Saucy, Shelled, Stir-fried Shrimp

Mom and I couldn’t agree on a name for this dish. The direct Chinese translation (油爆蝦) is Oil Pop Shrimp – which kind of sounds like a pimple gone wrong.

Mom has been making this dish since I can remember and to be honest, I wasn’t always a huge fan of it. Not because it’s not delicious (which it is), but mostly because I’m a lazy eater and to truly enjoy this dish, you gotta work for it.

Saucy Shrimp

In true Chinese fashion, this shrimp dish involves leaving the head and shell on – something I’ve struggled to accept. I’ve debated with mom on the merits of this method many times (did I mention I’m a lazy eater?) and the consensus from the rest of the fam is that this is simply the juicier and more flavorful method. So here goes:


  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 2 tbsp wine
  • 4 tbsp oil for pan-frying
  • Sauce
    • 2 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tsp five-spice powder
    • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • Garnish with chopped green onion


  1. De-vein shrimp, leaving the shell and head on. This is the Chinese way.
  2. Marinate shrimp with wine for 20 minutes
  3. Heat oil, add shrimp and sauce ingredients. Cook until shrimp is cooked through (about 5 minutes)

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