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How to Make Shrimp in Tomato Sauce: A Tasty Chinese Recipe

Chinese gastronomy is famous for its abundance of flavours and components, and one particularly noteworthy dish is shrimp in tomato sauce. This delectable dish is a favourite in Chinese eateries and can be easily prepared at home. By using the correct ingredients and methods, you can whip up a fragrant and authentic Chinese shrimp in tomato sauce recipe that will amaze your loved ones.

Shrimp simmering in vibrant red tomato sauce, surrounded by aromatic garlic, ginger, and scallions in a sizzling wok

The dish typically consists of stir-fried shrimp in a thick tomato-based sauce. The sauce is a perfect balance of sweet and savoury flavours, with a hint of tanginess from the tomatoes. The shrimp is cooked until tender and juicy, and the sauce is thick and coats the shrimp perfectly. With the addition of aromatic spices and herbs, this dish is a flavour explosion in every bite.

If you're a seafood lover, you can experiment with different types of seafood in this recipe. For example, you can use prawns, scallops, or even squid instead of shrimp. Each type of seafood will bring a unique flavour and texture to the dish, so feel free to mix and match to find your favourite combination.

The Basics of Chinese Shrimp in Tomato Sauce

A wok sizzles as shrimp and tomatoes simmer in savory sauce, surrounded by garlic, ginger, and green onions

Chinese shrimp in tomato sauce is a delicious main course that is easy to prepare. The dish typically involves succulent shrimp cooked in a tangy tomato sauce that is flavoured with garlic, ginger, and other ingredients. Here is a breakdown of the basics of making this dish.

Selecting the Best Ingredients

To make Chinese shrimp in tomato sauce, you will need to select the best ingredients. The key ingredients include shrimp, tomato sauce, oil, salt, sugar, water, garlic, ginger, starch, pepper, soy sauce, tomatoes, rice wine, vinegar, onions, and white pepper. When selecting shrimp, it is best to choose fresh deveined shrimp. You can also use other types of seafood such as scallops, mussels or squid as a suggestion. If you're using tomatoes, it is best to use fresh ripe tomatoes.

Understanding the Cooking Process

The cooking process for Chinese shrimp in tomato sauce is relatively simple. First, you will need to prepare the shrimp by cleaning and deveining them. Then, you will need to toss the shrimp in cornstarch and pan-fry them until they are cooked. After that, you will need to cook the tomato sauce in the same pan, and add back the shrimp to the sauce. Finally, you will need to simmer the shrimp in the tomato sauce until it is heated through.

To add more umami flavour, you can use stock instead of water in the sauce. You can also add some chopped onions and green peppers for extra flavour and texture. Additionally, you can garnish the dish with chopped scallions and serve it with steamed rice.

Overall, Chinese shrimp in tomato sauce is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that is perfect for any occasion. With the right ingredients and cooking process, you can create a flavourful and satisfying meal that will impress your guests.

Preparing the Shrimp

Shrimp being sautéed in a pan with tomatoes and herbs

Cleaning and Deveining

Before cooking the shrimp, you need to properly clean and devein them. Rinse the shrimp under cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel. Then, use a sharp knife to cut along the back of each shrimp and remove the vein. This will ensure that your shrimp is clean and ready to cook.

Marinating for Flavour

Marinating the shrimp in a mixture of salt, pepper, cornstarch, Shaoxing wine, and soy sauce will add a depth of flavour to the dish. To marinate the shrimp, mix together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine, and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Add the cleaned and deveined shrimp to the marinade and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.

Seafood lovers may also consider adding other seafood such as scallops or crab to the dish. Fresh seafood will add a delicious flavour and texture to the dish. When using other types of seafood, make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure that everything is cooked evenly.

By properly cleaning and marinating the shrimp, you will ensure that your Chinese shrimp in tomato sauce dish is flavourful and delicious.

Creating the Perfect Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce simmering in a pot with shrimp, garlic, and ginger. Onions and bell peppers sizzling in a separate pan

If you're looking to make a delicious shrimp in tomato sauce Chinese recipe, then the perfect tomato sauce is a must. Here are some tips to help you create a tomato sauce that will be the perfect complement to your seafood.

Combining Tomatoes and Seasonings

Firstly, you'll need to combine the tomatoes and seasonings to create the base of your sauce. Start by heating up some oil in a pan and adding diced onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook until the onions are translucent and then add in your diced tomatoes, ketchup, and tomato paste.

To add some sweetness to your sauce, you can also add a bit of sugar or honey. For a tangy flavour, add some vinegar or stock. You can also add some tomato juice or water to thin out the sauce if it's too thick.

When it comes to seasonings, you can add your favourite herbs and spices. Basil, oregano, and thyme are popular choices. You can also add some red pepper flakes if you like your sauce a bit spicy.

Achieving the Right Consistency

The consistency of your tomato sauce is important when it comes to shrimp in tomato sauce Chinese recipe. You want it to be thick enough to cling to the shrimp, but not too thick that it becomes gloopy.

To achieve the perfect consistency, you can simmer the sauce for a while to reduce it down. This will thicken it up nicely. If you find that your sauce is too thick, you can thin it out with a bit of water or stock.

Another tip is to use a blender or immersion blender to puree the sauce. This will give it a smoother texture and help it to coat the shrimp better.

