This Chili Garlic Shrimp is a quick and easy recipe that’s perfect for busy weeknights! Juicy shrimps get stir-fried in a spicy-sweet and sticky garlicky sauce. Serve on a bed of warm steamed rice and a side of steamed or stir-fried veggies to make it a full meal!
Chopping: Chop all your ingredients. Add the garlic, ginger, and spring onion whites to a small bowl. Add the fresh red chilies and spring onion greens into two separate small bowls. (Discarding the chili seeds is optional and depends on your personal heat preference.)
Shrimp Marinade: Mix together the corn starch, low sodium light soy sauce, shao xing rice wine, a dash of sesame oil in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and mix to coat them in the marinade. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.
Sauce Bowl: In a medium bowl, add the corn starch, low sodium light soy sauce, shao xing rice wine, and Thai Sweet Chili Sauce. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
Thai Dried Red Chilies: Cut the chilies in halves or thirds depending on their size. Cut the longer ones into three pieces and the shorter into two.
Prep for Marinated Shrimp: Turn on the stove and let your wok or large pan heat up for 20 – 30 seconds. Then, add about 3 tablespoons peanut oil and a dash of sesame oil. Lift the wok and swirl it in a circular motion so that the oil spreads around the perimeter and then place it back on the stove to let it heat up. Once hot, add the shrimp and spread evenly in the wok. Cook on one side for about 40 seconds then flip and cook on the other side for 40 seconds more. Toss them around and then remove the shrimp to a fine mesh strainer and hold above the wok to let the oil drain. (You can gently shake the strainer to speed up the draining process, but be careful not to shake to violently as that’ll cause some of the cornstarch to come off and make the shrimp a bit mushy. Remove the shrimp into another clean large bowl and set aside. Discard the oil in the wok and wipe with paper towels. Set back on stove.
For the Chili Garlic Shrimp:
Turn on the stove and set to medium high heat. Add 1 & ½ TBLS peanut oil, 1 TSP chili oil (if using), and about a TSP of sesame oil. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger, and spring onion whites. Give it a quick stir to prevent the garlic from burning.
Add the onion and stir-fry until fragrant- about 1-2 minutes.
Turn the heat up and add the Thai dried red chilies. Stir-fry.
Add the fresh red chilies and continue stir-frying
Add the shrimp and the Chili Garlic Sauce on top of them. (Note: not the contents of the sauce bowl you prepared earlier but the actual bottled sauce.) Toss to combine with everything else in the wok.
Make sure the shrimp is well distributed around the wok. Then, give the sauce bowl a stir with a spoon (the corn starch will have clotted up at the bottom of the bowl) and pour in the sauce in a circular motion to coat as many of the shrimp pieces. Continue stir-frying and tossing for a minute. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water as the sauce will start to dry. Stir.
Once the sauce starts to thicken again – after about 30 seconds, add ¾ of the spring onion greens and toss to combine – about 30 seconds.
Turn off the heat. Remove to dish and garnish with the remainder spring onion greens. Serve with steamed white rice.
Deseed the Fresh Red Chilies and the Thai Dried Chilies if you prefer the dish to be less spicy.
The Thai Sweet Chili Sauce that goes in the Sauce Bowl is the sweet Thai style chili garlic sauce. I use Amoy brand because it’s not too sweet for me, but there should be a couple of options for this sauce at Whole Foods, Target, and your local Asian Grocery Store. Go with your favorite brand if you’ve used this type of sauce before. Otherwise, experiment with a couple of different brands to see which one you like best!
Pro-cook tip: You can save even more time with this already super speedy recipe by using shrimp that has already been peeled & deveined.
To make this veg, use a combination of your favorite stir fry friendly veggies (like mushrooms, snap peas, etc.) or pan-fry some tofu with salt and pepper and add them to the sauce in place of the shrimp.
If you prefer to use chicken, dice some boneless skinless chicken breasts into bite sized pieces to replace the shrimp. Both shrimp and chicken taste amazing in this sauce!