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Simple and Quick Shrimp with Ketchup Chinese Recipe

Fond of Chinese cooking? Then you've probably come across the popular Stir-Fried Shrimp with Ketchup Sauce dish. A nostalgic favourite, this recipe is easily recreated in the comfort of your home. Made with shrimp, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and Shaoxing wine, this dish boasts a delectable sweet and sour taste.

 

A plate of sizzling shrimp stir-fried with vibrant red ketchup sauce, surrounded by colorful Chinese ingredients

To make this dish, you'll need to start by stir-frying garlic and ginger in oil until fragrant. Then, add the shrimp and stir-fry until they turn orange. Next, add in the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, white pepper, sugar, and Shaoxing wine. Stir everything together and allow the shrimp to cook through. This dish is typically served with steamed rice, but you can also pair it with your favourite vegetables.

If you're looking to switch things up, you can also try using other types of seafood in this recipe. For example, you could use scallops, squid, or even lobster. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure that the seafood is cooked through. With a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking techniques, you can enjoy this classic Chinese dish in the comfort of your own home.

Key Takeaways

  • Stir-Fried Shrimp with Ketchup Sauce is a classic Chinese dish that's easy to make at home.
  • The dish is made with shrimp, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and Shaoxing wine, among other ingredients.
  • You can also use other types of seafood in this recipe, such as scallops or squid.

Historical Background

A table set with a plate of shrimp in a rich, red ketchup sauce, surrounded by traditional Chinese cooking ingredients and utensils

Origins of Ketchup Shrimp

Ketchup Shrimp is a classic Chinese dish that has been enjoyed by many Chinese families for generations. The dish is believed to have originated from Cantonese cuisine, where it is known as "茄汁蝦碌" (qié zhī xiā lù). The dish is made by stir-frying shrimp with ginger, garlic, and scallions, then coating it with a tangy sauce of stir-fried ketchup and soy sauce.

Ketchup, which is a key ingredient in this dish, actually originated from China. It was originally a fermented fish sauce called "kê-tsiap" in the Fujian region of southeastern China. The sauce was later introduced to the Western world by British traders, who brought it back to England in the 18th century. The sauce was then modified to suit the British palate, and eventually evolved into the ketchup that we know today.

Chinese Cuisine Evolution

Chinese cuisine has a rich history that dates back more than 5,000 years. Over the years, Chinese cuisine has evolved and adapted to the changing tastes and preferences of the Chinese people. Today, Chinese cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines in the world, with Chinese restaurants found in almost every corner of the globe.

Chinese cuisine is known for its bold and complex flavors, which are achieved through the use of a wide range of ingredients and cooking techniques. Chinese cuisine also places a strong emphasis on the balance of flavors, with dishes typically featuring a combination of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors.

Seafood is a popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine, and is often used in dishes such as Ketchup Shrimp. If you are looking to experiment with different types of seafood in this dish, you could try using prawns or king prawns instead of shrimp. These types of seafood are commonly used in Chinese cuisine and would work well with the other ingredients in this dish.

Ingredient Breakdown

A plate of shrimp in a rich, red ketchup-based sauce, surrounded by vibrant green vegetables and aromatic spices

When it comes to making Chinese-style shrimp with ketchup, there are a few key ingredients you'll need to have on hand. Here's a breakdown of what you'll need:

Selecting the Best Shrimp

The star of this dish is undoubtedly the shrimp, so it's important to choose the right kind. Fresh, wild-caught shrimp is always the best choice, but if that's not available, frozen shrimp can work too. Look for shrimp that are firm to the touch and have a slightly sweet smell. If you're using frozen shrimp, make sure to thaw them completely and pat them dry before cooking.

Ketchup and Seasonings

Of course, ketchup is a key ingredient in this recipe. But you'll also need a few other seasonings to give the dish its signature flavour. Soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar, and white pepper are all must-haves. If you like your food spicy, you can also add some red pepper flakes or hot sauce. And if you want to add a little tanginess, a splash of rice vinegar can do the trick.

