Tender sautéed shrimp, crunchy vegetables in a slightly sweetened spicy sauce is all you need for a quick healthy meal. This seafood stir fry is so full of flavor and very similar to Szechuan shrimp with its bit of sweetness. You can easily control how much heat you want in this dish.
Why this recipe is just so good....
- This savory, spicy shrimp recipe comes together in less than 30 minutes.
- You can increase the sauce's heat by opening up the chili peppers and letting the seeds simmer in the sauce. Leave the peppers whole for a more savory, less spicy sauce.
- The shrimp provides healthy protein in this recipe. There are 24 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces of cooked shrimp! And by substituting some ingredients in the sauce and serving with cauliflower rice instead of white or brown rice, it is also a low carb, keto friendly meal. If you love shrimp, be sure to try my Shrimp Louie Salad.
- I used frozen, deveined large shrimp that was sold with 26-30 shrimp per pound in the package. I defrosted them overnight in the refrigerator and cut off the tails. Lobster Everywhere is a good bit of information about buying and sizes of shrimp.
- Dried chili peppers are the main ingredient that gives the shrimp and sauce its spicy heat. Left whole the flavor is very mild, but cut a few open and the chili seeds will spice up the sauce. Start with 4 cut open, let the sauce simmer a bit, taste and cut open a few more if you want to increase the heat. Most people don't eat the chili peppers, but they are edible.
- This recipe calls for using ginger and garlic. I took a shortcut and use a paste variety that is stored in the refrigerator. They are delicious and save time.
What is the difference between Hunan Shrimp and Szechuan Shrimp?
This hot and spicy shrimp stir fry recipe is a combination of both Hunan style and Szechuan shrimp. Szechuan shrimp is sweeter and usually has some sugar or honey in the recipe. Hunan shrimp is hotter with the addition of chili peppers or a spicy bean paste called Doubanjiang.
- The secret to tender shrimp is to not overcook them. Watch them carefully when they are placed in the hot pan. Shrimp only take about 2-3 minutes to stir fry. As soon as they turn pink, they are done.
- Stir fry the hardest vegetables such as carrots first and leave the softer ones for last so they don't get mushy.
- Make sure the pan or wok is very hot and don't crowd the shrimp or vegetables. You want them to fry not steam.
Step by Step Directions
- Stir fry the chili peppers in hot oil for 1-2 minutes Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they turn pink. Remove shrimp from pan.
- Add remaining oil and stir fry vegetables until crisp tender.
- Add sauce ingredients and stir with the shrimp and vegetables. Bring sauce to a simmer.
- Serve shrimp and vegetables over white, brown or cauliflower rice.
If you love seafood, here are some other delicious recipes to try:Print
Tender sautéed shrimp and crunchy vegetables in a slightly sweetened spicy sauce is all you need for a quick healthy meal. This dish is so full of flavor and very similar to Szechuan shrimp with its bit of sweetness. You can easily control how much heat you want in this dish.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced *
- 6 - 8 dried chili peppers *
- 2 scallions, chopped
- ¼ cup sweet chili sauce*
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce, low sodium
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 pound cleaned, deveined shrimp (approximately 26-30 per pound)
- 2 cups broccoli, chopped in small florets
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped into medium sized pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil and fry the chili peppers. Cut open a few for spicier dish.
- Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they turn pink. Remove from pan.
- Heat the remaining oil and stir fry the vegetables until they are crisp tender. If you like them a bit softer, cook an additional minute or two.
- Stir in the sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer to thicken slightly. Add back the shrimp and heat through.
- Serve with chopped scallions over brown, white or cauliflower rice.
*I used garlic paste instead of cloves. It is found in the refrigerator section of the grocery stores.
*The dried chilis are not that spicy when kept whole. Slice a few open and it will be spicier as the seeds mix in the sauce.
*For a low carb version of the sweet chili sauce, use regular chili sauce and add a tablespoon of sugar substitute.
Keywords: spicy shrimp, Szechuan shrimp, stir fry