One of my co-workers is an avid vegetable gardener. We were talking about his yard in the suburbs and he mentioned that he was waiting to harvest his chilis. A few months later, he gave me a bag of his produce, dried and ready to be cooked. It was a beautiful bounty and I was grateful for the gift. Only a Chinese dish would inspire this much chili, specifically from the Sichuan province, which could be hot, sour, salty and tongue-numbing at the same time. I used the small, round pellets shown in the photo below.
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and butterflied
2 tbsps shao hsing sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp peanut oil
1/2 tsp hot chili oil
1/2 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp MSG
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 green bell peppers, julienned
1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned
1 small turnip, peeled and julienned
a handful of snow peas, destringed and torn in half
2 stalks of scallions, cut lengthwise
3 cloves of garlic, minced
a knob of ginger, minced
1. Sprinkle shrimp with some salt and let stand for 30 minutes. Then wash the shrimps with cold water, drain and add sprinkle a little bit more salt. Let stand for another five minutes. Wash the shrimps with cold water again and drain well but do not dry.
2. Prepare and mix together all the spices and oils in a glass bowl to make a sauce. Set aside.
3. In a hot wok, heat two cups of peanut oil. Immerse shrimps into the hot oil and cook until white, about 60 seconds. Remove using a slotted spoon. Drain all but 2 tbsps of the oil and stir fry the ginger, garlic, scallions and chilis. Add the red and green peppers, carrots, snow peas and turnips and cook until soft. Add the shrimps and the sauce and toss.