Hunan Shrimp is a hot and spicy Chinese-style preparation where juicy shrimp are coated in a hot and spicy sauce. Make it using my easy recipe.
About Hunan Shrimp
Hunan Shrimp is a fiery spicy Asian dish, where crisp pan-fried shrimps are tossed with veggies and a spicy sauce. This dish is popularly made in the Hunan province of China and is now popular worldwide too.
Just like Hunan Chicken or Hunan Beef, these one-pot low-carb Hunan-style shrimp are also very easy to make, bursting with flavors, and much better than your favorite Asian takeout.
Just a few simple ingredients and you can serve this dish from pan to table in under 20 minutes.
Serve these spicy shrimp for your weeknight dinner or weekend brunch with a side of fried rice, steamed rice, or Hakka or stir-fried noodles. It is also a great starter to make for house parties or game or movie nights.
Double or triple the recipe for a bigger crowd.
Shrimp (Prawns) – You can make this Hunan style shrimp using fresh shrimp or frozen shrimp. Use any size of shrimp to make this dish, small shrimp, medium shrimp, large shrimp, or jumbo shrimp, all work great.
If using frozen shrimp, then thaw them before use.
Make sure to clean and devein the shrimp if they are already not deveined.
Vegetables – I have used celery, red bell peppers, and broccoli. You can add more veggies such as bok choy, zucchini, mushrooms, snow peas, green beans, yellow bell peppers, etc.
I like to garnish the ready dish with green onions (scallions) for a pop of color.
Garlic gives a lovely flavor to these Hunan-style shrimp, do not skip it.
Oil – I prefer to make the stir-fry in vegetable oil, but you can use any other neutral oil like avocado oil, peanut oil, light olive oil, or canola oil.
If you are ok with sesame oil, then use it for a very authentic Asian flavor.
You can also use hot chili oil in place of regular oil if you like spicy food.
Chilli Paste – Traditionally, fermented chili paste is used to make this dish but I use my homemade red chili paste and it works perfectly fine. Sambal Oelek is also a great option.
Rice Vinegar – I love the tangy taste rice vinegar adds to this dish. You can replace it with Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine).
If both are not available, then use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar.
Sauce – Dark soy sauce and oyster sauce are the only two sauces that are used in this spicy Hunan shrimp recipe.
Honey – Adds a little hint of sweetness and also mellow down the spiciness of the dish.
Others- You will also need fresh ginger, chicken broth (chicken stock), cornstarch, salt, and pepper.
How To Make Hunan Shrimp
Fry The Shrimp
Transfer 1 pound (500 g) of cleaned and deveined raw shrimp to a medium mixing bowl. Pat them dry using a paper towel.
Add 2 tablespoon cornstarch and toss well to coat each shrimp with cornstarch.
Heat a flat wide pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add 2 tablespoon vegetable oil to it
Add the shrimp to the pan and spread them in a single layer. We want the shrimp to fry instead of steam, hence it is very important to use a wide pan.
I used a 12-inch pan for 1 pound of shrimp. If you are scaling the recipe, then fry it in batches.
Stir the shrimp a few times while cooking and fry until nicely browned from both sides (4-5 minutes). Remove on a plate.
Do not overcook the shrimp otherwise, they will become chewy.
Make The Hunan Sauce
Add 2 tablespoon vegetable oil to the same pan and heat over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot and shimmery, add 2 teaspoon minced garlic and saute it for 3-4 seconds.
Add 1 cup broccoli florets, ½ cup thinly sliced celery, and 1 red bell pepper (cored, seeded, and cut into ½ inch cubes) and saute for 15-20 seconds.
Add the fried shrimp back to the pan and mix well.
Stir together 2 tablespoon cornstarch with ½ cup chicken broth and add the slurry to the pan.
- 2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
to the pan and mix well.
Note – Be very careful about the extra salt. The sauces already have a lot of salt in them so add a little, taste, and add more if required.
Add 2 teaspoon red chili paste and mix well again.
Garnish with scallions and serve hot. You can also sprinkle a few toasted sesame seeds on top before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
On a scale of 1-5, I would rate my Hunan-style shrimp recipe a 3. If you are used to eating spicy food, these should be perfectly fine for you. But if you are not, then skip adding the red chili paste at the end of the cooking.
Hunan shrimp are fiery hot and spicy while Szechuan shrimp is a little sweet and the sweetness balances the spiciness. If you are a fan of spicy food, then I would recommend you go for Hunan-style shrimp and if you like mild spices, then Szechuan shrimp is your jam!
To devein shrimp, make a shallow cut on the back of the shrimp with a sharp paring knife. Then, use the tip of the knife to gently remove the vein, taking care not to cut too deeply. Rinse the shrimp under running water to remove any remaining bits of the vein.
All the ingredients except soy sauce and oyster sauce are gluten-free in this recipe. You can replace soy sauce with Tamari or coconut aminos and use a gluten-free oyster sauce to make a gluten-free of this Hunan-style shrimp.
I love to serve these hot Hunan shrimp with stir-fried rice or noodles such as Chicken Fried Rice, Vegetable Fried Rice, Easy Mushroom Fried Rice, Chili Garlic Noodles, or Hakka Noodles.
You can serve it with simple steamed white rice, brown rice, or even jasmine rice.
Stir-fried vegetables like bamboo shoots, crispy green beans, roasted broccoli, or fresh snow peas are great sides to serve along for a healthy family meal.
Serve Hunan shrimp right out of the pan – hot and crispy. I will not recommend you to make this in advance, as shrimp do not reheat well and also becomes chewy if overcooked.
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Hunan Shrimp Recipe (Hot & Spicy Chinese Shrimp)
- 1 pound shrimp (500 gram, cleaned and deveined)
- ¼ cup cornstarch (divided)
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- ½ cup thinly sliced celery
- 1 red bell pepper (cored, seeded and cut into ½ inch cubes)
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free)
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce (use gluten-free oyster sauce for gluten-free version)
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
- 2 teaspoons red chili paste
Fry The Shrimp
- Transfer cleaned and deveined shrimp to a medium mixing bowl. Pat them dry using a kitchen towel.
- Add 2 tablespoon cornstarch and toss well to coat each shrimp with cornstarch.
- Heat a flat wide pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to it.
- Add the shrimp to the pan and spread them in a single layer. We want the shrimp to fry instead of steam, hence it is very important to use a wide pan. I used a 12 inch pan for 1 pound of shrimp. If you are scaling the recipe, then fry in batches.
- Stir the shrimp a few times while cooking and fry until nicely browned from both sides (4-5 minutes). Remove on a plate.
- Do not overcook the shrimp otherwise, they will become chewy.
Make The Sauce
- Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the same pan and heat over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is hot and shimmery, add garlic and saute it for 3-4 seconds.
- Add broccoli florets, celery, and red bell peppers and saute for 15-20 seconds.
- Add the fried shrimp back to the pan and mix well.
- Stir together 2 tablespoons cornstarch with chicken broth and add the slurry to the pan.
- Add dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper, and mix well.
- Note – Be very careful about the extra salt. The sauces already have a lot of salt in them so add a little, taste, and add more if required.
- Add red chilli paste and mix well again.
- Garnish the Hunan shrimp with scallions and serve hot.