Deep-Fried Prawns with Garlic Chile Sauce
This is a popular dish at Beijing's China Club.
1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. shaoxing (Chinese rice wine)
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tsp. sugar
2 cups peanut oil
2 egg whites
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 scallion, trimmed and finely chopped
1. Mix together shrimp, 1 tsp. of the rice wine, and 1/2 tsp. of the salt in a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together stock, ketchup, sugar, the remaining 2 tbsp. rice wine, and the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Heat peanut oil in a wok over medium heat until temperature reaches 300º on a candy thermometer. Meanwhile, whisk egg whites in a medium bowl until frothy, whisk in cornstarch, then add to shrimp mixture, stirring until well combined. Working in 2 batches, add shrimp, one at a time, to hot oil and fry, stirring constantly, until crisp and just cooked through, 1–1 1/2 minutes per batch. Drain shrimp on paper towels.
3. Discard all but 3 tbsp. oil from wok; return wok to medium-high heat. Add garlic, scallions, ginger and peppercorns; stir-fry for 5 seconds. Add stock mixture and stir-fry until liquid thickens, 1-2 minutes. Add shrimp and chile and sesame oils and stir-fry until oil begins to seperate from sauce, about 1 minute.