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Szechuan Shrimp and Cauliflower

Happy Chinese New Year!!!
We are celebrating Chinese new year day with probably my first venture into Chinese  cuisine. I decided to go with Szechuan region, which is known for the hot'n'spicy dishes. I had to make my own version of a Szechuan sauce to work with the ingredients that I had in my pantry and to stick to my quicknhealthy standards. I also made another even simpler everyday Chinese dish which is Chinese Okra and Egg Stir Fry, both served with rice. That is for another day and another post :-)

For Szechuan sauce:
  • Rice - 1 Tbs (soaked for a few hours)
  • Red chilly - 4-5
  • Garlic - 3-4 cloves
  • Nama shoyu - 2 Tbs
  • Toasted sesame oil - 2 Tbs 
  • Apple cider vinegar - 1 Tbs 
  • Sea salt - as per taste 
  • Using a mortar and pestle, crush/grind the soaked rice, garlic and red chilly to a paste. You can add a couple of tablespoons of water to aid the process. 
  • Transfer the paste to a small bowl, add the remaining ingredients and whisk well. 
For the main dish: 
  • Wild caught shrimp - about 10 
  • Cauliflower - about a cup (cut into small florets)
  • Fresh ginger - 2 Tbs (chopped fine)
  • Cashew nuts - handful (optional) 
  • Green chilly/scallions - for garnish
  • Sesame oil - 1 Tbs 
  • Heat sesame oil on a pan/wok on medium high heat. Saute the chopped ginger till browned.
  • Add shrimp and a tablespoon of the Szechuan sauce and saute flipping the shrimp halfway thru, till shrimp is no longer pink. This will take only a couple of minutes.
  • Add cauliflower florets and saute on medium heat till they are half cooked, about 4 minutes.
  • Add all the remaining sauce and cook stirring frequently till cauliflower is cooked enough but still crispy. If the sauce is sticking to the pan you can add a couple of tablespoons of boiling water to scrap everything together.  
  • Ideally should be served immediately with rice.
  • Enjoy!!

  • Soaked rice - can be substituted with a tablespoon of rice flour. 
  • Apple cider vinegar can be substituted with rice vinegar or white vinegar. 
  • Nama Shoyu is unpasteurized Soy sauce (Recommended using good organic brand for any soy products - This is the one I use)
  • For a vegetarian option, just omit the Shrimp and double the quantity of cauliflower or use a combination mixed vegetables. 


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