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Sweet & Sour Shrimp | 咕嚕蝦

Updated: Mar 5, 2023

There are lots of variations for this iconic dish. I am not saying that this is the traditional authentic sweet & sour dish, but this is pretty much at its core. What did I mean by that? This is how it is supposed to be: no added fruits like pineapples or bell peppers, and the sauce does taste the essence of sweet + sour, for example.

The reason I used shrimp instead of chicken is my own preference. I think that shrimp tastes better with the sauce instead of chicken. You can of cos use chicken (breast or thigh) if desired. Besides, shrimps kinda rhymes right? I mean, SSS...

Back to the pineapple topic; very much like pizza, if you add pineapples and bell peppers to your sweet and sour dish, please call it pineapple chicken or shrimp.

I also included a secret ingredient in the sauce. Well, not that secret now. Tomato puree not only adds that glossy red shine but also adds an extra layer of oomph factor to the sauce.

The reason why I only drizzle the sauce over the shrimp when about to serve is to keep the shrimp crispy. Or you can use that sweet and sour as a dipping sauce. I'm not judging.



(Serve 8)

  • Shrimps:

  • Shrimp, 600g

  • Baking Soda, 1 TBSP

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • Black Pepper, Pinch

  • Mushroom Powder, Pinch

  • ShaoXing / HuaTiao / Sherry Wine, 2 TBSP

  • Egg White, 1

  • Sauce:

  • Water, 1L

  • Orange Sliced, 1

  • Lemon Sliced, 1

  • Ginger Coarsely Sliced, 1"

  • Granulated Sugar, 50g

  • Ketchup, 50g

  • Apple Cider Vinegar, 50g

  • Tomato Puree, 2 TBSP

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • Slurry, 1 TBSP Cornstarch + 1 TBSP Water

  • Batter:

  • Egg, 1

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • Black Pepper, Pinch

  • Garlic Powder, Pinch

  • Mushroom Powder, Pinch

  • Corn Starch, 30g

  • Unbleached All Purpose Flour, 125g + 30g

  • Sesame Oil, 45g

  • Baking Powder, 15g

  • Dish:

  • Grapeseed / Sunflower / Canola / Peanut Oil, For Frying

  • Green Onions Coarsely Sliced, A Handful



  • Dutch Oven

  • Hand / Sand Mixer

  • Sauce Pot



  1. Prepare the shrimp.

  2. Shell and devein the shrimps.

  3. *Reserve the shells.*

  4. Wash thoroughly and transfer the shrimp into a large bowl.

  5. Coat the shrimp well with baking soda.

  6. Add just enuff water to submerge, followed by some ice cubes.

  7. Set aside for at least 30 mins.

  8. Drain and rinse the shrimps thoroughly under running water.

  9. Place shrimp into a small bowl along with the rest of the ingredients.

  10. Mix and coat the shrimp well with the marinade.

  11. Cover with cling film and marinade in the fridge overnight.

  12. Wash the shells thoroughly and transfer them to a sauce pot over medium heat.

  13. Add just enuff water to submerge.

  14. Bring it up to a simmer.

  15. Cook until it has reduced by half.

  16. Drain and discard the shells.

  17. Weigh the shrimp stock and you should have 250g.

  18. Set it aside until ready to use.

  19. *If you have less, add some water. If you have more, you can freeze the stock for future recipes.*

  20. Prepare the sauce.

  21. Next day, transfer water, orange, lemon and ginger slices into a sauce pot over medium heat.

  22. Bring it up to a simmer and cook for 15 mins.

  23. After 15 mins, cover and steep for another 8 to 10 mins.

  24. Pass the mixture thru' a sieve over a large bowl.

  25. With the back of a ladle or spatula, squeeze out as much juice as humanly can.

  26. Discard the residue.

  27. Weigh the mixture. We're gonna need just 200g.

  28. *You can store the remaining mixture in a sterilized jar with 2 tea bags. Keep it chilled in the fridge overnight. It's actually a pretty good tea.*

  29. Transfer the 200g of that water mixture to a sauce pot.

  30. Add in the sugar, ketchup, vinegar and tomato puree.

  31. Turn the heat up to medium and stir to combine well.

  32. Bring it up to a simmer.

  33. Add some salt, taste and adjust for seasoning.

  34. *If it is too tangy, add more sugar. If it is too sweet, add more vinegar.*

  35. Add in the slurry (combine corn starch and water until smooth) and mix until well combined and thickened.

  36. Transfer to a bowl and set aside until ready to use.

  37. Prepare the batter.

  38. In a large bowl, whip together, egg, salt, pepper, garlic, mushroom powder, corn starch and that 250g of shrimp stock with a hand or stand mixer.

  39. Add in 125 of flour and continue whipping until smooth.

  40. Followed by another 30g of flour until fully corporated.

  41. Add in oil and baking powder.

  42. Give it a final whip and you should have a smooth batter.

  43. Transfer the marinated shrimp to the batter.

  44. Mix to combine well.

  45. Frying the shrimp and finishing the dish.

  46. Add oil into a dutch oven, about 3 inches in depth, over medium heat.

  47. *To check if the temperature of the oil is ready, place a wooden chopstick into the oil.

  48. If bubbles start to form, the temperature is ready for frying.*

  49. Gently drop the shrimp into the oil away from you.

  50. *I like to drizzle some of the batter over the shrimp to add extra crispiness.*

  51. Deep fried until lightly golden brown on both sides.

  52. Remove from heat and drain off excess oil on a wire cooling rack or on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

  53. Set aside for 5 mins.

  54. Turn the heat up to medium-high and deep fried the shrimps for the 2nd time.

  55. Deep fried until golden brown.

  56. Remove from heat and drain off excess oil on a wire cooling rack or on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

  57. When about to serve, transfer the shrimp onto serving plates and drizzle that sweet and sour sauce over the shrimp.

  58. *You can also use the sweet and sour as a dipping sauce.*

  59. Garnish with some green onions.

  60. Serve immediately.

Spot any difference? One is deep fried once and the other is twice fried...

Just the way I love my sweet and sour...

Cwispy, bouncy, tender, juicy and shrimplicious...


Recipe Video:

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