Shrimp in Black Bean Sauce

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Preparation info

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Appears in

Homestyle Chinese Cooking

Homestyle Chinese Cooking

By Yan-Kit So

Published 1997

  • About

In preparing this dish, the goal is to make the texture of the shrimp crisp. Thus, both ginger and alcohol are to be avoided.


  • 1 pound medium-sized fresh or frozen raw shrimp in the shell, shelled and deveined
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large green pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh red chiles, seeded and cut into small rounds (optional)
  • 3 scallions, cut into 1-inch sections, white and green parts separated
  • 2 tablespoons preserved black beans, mashed with 1-2 teaspoons water and ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons water or chicken stock


  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon egg white


  • Marinate the shrimp. Pat the shrimp dry, then add the salt, cornstarch, and egg white and stir in the same direction to coat. Leave to stand, covered, in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. (It can also be left overnight.) This process gives the shrimp the crisp texture looked for when cooked.
  • Heat the wok over a medium heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl it around. Add the green pepper and stir for about 2 minutes. Remove to a dish and keep nearby. Wipe dry the wok.
  • Reheat over a high heat until smoke rises. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and swirl it around several times. Add the garlic, let sizzle, then the chiles and white scallions and stir a few times. Add the mashed black beans, stirring to mix. Add the shrimp and, going to the bottom of the wok with the scoop or a metal spatula, turn and toss for 30-60 seconds, or until the shrimp are partially cooked, becoming pinkish. Lower the heat, pour in the well-stirred dissolved cornstarch, stirring as it thickens. Return the green pepper to the wok and add the green scallions, continuing to stir to mix. The shrimp should be fully cooked to a turn by now. Remove to a serving plate and serve immediately.

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