International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Xihongshi Jiang Xia

Chinese shrimp in tomato sauce

(Chinese stir-fried shrimp in tomato sauce)

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Average: 4.2 (20 votes)

While ketchup may seem a surprising ingredient in Chinese food, it really is used in this dish and produces a very tasty and quite lovely sauce for stir-fried shrimp. Purists may scoff, however, and if you like you can substitute tomato sauce or tomato paste.

4 to 6 servings


  • Shrimp, peeled and deveined -- 1 pound
  • Stock or water -- 1/2 cup
  • Ketchup -- 2 tablespoons
  • Soy sauce -- 1 tablespoon
  • Sugar -- 2 teaspoons
  • Rice wine or dry sherry (optional) -- 2 teaspoons
  • Cornstarch -- 1 tablespoon
  • Salt -- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Peanut or vegetable oil -- 3 tablespoons
  • Scallions, chopped into 1-inch pieces -- 3 or 4
  • Garlic, minced -- 2 or 3 cloves
  • Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped -- 2 or 3


  1. Mix the stock or water, ketchup, sugar, soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, cornstarch and salt together in a bowl. Taste for a balance of sweet, sour and salty and adjust seasoning if needed. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil over high flame in a wok or heavy-bottomed pot. Add the scallions and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Then add the garlic and stir fry until garlic just starts to brown, another 30 seconds or so.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, reduce heat to low and simmer for another 1 or 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp and simmer for another 2 or 3 minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked through.
  4. Give the sauce a big swish to mix in the cornstarch and pour it all at once into the simmering shrimp and tomatoes. Stir well and bring to a slow boil to thicken the sauce. Adjust seasoning and serve.

Shrimp with Tomato Sauce Variations

  • Any firm white fish, squid or scallops may be substituted for the shrimp. Marinate with a little soy sauce, rice wine and a pinch of salt first if you like.
  • To give the shrimp a nice coating that will soak up the sauce, toss it first with a mixture of 1 egg white, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 tablespoon water and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix well and deep fry the shrimp until done. Set aside and add the fried shrimp to the recipe after you have simmered the sauce to thicken it.
  • For a spicier dish, stir in some red pepper flakes or 1 or 2 teaspoons of hot bean paste.


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