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.

Grace Young
Source: EatingWell Magazine, February/March 2005


Recipe Summary

30 mins


Sichuan Sauce


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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

  • 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.


Make Ahead Tip: To make ahead: Prepare the shrimp through Step 2, cover with paper towels and refrigerate for several hours before cooking.

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.

People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.

Nutrition Facts

170 calories; protein 16.4g; carbohydrates 6.1g; dietary fiber 1g; sugars 2.6g; fat 8.8g; saturated fat 0.8g; cholesterol 142.9mg; vitamin a iu 463.8IU; vitamin c 34.7mg; folate 26.8mcg; calcium 71.4mg; iron 0.6mg; magnesium 32.7mg; potassium 269.5mg; sodium 387.8mg; thiamin 0.1mg; added sugar 1g.

Reviews (6)

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6 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
Fast Easy and Healthy I made the sauce exactly using balsamic but doubled the sauce since we like sauce also added 1 small sliced yellow onion and about 1/3 lb fresh french style green bean from Sam's Club. It was delicious without serving with rice. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I'm sorry but whomever put this recipe on here has NEVER been to China let alone Sichuan! I've spent 8 years in China and my husband (and his whole family) are from Sichuan and their Sichuan-style shrimp is to die for! Almost literally! They don't call it hot and spicy for nothing. And frankly they would never put bell pepper in with shrimp bacause it's a sweet vegetable and they think that shrimp should have a tang. And canola oil doesn't have a high enough temperature to do well with frying ANYWHERE in China. Peanut oil is their main oil and if not then they go to corn oil. I don't even think that you can buy canola oil here unless you go to an expat supermarket! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This was really good - I used bottled ginger and a whole chicken bouillon cube in 3T water instead of the 3T bouillon. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Really easy & tasty Just had this for dinner tonight and really enjoyed this dish. Pretty much followed the recipe but doubled the red pepper since I like spicy & made double the sauce. I could definitely see adding onion & really any vegetables you enjoy in Chinese food. I enjoyed the sauce & could easily see substituting different vegetables and meats with that sauce for quick and healthy dinners. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Really Good! I couldn't find the Chinese vinegar so I used a really great balsamic vinegar as the recipe suggested. I also used diced onion instead of bell pepper (bell pepper doesn't really pair with shrimp for Chinese food very well...not complimentary but a good effort;)! ) I also added 1/4 tsp. additional of red pepper flakes. Served this over brown rice and it was fabulous! My Chinese food-loving husband thought it was better than any (American) Chinese food he has had - and MUCH healthier!! To Anonymous who didn't feel this recipe measured up to authentic Chinese food: Authentic Chinese food is higher in fat sodium and cholesterol...Eating Well is a site for healthier recipies not necessarily authentic Chinese. May I suggest that if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all. Definately lighten up. Pros: Easy healthy! Read More
Rating: 3 stars
Pretty good. Let me just start off by saying my husband and my dad really liked this. I found it a bit bland. That is possibly because I added more veggies then this recipe called for and perhaps the sauce did not give enough coverage for the extra. I made the sauce almost exactly except that I used chili-garlic sauce instead of red pepper flakes. The veggies I added were green beans and red pepper. I will try this again since it went over well with my family but I will make more sauce if I add veggies. If I change my mind I'll update. In response to the anonymous reviewer before me I don't think anyone on this site is expecting authentic Chinese recipes from China but there is such a thing as Chinese-American cuisine and this is definitely authentic as far as that is concerned. I could definitely imagine seeing this at a Chinese restaurant int the US. Lighten up. Pros: very easy Cons: a bit bland Read More