Sichuan Shrimp

Gan-shao Xia-ren Szechuan Shrimp is also served in the neighboring Hunan Province as a looser version called Braised Shrimp. Whatever it’s called, it gets its red coloring not from chili sauce but rather from a “secret ingredient” – tomato ketchup! This easy to make and surprisingly delicious shrimp dish is great addition to a full Chinese meal, standalone lunch, or as an appetizer.

Gan-shao Xia-ren – Sichuan Shrimp

This is a quick stir-fry that keeps the delicate flavor of the shrimp while coating them in a tasty red sauce. Served over white rice to absorb the sauce, this dish makes for an interesting weeknight meal or part of a bigger buffet.
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Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese, Hunan, Sichuan, Western China
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Wok
  • Small bowl
  • Medium bowl
  • Instant read thermometer


  • 1 lb Large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 Egg whites
  • ½ cup Cornstarch
  • 2 tsp Salt, divided
  • 1 tbsp Chinese wine or sherry
  • 2 stalk Scallion, finely chopped
  • 2 slices Ginger, peeled and shredded
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup Frozen baby peas (can be omitted)
  • ¼ cup Water chestnuts, sliced (can be omitted)
  • 2 medium Dried chilis, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Chicken stock (water may be used)
  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Tomato ketchup
  • ¼ cup Peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp Toasted sesame oil


  • Prep – In a medium bowl, mix together the egg whites, cornstarch, ½ of the salt, and Chinese wine. Stir in the shrimp and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together ketchup, hot pepper, white pepper, sugar, and remaining salt. Combine remaining cornstarch and chicken stock in another small bowl.
    Cook – Heat oil in a wok on high until smoking. Add ½ the shrimp and stir-fry 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels and repeat with the rest of the shrimp. Pour out all but 1 tbsp of oil. Reheat the wok and stir-fry the water chestnuts and peas for 1 minute. Add the ketchup mixture and then the shrimp, scallion, ginger, and chopped chili pepper. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add cornstarch/chicken stock mixture into the wok and stir to thicken the sauce,
    Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle sesame oil over. Serve hot with white rice.

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