Spicy, garlicky, and sweet all at once, these crispy chili garlic shrimp will be your new favorite takeout dish at home in your own kitchen!
If you love shrimp as much as I do, and you also happen to love Chinese takeout, then my Chinese chili garlic shrimp is a recipe you’ve simply got to try. In a matter of minutes, you can have juicy shrimp with a crispy exterior on your plate. The sauce is perfectly spicy and garlicky with just the right amount of sweetness.
Whether you’ve had a busy day or you simply don’t want to do very much to get dinner on the table, all it takes is a few simple ingredients to pull it together. Choose fresh shrimp if you can find them because the better the quality, the more you’re going to love it.
Ingredients & prep
It seems that most people already have these ingredients in their kitchen. I use my homemade chili garlic sauce, though you can use store-bought if you can’t find what you need to make the homemade sauce. My chili garlic shrimp recipe calls for Shaoxing wine as an optional ingredient. While it adds another bit of complexity to the flavor profile, you will still get an amazing chili garlic shrimp dish even without it.
Cooking chili garlic shrimp is so easy. All you need to do is:
- Coat the marinated shrimp with cornstarch and flour
- Pan fry the shrimp until crispy
- Saute the ginger
- Pour in the sauce and thicken it, then add back the shrimp
NOTE: coat the shrimp with cornstarch and flour right before cooking. It will keep the coating extra crispy and crunchy.
TIP: Set your rice cooker to steam some white rice, which goes perfectly with the shrimp as it soaks in that sensational sauce, and you’ll have a well-rounded, totally satisfying dinner on your table.
Crispy shrimp without deep frying
You don’t even need a wok for this. I prefer a medium-sized skillet. This shallow-fry technique gives you that crispy texture for these chili garlic shrimp while using much less oil. It’s a healthier version of the takeout delight, one that will surely brighten up your meal.
This dish is beyond simple, beyond flavorful, and beyond impressive when entertaining guests, though you may just want to keep enjoying this one for yourself for a while!
More Chinese takeout recipes
Need a more complete Chinese takeout-at-home experience? Make these simple dishes below to serve with the chili garlic shrimp:
- Vegetable Lo Mein
- Leftover Ham Fried Rice with Pineapple
- Chicken and Broccoli (Chinese Takeout Style)
- How to Make Chinese Egg Rolls
- Chinese Egg Drop Soup
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Chinese Chili Garlic Shrimp
- 1 lb (450 g) raw shrimp , peeled & deveined (*Footnote 1)
- 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine (Optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 4 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1 tablespoon ginger , minced
- Combine the shrimp and Shaoxing wine in a medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle evenly with salt. Mix until the salt is evenly dispersed. Set aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir until the brown sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
- Heat 4 tablespoons of oil (or just enough to cover the bottom of the pan) in a medium-sized skillet until hot. Meanwhile, add the cornstarch and all-purpose flour to the bowl with the shrimp. Toss until the shrimp are fully coated.
- Shake the extra flour off the shrimp and add them to the pan. You might need to cook them in two batches. Let the shrimp cook without touching them, until the bottom turns golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip to brown the other side, another 2 to 3 minutes. Once done, transfer the shrimp to a large plate without overlapping and keep cooking the rest.
- Once you’re done cooking the shrimp, turn off the stove and use paper towels to wipe the pan to remove any residue.
- Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add the ginger and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the sauce to the pan. Cook and stir until the sauce becomes thick and glossy, 20 to 30 seconds.
- Turn the heat off and return the shrimp into the pan, tossing to coat thoroughly.
- Serve hot as a main dish.
- If using frozen shrimp, thaw the shrimp thoroughly before using. To thaw shrimp faster, place the shrimp in a ziplock bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, and seal the bag airtight. Submerge the bagged shrimp in a large bowl of room temperature water. The shrimp will be thawed in 30 minutes or so.
If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.
Other delicious shrimp recipes
- Salt and Pepper Shrimp
- Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp
- Honey Garlic Shrimp
- Easy Singapore Noodles
- Cheesy Shrimp Baked Spring Rolls
Lilja Walter is a part of the Omnivore’s Cookbook team and worked closely with Maggie to develop and test this recipe.