I love shrimp. And I love shell-on shrimp even more!
Seafood is extremely easy to find in Hong Kong as it is surrounded by water. Did you know that there’re actually 260 outlaying islands in Hong Kong? Islands like Cheung Chau, Peng Chau, Lamma Island, and Lantau Island are the most populated amongst them all. There’re tons of fishing villages and historic sites that tourists often miss out on when they visit the Kong. The four major outlaying islands are pretty easy to get to by ferry which you can board from Central on Hong Kong Island. Plus, there are ferries that would take you from island to island. Sometimes I feel like even locals themselves don’t realize just how amazing these outlaying islands are! Going to the islands is always an adventure for people who don’t actually live there. After all, Hong Kong is not always about the hustle and bustle, especially when outdoor adventures are easily accessible within an hour or less. I’m talking about hiking, swimming, surfing, going to the beach, taking boat trips, eating fresh seafood, visiting fishing villages and old temples, etc. I can really go on and on about all the fun outdoorsy stuff in the Kong (as lately I’m doing some homework and begin to think about what kind of day trips I’d like to go on when I head back to Hong Kong NEXT MONTH!)
So, what brings me to this Ketchup Sriracha Shrimp? I think it’s just the fact that it’s another dish that reminds me of my mom’s cooking. Her version, however, does not involve any sriracha or spiciness, just plain simple ketchup shrimp. But when I was putting this recipe together, adding sriracha just makes sense!
And you don’t need a whole lot of sriracha either, 1/2 tablespoon is all you need to highlight the taste.
What else do you need other than ketchup to make this Ketchup Sriracha Shrimp? A tiny bit of rice vinegar, garlic, scallion, salt, and white pepper powder. My mom would often make her ketchup shrimp with whole shrimp, meaning with the heads and all. Fresh seafood, though, isn’t always so easy find and widely available. I totally would have gone with fresh shrimp if it was easier and cheaper to get here! This time, I just settled on some good ol’ frozen shrimp. Can you make this dish with shelled shrimp you may ask? You could… but I don’t recommend it because it just won’t give you the same flavor. Plus, how could you eat a Cantonese shellfish dish without the shells? It’s like eating buffalo wings without bones. You just gotta stick with what’s good here!
Tangy and sweet with a spicy kick. I just can’t get enough of it!
- 1 lb frozen medium shrimp, shell-on and deveined
- 2 stalks of scallion
- 3 tbsp ketchup
- ½ tbsp sriracha
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- ¼ tsp white pepper powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- Thaw frozen shrimp by running it under tap water for 5 minutes, in a colander. Give it a toss half way through to make sure it's getting thawed thoroughly. Then pat dry with paper towels.
- Chop scallion into 2" stalks, discard the white end parts. Then mix sauce ingredients together and set aside.
- Set a frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat, When the pan is hot, add some oil and twirl the pan to spread. Add shrimp to the pan. The shrimp should sizzle when it first come in contact with the pan. Saute the shrimp until it starts to turn pink on both sides. Cook until almost all the grey bits on the shrimp is gone but not totally, then add the sauce and scallion. Let it cook for another 20-30 seconds until the sauce has incorporated and shrimp has turn pink completely. It should take no more than 5 minutes to cook.
- Turn off the heat, plate, and serve hot.