Sweet and Sour Shrimp, or 糖醋蝦仁, enhances a tangy sweet and sour glaze with the rich nuttiness of Sesame Oil and make for a great appetizer.
Worcestershire Sauce and Tomato Ketchup may sound like unusual ingredients in a Chinese or Asian recipe but, in fact, in the past several decades, both have become quite commonly used in those parts. Indeed, I would even hazard a guess that Worcestershire Sauce is now used more frequently in Asia than it is in the West. In this recipe, both of these ingredients are used to add a second level of flavor to a straightforward sweet and sour glaze, and the whole is rounded out by the rich nuttiness of Sesame.
How to Make Sweet and Sour Shrimp – 糖醋蝦仁
You can use any size of shrimp you like, but I would reserve the larger varieties for cases where you wish to increase the amounts of the other ingredients to make a main course or banquet table sized dish. Here, I am using a small size that would run at approximately 60 per pound after being fully peeled.
The first step in preparing this dish, and probably the most time consuming, is a fifteen-minute margination in Worcestershire Sauce and Sesame Oil. The shrimp are also tossed with cornstarch to produce a nice texture when they are fried.
It is easiest if you pan fry the shrimp in a liberal amount of oil and turn them halfway through the process. The idea is to brown them to the point that the cornstarch coating becomes a little crispy at the edges.
While the shrimp rest after being initially fried, a sauce is made with sugar, vinegar, ketchup and ginger. This is then cooked down over high temperature until most of the liquid has bubbled away, leaving a thickened glaze.
Finally, the shrimp are added back to the pan and cooked just long enough to ensure they are fully heated through. Sesame seeds are added and also stirred in, but you may wish to reserve a few to scatter over each serving. Here, I also garnished my finished shrimp with some thinly sliced scallion green for a little touch of color.
Sweet and Sour Shrimp Appetizer
- 1/2 lb Medium Shrimp peeled and deveined;
- ½ tsp. Worcestershire Sauce;
- ½ tsp. Sesame Oil;
- 1 tsp. Cornstarch;
- 2 tbsp. Sugar;
- 3 tbsp. Vinegar;
- 1 tsp. Ketchup;
- ¼ tsp. Ginger Puree;
- 1 tbsp. Sesame Seeds.
- Mix the shrimp with the Worcestershire Sauce and sesame oil, toss them with the cornstarch, and leave to marinate for 15 minutes.
- Heat a generous amount of oil in a suitable pan and quickly brown the shrimp on both sides until the cornstarch coating is just getting a little crispy and then remove them to a bowl.
- Heat a tablespoon or so of the oil in a saute pan over high and add the sugar, vinegar, ketchup and ginger. Cook, stirring briskly until the contents of the pan thicken to a glaze.
- Lastly, stir the shrimp into the glaze and, when they are heated through, toss with the sesame seeds and serve immediately.
This would’ve been a great recipe for my daughter’s birthday. I need to save this one.
For adults, you can also add a splash or two of chili sauce.