Sichuan Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry

These hot shrimp are so appetizing, scrumptious, and flavorful, that you can hardly imagine they require only 15 minutes to get ready - Sichuan Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry |

These hot shrimp are so appetizing, scrumptious, and flavorful, that you can hardly imagine they require only 15 minutes to get ready, including marinating time!

A few days ago, I introduced an all-purpose chili garlic sauce, which makes it extremely easy to quickly create a Sichuan style dish at home. I use the original chili garlic sauce as a master sauce. Sometimes, I add it into a dish at the end of cooking, to infuse a pungent, garlicky flavor. Other times, I use it as a base to create various other Sichuan style sauces by adding a few more ingredients. Click here to read more about the master sauce and get the recipe for it. It is super easy to make, can be stored for months, and will help you get dinner dishes ready in under 30 minutes.

These hot shrimp are so appetizing, scrumptious, and flavorful, that you can hardly imagine they require only 15 minutes to get ready - Sichuan Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry |


Today, I want to show you how to cook Sichuan style spicy shrimp stir-fry by using this homemade chili garlic sauce. This is one of the simplest ways to create a super flavorful dish in practically no time at all!

If you browse through the ingredient list, you might wonder, how is this recipe even special? Isn’t it just another spicy sauce? Wrong!

If you look closely, you will notice I add a spoonful of sugar into the chili garlic sauce. If you think it’ll make the dish sweet, you’re wrong again. The truth is, you hardly notice the sugar when you taste the shrimp.

Instead of adding sweetness to the dish, the sugar balances the the spiciness and brings out the best flavor of the shrimp. It makes the shrimp even richer and infuses a nice umami, instead of simply tasting spicy.

If you remember this, you can make a lot of spicy dishes taste even better. Although I used shrimp in this recipe, you can easily replace the shrimp with chicken, pork, seafood, or vegetables.

Sichuan Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry ingredients |

By the way, this is not a very healthy dish. But the truth is, if you want an irresistible flavor, you really need to add enough sauce and sugar. There was one time I tried to halve the sauce to make the recipe a bit skinnier, but I wish I hadn’t. The dish worked, but it wasn’t as great as it should be.

In the end, (not really something to brag about) this sauce can make not-so-fresh / low quality shrimp taste great. Not the all-you-can-taste-is-the-sauce kind of “delicious”, but the sauce can actually cover up the bad flavor of the shrimp and allow only the best traits to shine through. I know, I know, we should always use ingredients that are as fresh as possible. But let’s be honest, sometimes we just want to grab some frozen shrimp and get dinner on the table with as close to zero effort as possible. This recipe always comes in handy on a busy weekday and everyone in my family loves it.

Interested in more easy spicy dishes? Stay tuned, because more recipes are on the way!

These hot shrimp are so appetizing, scrumptious, and flavorful, that you can hardly imagine they require only 15 minutes to get ready - Sichuan Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry |

If you cook this recipe, don’t forget to take a picture and post on my Facebook fan page. I love to see your photos!


Sichuan Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry

  • Author: Maggie Zhu
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Chinese



  1. Combine shrimp, Shaoxing wine, and light soy sauce in a medium sized bowl. Mix well. Add cornstarch and mix by hand, until the shrimp is evenly coated. Marinate for 10 minutes.
    Sichuan Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry Cooking Process | Sichuan Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry Cooking Process |
  2. Chop ginger while the shrimp is marinating.
  3. Heat a wok over medium high heat until hot. Add oil and swirl the wok to cover the bottom (or add oil into a nonstick skillet and heat until hot). Add ginger and stir a few times until fragrant.
    Sichuan Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry Cooking Process |
  4. Add shrimp, spreading them quickly over the bottom of the wok. Let them cook without stirring for 20 to 30 seconds. The shrimp won’t stick to the bottom of the wok this way. Stir and flip the shrimp. Keep cooking until the surface is cooked and turns golden, about 1 minute.
    Sichuan Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry Cooking Process | Sichuan Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry Cooking Process |
  5. Add all-purpose chili garlic sauce and sugar. Stir to mix well and until the shrimp is curled, about 1 minute. Turn to lowest heat. Taste the shrimp and adjust flavor by adding salt, if necessary. Stir to mix well and remove from heat.
    Sichuan Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry Cooking Process | Sichuan Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry Cooking Process |
  6. Serve warm as a main over steamed rice or cooked noodles.


