Hot, spicy and moreish — the deliciousness of Szechuan cuisine is celebrated around the world.
Sichuan pepper is the ingredient that defines this wonderfully spicy and flavorsome style of cookery. Garlic, chili and abundant seasoning, as well as the long-standing need for preservation, also dominate dishes made in this style. According to history, the reputation for spiciness is a relatively new feature of food found in the southwestern region of China. Chili peppers were, in fact, only introduced to China some 300 years ago. Here, we give you our prized recipe for Szechuan shrimp.
The History Of Szechuan Cuisine
Stir-frying is the most popular cooking method in this style of cuisine, although dry-braising, frying and braising in sticky hui sauce and soaking in water are also popular methods. The Szechuan region of China is abundant with oxen, so beef dishes in this style are found more often than in any other part of the country. Flavor and pungency are synonymous with Szechuan cuisine. These intense tastes are derived from a melange of ingredients, including chili, garlic, fish sauce, ginger and sesame.
When eating or cooking food inspired by Szechuan culture, the main aspect you’ll notice is the intensity of flavor. This type of cooking doesn’t follow the less is more philosophy. Here you’ll find layers upon layers of pungent ingredients, carefully combined to provide a
McDonald’s has experienced a furor relating to a Szechuan style sauce that they introduced in 1998 as an accompaniment to their chicken nuggets. This passed many Szechuan fans by at the time, however, the animated series Rick and Morty ignited a serious demand for the sauce in 2017. On April fool’s day of that year, they mentioned the dip in passing. Social media prompted McDonald’s to reintroduce the sauce but they grossly underestimated how much the public wanted it.
All About Prawns
It’s believed that people have been enjoying the sweet yet meaty flavor of prawns since pre-historic times. Shrimps are even mentioned in cookbooks from the Ancient Roman empire. The word shrimp comes from the Middle English shrimpe, meaning pygme. In the United Kingdom, a shrimp relates to the smaller species of crustacean while prawn is the word for the larger species. In the United States. all sizes are referred to using the word shrimp.
Recipe And Preparation
1/2 cup of chicken stock
3 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp sherry
2 red bell peppers
500g medium-sized shrimp, shelled
1/2 tsp cornstarch
3 tbsp cooking oil
3 minced cloves garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups long-grain rice
- Combine chicken broth, soy sauce, ketchup, salt, oyster sauce and one tablespoon of the sherry. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat until searing hot. Add the red bell pepper and fry until they start to blacken.
- Boil a medium-sized ban of water and stir in the rice for ten minutes or until it’s nearly done, still with a little bit of bite.
- Toss the shrimp in the rest of the sherry and mix in the cornstarch. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil to the pan that you cooked the peppers in and then cook the prawns for three to four minutes or until they’re nearly done.
- Reduce the heat and add in the charred bell peppers.
- Next, add garlic, ginger, chili flakes and scallions – cook these for three minutes or until soft.
- Turn the heat up to high and add the broth mixture, boil for two minutes until thickened. Add the shrimp and scallions to heat, just one minute and then drizzle sesame oil over the top. Serve immediately.
This piquant dish is a true crowd-pleaser, everyone from the kids to Grandma will love it — as long as you don’t get too excited with the chili.