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SZECHUAN SHRIMP
The key to preparing this dish is to make sure you have all your ingredients ready (your mis en place).
Recipe By: Chef David Rosengarten
In Chef Rosengarten's words: "The collision of garlic, chili, ginger, scallion and shrimp in this great recipes makes one of my favorite composite flavors in the whole Chinese repertory. It's all robed in a delicious reddish sauce that relies on a Chinese product called chili paste with garlic, which is easy to find in any Chinese market; I particularly like the brand called Lee Kum Kee. Another essential element couldn't be less exotic: The chili sauce for this recipe is, believe it or not, Heinz, the stuff in the supermarket that's almost like ketchup. The name "ketchup" actually is derived from an old South Chinese name for a popular condiment, and in this century Chinese chefs have avidly taken to the Western-style tomato preparation that borrowed its name."
Yield: 4 servings as part of a Chinese dinner
Heat Scale = Medium-Hot
1 pound fresh raw medium shrimp -- peeled and deveined
4 teaspoons kosher salt
SAUCE:
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons Heinz chili sauce
2 teaspoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon chili paste with garlic
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar

4 cups peanut oil
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh gingerroot
3 tablespoons fincely minced garlic
1/2 cup minced scallions (4-5, white and green)
3 dried hot red chiles (or to taste) -- coarsely cut
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Peel, devein and butterfly the shrimp and place into a bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt and allow to stand for 1/2 hour.
During this time, prepare the sauce: mix together the hoisin sauce, chili sauce, dry sherry, soy sauce, fish sauce, chile paste, sesame oil, hot chili oil and sugar; set aside.
When you are ready to cook, bring the peanut oil to 375 degrees in a wok. Thoroughly wash the salt off the shrimp with running cold water. Add another teaspoon of salt to the shrimp, mix, let stand for 30 seconds, and wash off the salt. Repeat this procedure twice more. The final time, drain well but do not dry--let some water cling to the shrimp (yes, it's going to splatter!).
Using a metal or mesh "spider", carefully immerse 1/2 of the shrimp into the hot oil and cook until just past translucent (20 seconds or so). Remove the shrimp to paper towels. Add the remaining shrimp. The oil will not be as hot, so this portion of shrimp may need 30 seconds to finish cooking. Remove them to paper towels. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the wok.
Over high heat, stir-fry the ginger, garlic, scallions and dried chiles for 1 minute. Add the reserved shrimp and toss well to blend. Add the reserved sauce and stir to coat the shrimp. Turn the dish out onto a platter, garnish with cilantro leaves, if desired, and serve immediately.

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Copyright 2001 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved