Szechuan Shrimp

SZECHUAN SHRIMP

1 lb. fresh or frozen shrimp in shells (thaw, if frozen)
3 T. water
2 T. ketchup
1 T. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 T. rice wine, dry sherry, or water
2 t. cornstarch
1 t. honey
1 t. grated fresh ginger or 1/4 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
1 T. peanut oil or cooking oil
1/2 c. sliced green onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. cooked rice noodles or hot cooked rice
2 small red chile pepper, such as Fresno or Thai, sliced (optional)

Peel and devein shrimp; cut in half lengthwise. Rinse; pat dry with paper towels; set aside.

Combine water, ketchup, soy sauce, rice wine, cornstarch, honey, ground ginger (if using) and crushed red pepper; set aside.

Pour oil into large skiller or wok. Heat over medium-high heat. Add green onions, garlic and fresh grated ginger (if using); stir fry for 30 seconds.

Add shrimp; stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are opaque; push to side of skillet or wok. Stir sauce; add to center of wok. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Serve with rice noodles, if desired.

If desired, garnish with sliced red chile peppers.

NOTE: Hot peppers (habaneros and other chiles) contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes. Avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. Wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash them well with soap and water immediately.