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Spicy Chinese twice fried shrimp 油炸虾仁


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I seldom make deep fried dishes at home, but this was an exception: did it at the request of a friend who was coming over for dinner. Here's a "short and sweet" version of how it went. 


About a pound of jumbo shrimp. (I wanted 6 shrimp per person.) Wash them 洗干净, remove the shells, heads and "digestive vein" 虾线。 Tails optional. Marinate them 腌制 in the fridge about 15 minutes in a little yellow cooking wine 黄酒 after salting them and mixing well with ground red pepper 干辣椒粉 and ground Sichuan pepper (aka "prickly ash") 花椒面。(I used two tablespoons of cooking wine and a half teaspoon each of the dry ingredients.)


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Put about a cup of all purpose flour 全用面 in one dish, two eggs 两鸡蛋 in another, and about a cup of finely crushed bread crumbs 面包糠 in a third one. I salt the flour and bread crumbs.Dry the shrimp and dip them into the flour first, then the eggs, then the bread crumbs. Shake off the surplus. They need to still look somewhat "shrimp-like" at the end of this breading process; not like dumplings or potatoes.  









Heat about an inch of peanut oil 花生油 in a wok 炒锅 until it's hot enough to sizzle the end of your chopstick right away when you dip it in (八成热) -- about 180 C. Put in half the shrimp. Don't crowd the pan. Turn them after a few seconds. When barely golden 金黄 scoop them out. 


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Let the oil return to full temperature, then put the shrimp back in just for another couple seconds, turning once. This "double frying" process makes them very crispy 脆 -- improves their texture 口感。


Scoop them out 捞出来 and put them on a piece of absorbent kitchen towel 厨房纸巾 to catch any extra oil. Cook the remaining shrimp the same way. 


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Serve with a squeeze of lemon and the dipping sauce of your choice. I use one made of half ketchup and half chili sauce. 


Tips -- Things to be cautious about when making this:  

     1. Shake off extra flour and bread crumbs. If not, the coating gets too thick.

     2. Don't crowd the pan. That makes them soggy instead of crisp. Best to fry the shrimp in batches. 

     3. Let the oil get hot enough. If not, they turn out greasy. 

     4. Don't cook them too long. "Just right" doesn't take much time. Shrimp cook fast and they get tough when overcooked.


Frankly, this isn't my favorite way to make shrimp, but I was honoring a request. She said they were her favorite thing in the whole world. Came out 很不错。Smiles all round!


Here's the recipe: (Click the "Reveal hidden contents" button.)



  • 1 pound of large shrimp, cleaned, head removed, de-veined
  • 2 tablespoons cooking wine
  • ½ teaspoon each of coarse salt, ground dried red pepper, ground Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 beaten eggs



  • Clean and de-vein the shrimp, remove the heads, wash them well.
  • Marinate the shrimp in cooking wine, salt, ground red pepper, ground Sichuan peppercorns about 15 minutes in refrigerator.
  • Heat about an inch of oil in a wok until it’s hot but not smoking (about 180 C.)
  • Dry the shrimp with a paper towel then dip them first in the flour, shake off the excess, then in the beaten egg, then in the breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess again.
  • Drop the shrimp carefully into the hot oil. Turn them as soon as you see them beginning to color. Remove them as soon as they become barely golden.
  • Let the oil get back to its original temperature, then drop the shrimp into it again for a second or two on each side.
  • Remove them to a paper towel so as to catch excess oil.
  • Fry the next batch of shrimp in the same way. Work in batches. Do not crowd the pan. 


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looks great, i always think you need a deep fat frier for that but i see a wok is just as good!


going to have a crack


On 7/7/2019 at 4:06 PM, abcdefg said:

Let the oil return to full temperature, then put the shrimp back in just for another couple seconds, turning once. This "double frying" process makes them very crispy 脆 -- improves their texture 口感。




i think this is the main nreason my come out oily and soggy!

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The shape of the wok makes it work surprisingly well for this kind of frying. Requires less oil than a skillet would. 


Professional Chinese chefs who teach this "double frying" technique are better about controlling the oil temperature than I am at home. What they all seem to suggest is that the oil be hot the first time through, but even hotter the second time through. They talk about how the first (slower) pass "cooks the food" and how the second (faster) pass "seals the surface." Might be voodoo. 


Deep frying makes a mess in my kitchen. Clean up is a chore. I don't like doing it very often. But, I've finally learned how to get rid of the oil after using it. Let it cool to room temperature in the wok, then pour it into a thick paper cup and freeze it. Toss it out the next morning in its frozen state with other garbage. 

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