Deep-Fried Prawns with Garlic Chile Sauce
This dish is served at the elite China Club in Beijing.
Yield: serves 4
- 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 (1/2"-piece) ginger, peeled and minced
- 1⁄4 tsp. Sichuan peppercorns
- 2 Tbsp. chile oil
- 1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
- 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 ½ tsp. salt in a small bowl and set aside.
- 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, 1–1½ minutes per batch. Drain shrimp on paper towels.
- 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.