Sichuan Shrimp – Spicy, Salty, Sweet and Sour

This is a very good dish and easy to prepare. As with all Chinese food, it is critical that you have “mis en place”. Everything in it’s place before you begin.

I can sit a read a Fuchsia Dunlop cookbook like a mystery novel. I think she is an amazing Asian chef. I often find inspiration for dishes and use bits and pieces from her recipes to inspire and cobble together my own. I particularly enjoy “Every Grain of Rice” and “Revolutionary Cooking” 
I guess this should be called Sichuan Shrimp ala Fuchsia Dunlop!
2 whole Star Anise
3 cloves Garlic, sliced
1 inch piece of Ginger Root, minced. 
6 dried Tien Tsin Chilis, or to taste
3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 Tbsp Hot Bean Sauce
1 Tbsp Shaoxing Wine
1 Tbsp Fermented Sweet Black Vinegar
2 tsp Sesame Oil
1-2 tsp Sugar
1/4 tsp ground/crushed Szechuan Peppercorns 
1/8 tsp Black Pepper
3/4 lb Shrimp, shelled and deveined. Retain the shells. 
1 medium Red Pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces 
1 medium Onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces. 
Prepare the shrimp, the sauce mixture and the vegetables. 
Heat the oil in your wok until almost smoking. Add the two star anise and cook until fragrant. Add the shrimp shells and continue cooking for 1 minute. Remove both from the oil and add the garlic, ginger and dried chilies and cook until just starting to color. 
Add the shrimp and cook until they begin to curl. Add the sauce and continue cooking until the shrimp are curled and pink. Remove from the wok and serve with rice. 
Note: You can easily make this vegan/vegetarian by substituting firm tofu for the shrimp. Just cube the tofu and add a bit of the hot bean paste and allow it to marinade.

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