Szechuan Shrimp

Traditional Szechuan dishes are often quite spicy, but we've given this recipe only a slight dose of heat. If your taste runs to the incendiary, make yours hotter by adding more red-pepper flakes.

Yield: 4
Recipe from Food & Wine

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sherry
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups long-grain rice
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, shelled
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 scallions, white part chopped, green tops sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

Preparation

  1. 1. In a small bowl, combine the chicken broth, ketchup, soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt, and 1 tablespoon of the sherry. Heat a wok or large frying pan over moderately high heat until very hot. Add the bell peppers and stir-fry until starting to blacken, about 5 minutes. Remove.
  2. 2. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in the rice and boil until just done, about 10 minutes. Drain.
  3. 3. Meanwhile, toss the shrimp with the remaining 2 tablespoons sherry and the cornstarch. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in the wok or frying pan over moderately high heat. Add the shrimp and stir-fry until just done, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the shrimp and add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Reduce the heat to moderate and add the charred bell peppers, the garlic, ginger, the chopped scallions, and the red-pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes.
  4. 4. Increase the heat to high. Add the broth mixture and boil until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and sliced scallions and just heat through. Drizzle the sesame oil over the top. Serve the shrimp with the rice.
  5. Wine Recommendation: A German riesling will be a knockout here. If you're keeping the heat subdued, a Pfalz kabinett will work fine. If you increase the pepper, go to a sweeter spätlese or even an auslese.
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