspoon of cornstarch until the shrimp are evenly coated. Set aside.
  2. With the burner on low, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in your wok. Add the ginger and fry for 30 seconds. Next, add the douban jiang or the hot chili oil (with chili flakes), the garlic, and the shallots, and continue to stir fry for another 2 minutes.
  3. Next, stir in the ketchup and hoisin sauce, and turn the heat up from low to medium. Let the ketchup and hoisin sauce fry for 1 to 2 minutes to bring out a rich color and flavor. Turn the heat down if it looks like the sauce may burn.
  4. Next, add the Shaoxing wine, water chestnuts (if using), and the red bell pepper. Stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, and let the mixture come to a boil; then immediately turn the heat down to let the mixture simmer.
  5. Add the rice vinegar, sesame oil, salt, sugar and white pepper, and continue to simmer the sauce for another 3 minutes. When 3 minutes have elapsed, turn the heat up slightly and stir in the shrimp.
  6. Once the shrimp and sauce mixture returns to a steady simmer, stir in the cornstarch slurry until the sauce has thickened. At this point, the shrimp should be opaque and cooked through. Stir in the scallions. Serve with steamed rice!
Recipe by The Woks of Life at