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Wok-Fried Spicy Sichuan-Style Shrimp

Serves: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • Sichuan stir-fry sauce:
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese chili bean sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • Stir-fried shrimp:
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
  • 4 green onions, white and light green parts finely chopped, dark green parts sliced crosswise into 1-inch long pieces, kept separate
  • 1½ stalks Chinese celery, sliced crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 to 10 small dried Chinese chiles
  • 1 pound medium raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • ¼ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, coarsely ground, plus more to taste


Procedures:

For Chinese New Year, shrimp symbolize happiness and good fortune because the Chinese word for shrimp is har—which is also the Chinese word for the sound of laughter. Green onions are symbols of spring, while celery represents diligence. If available, use the longer and leafier Chinese variety of celery as the flavor is more intense and aromatic.

To prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, combine sauce ingredients and whisk to combine; set aside near stovetop and wok.

Place a wok over high heat, add oil and swirl to coat. When oil is very hot and starting to smoke, add ginger, garlic and finely chopped parts of the green onions. Using wok spoons, stir-fry for about 20 seconds, then add celery and chiles; cook just until chiles start to soften, about 1 minute.

Push ingredients to the side of the wok and add shrimp and Sichuan pepper; continue to stir-fry until shrimp turn pink, about 1 minute. Add sauce and toss to coat ingredients. Cook until shrimp are cooked through and sauce is hot, about 2 minutes, then remove wok from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and Sichuan pepper. Transfer to a medium, warmed serving platter and serve immediately.

Recipe developed for Sur La Table’s Cooking Classes

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