Dinner Tonight: Spicy Sweet-and-Sour Shrimp
Sweet-and-sour sauces always remind me of my first experiences of eating out. When I was a child, a meal in a Chinese restaurant was the height of sophistication. My love of sweet and sour has always remained. I've adjusted it, but the basic flavour combination prevails. This version is my quickest and easiest.
Preparation Time: Less than 10 minutes
Cooking Time: Less than 10 minutes
Ingredients for 4 servings
For the stir-fry
2 tbsp sunflower oil (or other flavourless oil)
1 red chile, chopped finely
3 garlic cloves chopped finely
A thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
550 g/1.2 lb shrimp (prawns), raw, but peeled, deveined and cleaned
1 bok choy (or 2 baby bok choy)
4 spring onions (scallions) chopped to about 1 cm-/0.5-in pieces
Some fresh coriander (cilantro) roughly chopped to dress
For the sauce
4 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp Chinese rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp Shaoxing rice wine (optional)
Tips and Variations
- This meal works great with chicken or pork too. The cooking time will be longer though.
- Mix up your vegetables for variation. I often add some bean sprouts, pineapple chunks (a bit retro, but I love it!) and sweetcorn. Some other, longer cooking vegetables that work well are carrots and red peppers--I like to cut them into matchsticks.
- Once you get to know this recipe it is nice to play around with the sauce. By adjusting the ratios of the ingredients you can make it tangier, sweeter, saltier, whatever your taste or your mood.
- I cannot stress enough, how important it is to get your oil and your pan hot. So many people seem to be afraid of the hot oil, but you really need it for this recipe to work. If you don’t get your oil hot, the meal will get watery and the sauce will not reduce.