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Gong Bao Shrimp with Cashews


Main ingredients:

9 oz (250g) peeled raw shrimp, fresh or defrosted

10 dried chiles

5 scallions, white parts only

1 celery stick

1¼ cups (300ml) cooking oil

½ tsp whole Sichuan pepper

2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

An equivalent amount of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

½ cup (75g) fried or roasted cashews

For the marinade:

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp Shaoxing wine

2 tbsp potato starch

1 tbsp egg white

For the sauce:

3 tsp superfine sugar

¼ tsp potato starch

1 tsp Shaoxing wine

1 tsp light soy sauce

2½ tsp Chinese black vinegar



  1. With a sharp knife, make a slit lengthwise down the back of each shrimp, through the thickest part. Place in a bowl, add the marinade ingredients and refrigerate, preferably for a few hours.

  2. Snip the chiles in half or into ¾-inch (2cm) sections and shake out the seeds.

  3. Cut the scallion whites into ½-inch (1cm) slices.

  4. Cut the celery at an angle into diamond shapes.

  5. Combine the sauce ingredients with 1½ tbsp cold water in a small bowl.


  1. Heat the oil in a seasoned wok to 300°F (150°C) (hot enough to produce a notable, though not violent, sizzle around a test shrimp).

  2. Add the shrimp, separating them with long cooking chopsticks or tongs, then add the celery. When the shrimp are half-cooked, remove them and the celery with a slotted spoon and set them aside.

  3. Carefully pour off all but about 3 tbsp of the oil from the wok and return to high heat. Add the chiles and Sichuan pepper and stir-fry briefly until the chiles are fragrant. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallion whites and stir-fry until you can smell them. Tip in the shrimp and celery and stir-fry until just cooked (test a shrimp to make sure).