Alia is my mom and this is her recipe :)
My mom's been making this recipe in chicken form since I was born. It was always the number 1 most requested dish for parties and BBQs, and my personal request for all holiday meals. Imagine crispy fried slices of chicken breast smothered in sticky, sweet, spicy, garlicky sauce. It was like crack. She'd make double batches so that I could have leftovers the next day, and I would always eat the leftover chicken cold- directly out of the tupperware because it was so good I wasn't willing to wait the 1.5 minutes it would take to heat up in the microwave.
Well, in the summer of 2012, Sterling came to visit me at my parent's house in Chicago. My mom, the ultimate number 1 most gracious host and human on earth, knew that Sterling's favorite food was shrimp (in almost any form), and so, for the first time in 20 something years, made a shrimp version of her famous chicken. The game was changed forever.
I've gone back and forth on whether I wanted to share this recipe. Part of me is like- this is my claim to fame... I get to say shit like "my mom makes the best shrimp you've ever had" and be right. Do I really want to give up those bragging rights? But, after much deliberation, I decided it's my responsibility as a good friend to share this with you. And ultimately, none of us can really make this as good as my mom, so might as well spread the love.
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 15 min
Adapted from my mom's recipe
• 1 lb frozen raw shrimp (shelled, deveined, and thawed)
• 1.5 cups cornstarch, plus 1 half tbsp
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 1/4 cup sesame oil
• 1/2 cup soy sauce
• 3 tbsp light brown sugar or coconut sugar
• 1 heaping tsp green onion, plus more for garnish, thinly sliced on the bias
• 1 tbsp sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
• 1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
• 1.5 tbsp garlic, minced
• 1.5-2 cups vegetable oil, or enough to fill a pot 2-3 inches deep
• 1 tsp coconut oil or sesame oil
• Salt and pepper
• In a large pot or wok, heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees.
• While oil is eating, take cleaned shrimp and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper.
• Add beaten eggs to a large mixing bowl and season with pepper. Add cornstarch to a separate large mixing bowl. Toss shrimp first in eggs, then in cornstarch until thoroughly coat. Add more cornstarch if necessary, until shrimps are all evenly and thickly coated.
• Once the oil has reached 350 degrees, slowly add shrimp 1 by 1, and let fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook no more than 10 shrimp at a time (overcrowding will reduce the temperature of the oil).
• Once shrimp are golden brown and crispy, remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on a lined plate. Repeat until all shrimp are fried.
• Combine sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, green onion, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes.
• While shrimp is cooking, heat tsp of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and golden. Add sauce mixture and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently.
• Combine half tbsp cornstarch with 1 tbsp of water. Stir into the sauce and let simmer until sauce thickens. Stir frequently, careful not to let burn. Reduce heat as necessary.
Note: sauce is done when you can run a wooden spoon down the pan and draw a quick line through the liquid
• Turn off heat, add shrimp, and stir to coat. Garnish with more sesame seeds and green onions and serve immediately.
Goes GREAT with garlicky mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts... just sayin.
Hi! I'm Shantal.