I found the finished shrimp to be flavorful enough with the ingredients given (I was using small shrimp). However, you might want to add some salt if you use larger shrimp, in order to give the dish a better flavor, especially if you want to serve them over steamed white rice.

The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 4 servings generated by this recipe.

Sichuan Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry Nutrition Facts |

Related Recipe:

Sichuan All Purpose Chili Garlic Sauce - Cook this versatile sauce and you can easily create your favorite Sichuan dishes in under 20 minutes |
Sichuan All Purpose Chili Garlic Sauce

Spicy Beef Stir-Fry with Pepper - A super comforting and appetizing stir-fried beef dish with a sweet, savory flavor and a pungent aroma |
Spicy Beef Stir-Fry with Pepper

The chicken is quickly cooked with colorful veggies in a pungent sweet and sour garlic sauce. A quick, healthy and comforting dish that only requires 30 minutes to get ready! |
Yu Xiang Rou Si (Sichuan Shredded Chicken Stir-Fry)


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Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my Austin, Texas kitchen.

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11 thoughts on “Sichuan Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry

  1. Helen @ Scrummy Lane

    Maggie, I have to disagree with you and say that I think this dish is actually quite healthy … there is only that teensy bit of sugar in there!
    Looks and sounds absolutely divine … I really have to start making some of your recipes!

  2. Bam's Kitchen

    This recipe looks and sounds so delicious! I know my boys would be all over this recipe. Were you reading my mind? Guess what I just picked up at the wet market today? You guessed it shrimp. I love that tongue numbing sensation from the Sichuan chili oil. Sharing, of course!

  3. Silvia

    Maggie, this looks amazing! As usual when I am visiting your blog, I end up unable to decide which of those awesome treats I should cook next 😉 It would be great to have a little piece of advice from you that would really help me make my pick. Which of your recipes are easy and fast enough to make the evening before a working day and stay pleasing to the eye and taste buds all through morning and afternoon of the next day and the day after that? The area around my workplace is more or less deserted office-tower wasteland, so preparing food for 1-2 days in advance and bringing it to work is crucial for me. Maybe you have some experience with bringing home cooked food to work and like to share.

    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Silvia, I’m so glad to hear you find my recipes helpful 🙂
      Yes, I used to bring lunch box to work everyday too, and I have some quick and easy recipes for you.

      There are basically three ways that work the best for lunchbox:

      1. One dish meal (e.g. fried rice, fried noodles)

      2. Stir-fry dishes that contains several ingredients + steamed rice

      3. Braised meat + 1 super easy stir-fry + steamed rice
      Cook a huge batch of braised meat beforehand (you might need to do this on the weekend). Separate them into smaller portion (2 – 3 serves) and freeze them. (1 hr and 30 mins) (35 mins) (time consuming, but it’s my favorite!)

      Cook rice and stir fried veggies during the week. The rice will stay good for a few days, but I generally prefer to eat the veggies the next day. (classic lunchbox dish)

      To prepare lunch box, you can thaw the braised meat, cook rice and a super easy stir fried dish the day before.

      The third method sounds like a bit trouble, but it saves more time during the week, since you only need to do sth super easy to get some veggies into the meal. It generally only takes 15 minutes to prep and cook an easy veggie dish. I don’t recommend to store the veggies in the freeze more than one day. But it you have to, you can cook things like okra and green beans. They stay longer.

      This got a bit long. I think I should organize these together and publish a post about lunchbox. Thanks for this idea and hope my answer is helpful 🙂

      1. Silvia

        Thank you so much, Maggie!! Your recommendations are amazing and I can’t wait to combine items from your list for my next weekly lunch plan! 🙂 Your passion for cooking and food really pours out of every corner of your blog. It’s really a pleasure to visit and linger on your page.

      2. Maggie Post author

        You’re the most welcome Silvia! I’m really happy that you found my recommendations helpful, and I can’t wait to hear more about the outcomes of your new meal plan! Please feel free to drop a message if you come across any question. Happy cooking 🙂

  4. Emily Wendel

    I made this tonight along with your Chinese Vegetables using spinach. This was amazing! I added walnuts and green onions to the shrimp, used sake for the marinade and a mix of sesame oil and grapeseed oil for the stir fry and garilic oil. Served with Jasmine rice. This will definitely be on my rotation. Thank you for the great recipe!

  5. Ginger Foo

    This recipe surpassed expectations. I had all the ingredients; and once the shrimp is deveined and cleaned the prep is quick. So easy to make and yes it’s hot but the sugar addition does offset it. The outcome was delicious.