Additional Ingredients

While the shrimp and seasonings are the main players in this dish, there are a few other ingredients that can add some extra flavour and texture. Scallions, onion, and green onion can all be sliced and added to the stir-fry. Cornstarch can be used to thicken the sauce. And if you want to get creative, you can even try adding other seafood like squid or scallops.

Overall, this recipe is a great way to enjoy the sweet and savoury flavours of Chinese cuisine. With a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking skills, you can create a delicious and satisfying meal that's sure to impress.

Preparation Techniques

Sizzling shrimp stir-frying in a wok with vibrant red ketchup sauce, surrounded by traditional Chinese cooking ingredients

Cleaning and Deveining Shrimp

To prepare your shrimp for cooking, you need to clean and devein them. Start by rinsing your shrimp under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. Then, use a pair of kitchen shears to cut off the head and peel off the shell. If your shrimp are not already deveined, use the tip of a sharp knife to make a shallow cut down the back of each shrimp. Use a toothpick or the tip of the knife to remove the vein.

Marinating and Seasoning

Before stir-frying your shrimp, it's important to marinate them to infuse them with flavour. You can use a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, and cornstarch. The cornstarch will help to thicken the sauce and give the shrimp a crispy texture. To marinate your shrimp, pat them dry with paper towels and then toss them in the marinade. Let them sit for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavours to penetrate the shrimp.

When it comes to seasoning your shrimp, ketchup is the star ingredient in this Chinese recipe. It adds a tangy sweetness that pairs perfectly with the shrimp. You can also add garlic, ginger, and onion for extra flavour.

Stir Frying Essentials

Stir-frying is a quick and easy cooking technique that requires a hot pan and a little bit of oil. It's important to use a wok or a large skillet to ensure that the shrimp cook evenly. Start by heating your pan over high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add your shrimp and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until they turn pink and opaque. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp as they can become tough and rubbery.

If you want to add other seafood to your ketchup shrimp stir-fry, you can use scallops, squid, or mussels. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure that they are cooked through.

Cooking the Dish

Shrimp and ketchup in a sizzling wok with Chinese spices

Managing Heat in a Wok

To make the perfect Chinese ketchup shrimp stir-fry, you need to manage the heat in your wok. Start by heating your wok over medium-high heat and then add your vegetable oil. Wait for the oil to heat up before adding your shrimp.

Achieving the Perfect Texture

When cooking shrimp, it's important not to overcook them, or they will become tough and rubbery. To achieve the perfect texture, cook your shrimp for only 2-3 minutes until they turn pink.

Final Touches and Garnishing

Once your shrimp is cooked, add your ketchup, soy sauce, and shaoxing wine. Stir-fry for another minute to allow the flavours to blend together. You can also add a splash of Chinese black vinegar for a tangy taste. Finally, garnish your dish with chopped scallions and serve it with steamed rice.

If you want to add more seafood to your dish, you can use other types of seafood such as scallops, squid, or even lobster. However, make sure to adjust the cooking time according to the size of your seafood.

Remember, the key to making a delicious Chinese ketchup shrimp stir-fry is to manage the heat in your wok, achieve the perfect texture, and add the right amount of seasoning. With these tips, you can easily make this classic Chinese dish in the comfort of your own home.

Serving and Pairing

A plate of shrimp drizzled with ketchup, surrounded by Chinese condiments and chopsticks

Accompaniments

When it comes to serving this Chinese ketchup shrimp recipe, it is best to pair it with steamed rice. The sweetness of the ketchup sauce complements the neutral flavor of the rice, making it a perfect combination. You can also add some Chinese vegetables like bok choy or yu choy to add some greens to your meal.

If you prefer a bit of heat, you can sprinkle some chopped scallions on top of the dish. This will add a bit of freshness and spiciness to the dish.

For those who love seafood, you can also add some crab meat to the stir-fry. This will add a bit of sweetness and texture to the dish.

Presentation Tips

To make this dish look more appealing, you can add some garnish on top of the dish. You can sprinkle some white sesame seeds on top of the shrimp or add some chopped scallions for some color.

When serving this dish, it is best to use a large serving plate. Place the shrimp in the center of the plate and arrange the vegetables around it. This will make the dish look more appetizing and presentable.

