Spicy Garlic Shrimp

Prep Time
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"This is literally a 10 minute dish. Full of flavor and absolutely delicious. On the side, serve with rice, and a saute of carrots and sugar snap peas (my favorite combination). If you want to make it a 'carb' free dinner; saute some bok choy or spinach with shitaki mushrooms, instead of rice. These shrimp are really scrumptious and super easy."

Original is 3-4 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (231.9 g)
  • Calories 305.7
  • Total Fat - 20.1 g
  • Saturated Fat - 2.9 g
  • Cholesterol - 191.8 mg
  • Sodium - 2198.7 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 8 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 1.1 g
  • Sugars - 1.6 g
  • Protein - 22.5 g
  • Calcium - 109 mg
  • Iron - 0.8 mg
  • Vitamin C - 20.3 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.1 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Shrimp ... A couple of tips for the shrimp. First, if using frozen shrimp; thaw them in a colander (covered with plastic wrap), over a bowl in the refrigerator - and, over night, or all day. You do not want shrimp to set in water as they thaw. And, make sure you take the shrimp out of the refrigerator to take the chill off - you never want to cook with cold seafood.

Step 2

Lay down a couple of paper towels and add the shrimp in a single layer. And top with a couple more paper towels. You want the shrimp to be very dry. Otherwise, when you toss the shrimp in the cornstarch, they will get gummy - which you don't want.

Step 3

Sauce ... Add the oyster sauce, soy, and cilantro to a small bowl; and mix to combine. I usually toss some of the cilantro with the sauce; and keep some for a garnish.

Step 4

Vegetables ... Add the scallions, peppers, ginger, and garlic to a bowl; and, set to the side as well. This dish cooks very quickly; so, you need to have everything ready to go.

Step 5

Note: I used a jalapeno; but, you can really use any pepper you like. The jalapeno is a medium heat pepper - but still has a little kick. You can leave the seeds and ribs in, if you want more heat.

Step 6

Shrimp ... Add the cornstarch, salt and pepper to a large ziploc bag (or a bowl), and mix or shake to combine. Then, add the shrimp, and toss to to coat. Make sure to shake off any excess. Tip - I also love to use those small brown paper lunch bags for something like this. They are inexpensive and disposable too. Perfect to have on hand.

Step 7

Saute ... A wok really works best for this; however, a large saute pan will work just as well. I prefer non-stick; but, it is not necessary. Bring the pan up to high heat and add the oil. Remember to use a mild or neutral oil - it is not the time to use olive oil. Then, add the shrimp; and let them cook on the first side for just a minute; then flip and another minute on the second side. The shrimp do NOT have to be cooked through at this point; they will be going back in with the sauce to finish cooking. Nothing worse then over cooked shrimp. Once the shrimp have a nice crust on each side, remove to a plate as you cook your vegetables.

Step 8

Vegetables ... Reduce the heat to medium, and remove the pan from the heat for just a minute to cool slightly. Return the pan to the heat, and add the vegetables, constantly stirring so they do NOT burn. Just a minute is all they need.

Step 9

Finish ... Add the shrimp back in the pan, along with the sauce; and stir to combine. Cook a couple of minutes until the shrimp curl, turn pink; and the sauce thickens.

Step 10

Serve and ENJOY! ... I prefer to serve this with rice and sauteed sugar snap peas and baby carrots; but, you can use any vegetables you want. And, as I mentioned; if you want to go 'carb free,' saute some bok choy or spinach with shitaki mushrooms instead of the rice. A quick and easy dish to prepare - any night of the week.


No special items needed.

Editorial Notes

The ingredient tips, suggestions, variations, facts, questions and answers below are not edits to the original author's recipe. They are not meant to imply any change would improve the recipe. They're offered for convenience, alternative ideas, and points of interest. If you have any comments about them, please post in the Help & Ideas forum.

  • If using frozen shrimp, make sure to thaw them in a colander (covered with plastic wrap) over a bowl in the refrigerator.
  • For the pepper, you can use any pepper you like. The jalapeno is a medium heat pepper, but you can leave the seeds and ribs in if you want more heat.

  • Substitute shrimp with chicken: Chicken is a great substitution for shrimp because it has a similar texture and is just as versatile. It also has a milder flavor, which can be beneficial if you want to focus more on the spices in this dish.
  • Substitute vegetable oil with olive oil: Olive oil is a healthier alternative to vegetable oil and adds a nice depth of flavor to the dish. It is also a great source of healthy fats and antioxidants, which can help to boost your overall health.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Replace the red pepper with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Omit the oyster sauce and add 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley. Increase the garlic to 6 cloves.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes: Roasted sweet potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to the Spicy Garlic Shrimp. They are sweet and savory, and the perfect way to balance out the heat of the shrimp. Plus, they are an easy side dish that can be prepared in the same amount of time as the shrimp.

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip is the perfect accompaniment to the Spicy Garlic Shrimp. It is creamy and savory, and the perfect way to contrast the heat of the shrimp. Plus, it is an easy appetizer that can be made ahead of time and served with chips or crackers.


Q: What type of oil should I use?

A: Use a neutral oil like vegetable or canola oil. Avoid using olive oil as it has a strong flavor.

Q: How do I know when the oil is hot enough?

A: When the oil is hot enough, it will start to shimmer and ripple. You can also test it by adding a small piece of food - if it sizzles and starts to cook, the oil is ready.

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Fun facts:

The oyster sauce used in this recipe is actually a Chinese condiment made from oyster extract, sugar, salt, and some other ingredients. It was invented in 1888 by Lee Kum Sheung, a Cantonese chef in Guangzhou, China.

The combination of shrimp, garlic, and ginger is a classic Chinese flavor combination that dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). This combination is often used in Chinese stir-fries and has been popularized by celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver.