Shrimp in Garlic Sauce

This is, by far and bar none, the most popular Chinese seafood dish I know. In fact, it is better than its restaurant counterpart because[ it uses real garlic, not dried garlic reconstituted in water.]

Total Time:
35 min
Prep:
15 min
Cook:
20 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 1 pound large shrimp (21 to 25 shrimp per pound), peeled
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons black soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed and finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste, or to taste and tolerance
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh water chestnuts, optional
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions, on the diagonal in 1/2-inch pieces
Directions
  • Using a cleaver or knife, slice the shrimp from the back, leaving a small donut-like hole in the center, essentially butterflying the shrimp. Be careful not to cut all the way through the shrimp. Rinse away any veins under cold water. Drain well.

  • Put the shrimp in a bowl and add the egg white, cornstarch and 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. Mix well. The consistency should be silky and the color milky.

  • In a large wok, heat 2 cups of the oil to 280 degrees F, or place 1 shrimp in the oil and when bubbles rise from it like Champagne bubbles in a glass, add the rest of the shrimp. Turn the shrimp gently in the poaching oil. When they are white and fluffy, remove them with a stainless steel strainer or brass metal strainer. Put the cooked shrimp in a colander to drain.

  • For the sauce. In a small saucepan, mix the chicken broth, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, sherry, garlic, ginger, sugar, and chili paste. Stir well. Bring the garlic sauce to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer.

  • In a clean wok, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to smoking. Add the sliced water chestnuts and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the garlic sauce, stir, and bring to a boil. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil, stirring until thickened. Add the shrimp. Toss and stir 3 times until well coated. Stir in the sliced scallions and serve.


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