To add more flavor to the dish, you can also serve it with a side of Worcestershire sauce. This will complement the sweetness of the ketchup sauce and add a bit of tanginess to the dish.

Overall, this Chinese ketchup shrimp recipe is easy to make and can be served with a variety of accompaniments. Whether you prefer it with steamed rice or some Chinese vegetables, this dish is perfect for a quick and delicious meal.

Variations and Substitutions

A plate of shrimp stir-fried in a savory ketchup-based sauce, surrounded by colorful vegetables and served on a traditional Chinese dish

Alternative Ingredients

While shrimp is the traditional protein used in Chinese ketchup sauce stir fry, there are several other seafood options that can be used as a substitute. Squid, scallops, and crab meat are all great alternatives that can be used in place of shrimp. Squid and scallops have a similar texture to shrimp, while crab meat adds a sweet and delicate flavour to the dish.

If you prefer to use meat instead of seafood, chicken and pork are also viable options. Both meats are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. However, keep in mind that the cooking time for meat will be longer than seafood, so adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

For those who prefer a plant-based diet, there are several substitutions that can be made to create a vegetarian or vegan version of this dish. Instead of using seafood or meat, you can use tofu or seitan. Both tofu and seitan have a similar texture to seafood and meat, respectively.

To make the dish vegan, use a vegan Worcestershire sauce and substitute the light soy sauce with a dark soy sauce. You can also use a vegan ketchup sauce or make your own by combining tomato paste, vinegar, and sugar.

Keep in mind that the sweet and tangy flavour of the ketchup sauce is what makes this dish unique, so be sure to use a sauce that has a similar flavour profile.

Overall, this Chinese ketchup sauce stir fry is a versatile dish that can be adapted to suit your preferences. Whether you choose to use seafood, meat, or tofu, the sweet and tangy flavour of the ketchup sauce will be a delicious addition to any meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's a good Chinese shrimp recipe with a ketchup base?

If you're looking for a delicious Chinese shrimp recipe with a ketchup base, then you're in luck! One of the most popular dishes is Stir-Fried Shrimp with Ketchup Sauce. This dish is easy to make and has a sweet and tangy flavour that everyone will love. You can also add other ingredients like onions, peppers, and garlic to enhance the flavour.

How do you make Cantonese-style shrimp with ketchup?

To make Cantonese-style shrimp with ketchup, you'll need fresh shrimp, ketchup, ginger, sugar, Shao Hsing Rice Wine, garlic, and soy sauce. Start by heating oil in a wok, then add the ginger and garlic. Once they're fragrant, add the shrimp and stir-fry until they turn pink. Then, add the ketchup, sugar, Shao Hsing Rice Wine, and soy sauce. Stir-fry for a few more minutes until the sauce thickens and coats the shrimp. Serve hot with rice.

What's the secret to tenderizing shrimp for Chinese dishes?

The secret to tenderizing shrimp for Chinese dishes is to marinate them in a mixture of cornstarch, egg white, and salt for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This will help to break down the protein in the shrimp and make them more tender. You can also add a bit of baking soda to the marinade to further tenderize the shrimp.

Can you recommend a Chinese shrimp sauce that uses ketchup?

A popular Chinese shrimp sauce that uses ketchup is Sweet and Sour Shrimp Sauce. To make this sauce, you'll need ketchup, sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Simply combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens. Pour the sauce over cooked shrimp and serve hot.

What are some tips for cooking shrimp with oyster sauce and ketchup?

When cooking shrimp with oyster sauce and ketchup, it's important to not overcook the shrimp as they can become tough and rubbery. Also, make sure to use fresh shrimp and remove the shells and veins before cooking. To enhance the flavour, you can add other ingredients like ginger, garlic, and green onions.

How should you properly eat fried shrimp with the shells on?

When eating fried shrimp with the shells on, you should first remove the head and legs. Then, use your fingers to peel off the shell and tail. You can eat the shrimp whole or remove the vein if desired. Dip the shrimp in your favourite sauce and enjoy! If you're not a fan of eating the shells, you can remove them before cooking. Prawns, king prawns, and lobster can also be used in place of shrimp for this recipe.