Seafood can be a great addition to your tomato sauce. You can use prawns, shrimp, or even crab meat. Just make sure to cook the seafood first before adding it to the sauce. This will ensure that it's cooked through and won't overcook in the sauce.

Cooking Techniques and Tips

Shrimp simmering in rich tomato sauce, infused with Chinese spices. A wok sizzles over a flame, as the aroma of garlic and ginger fills the air

Stir Fry Essentials

When cooking shrimp in tomato sauce Chinese recipe, the stir-fry technique is essential. It is a quick and easy way to cook the shrimp and vegetables while retaining their texture and flavor. Use a wok or a skillet to cook the shrimp and vegetables in olive oil over high heat. You can also use Japanese sake or Worcestershire sauce to add a unique flavor to your dish.

Make sure you do not overcook the shrimp, as it can become tough and rubbery. Cook the shrimp until they turn pink and then remove them from the pan. Add the green onion and shallot to the pan and cook for a minute or two until they become soft. Then add the tomato sauce and red pepper flakes and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.

Simmering to Perfection

After cooking the shrimp and vegetables, add the tomato sauce and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. Simmering the sauce allows the flavors to meld together and gives the dish a delicious taste.

When simmering the sauce, you can add a splash of cooking wine to enhance the flavor. You can also garnish the dish with some green onion for added freshness.

If you want to make the dish healthier, you can use seafood instead of shrimp. Prawns or other types of seafood can be used in place of shrimp. Make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

One serving of shrimp in tomato sauce Chinese recipe contains approximately 250-300 calories, depending on the ingredients used. It is a nutritious dish that is high in protein and low in fat.

Serving and Presentation

Shrimp in tomato sauce served on a white ceramic plate with chopsticks and a side of steamed vegetables

When it comes to serving and presenting your shrimp in tomato sauce Chinese recipe, there are a few things to consider. In this section, we'll discuss accompaniments and pairings, as well as garnishing for visual appeal.

Accompaniments and Pairings

One of the most popular ways to serve shrimp in tomato sauce is over steamed rice. The rice helps to soak up the delicious sauce and complements the shrimp perfectly. You can also serve the shrimp over noodles if you prefer.

If you want to add some extra flavour to your meal, consider serving the shrimp with some scallions or shallots. These ingredients add a nice crunch and a hint of sweetness to the dish. You can also pair the shrimp with some stir-fried vegetables, such as broccoli or bok choy, for a healthy and colourful side dish.

If you're looking for a drink to pair with your shrimp in tomato sauce, consider a light beer or a crisp white wine. These beverages will help to balance out the richness of the sauce and enhance the flavours of the dish.

Garnishing for Visual Appeal

Garnishing your shrimp in tomato sauce can help to make it look even more appetising. One simple way to do this is by adding some chopped scallions or parsley on top of the dish. This will add a pop of colour and freshness to the plate.

Another way to garnish your shrimp is by adding some sliced chillies. This will give the dish a bit of heat and add some visual interest. You can also sprinkle some sesame seeds on top for a bit of texture.

Finally, if you want to take your presentation to the next level, consider serving your shrimp in tomato sauce in a traditional Cantonese clay pot. This will keep the dish warm and add a touch of authenticity to your meal.

Seafood lovers can also try using other seafood like prawns or scallops in place of shrimp for a variation on the recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

A bowl of shrimp in vibrant red tomato sauce, surrounded by traditional Chinese cooking ingredients and utensils

What's the best way to serve shrimp in tomato sauce with rice?

Shrimp in tomato sauce is best served with plain white rice. To enhance the flavour of the dish, you can garnish it with chopped spring onions or coriander leaves.

How can you quickly prepare shrimp in tomato sauce, the Chinese way?

The quickest way to prepare shrimp in tomato sauce is to use pre-cooked shrimp. You can either use frozen cooked shrimp or leftover cooked shrimp from a previous meal. Simply thaw the frozen shrimp or reheat the cooked shrimp and add it to the tomato sauce just before serving.

What are the secrets to making the best Chinese shrimp dish?

The secret to making the best Chinese shrimp dish is to use fresh, high-quality ingredients and to cook the shrimp just until they turn pink. Overcooking the shrimp can result in tough and rubbery shrimp. Additionally, using the right combination of spices, such as ginger, garlic, and soy sauce, can elevate the flavour of the dish.

Can you fry shrimp before adding them to tomato sauce, and if so, how?

Yes, you can fry shrimp before adding them to tomato sauce. To do this, heat oil in a wok or frying pan and add the shrimp. Fry the shrimp until they turn pink and are slightly crispy. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set them aside. In the same pan, add the tomato sauce and other ingredients and cook until the sauce thickens. Finally, add the fried shrimp to the sauce and stir until they are coated in the sauce.

What's the process for tenderising shrimp in Chinese cooking?

To tenderise shrimp in Chinese cooking, you can marinate them in a mixture of cornstarch, egg white and salt for about 15 minutes. This will help to break down the proteins in the shrimp and make them more tender.

How should one properly eat shrimp that's cooked with the shells on?

To eat shrimp that's cooked with the shells on, use your fingers to remove the shell and legs. You can then eat the shrimp whole or remove the vein if desired. If you prefer not to eat the shells, you can remove them before cooking the shrimp.

If you want to add more seafood to the dish, you can use a combination of shrimp, scallops, and squid to make a delicious seafood medley in tomato sauce.