Shrimp with Spicy Garlic Sauce

by Andie Mitchell on October 12, 2010

It may come across as though all I do is sit on my duff and eat cake everyday. This is only three quarters true. I do indeed eat cake everyday…and I am quite fond of sitting…okay so it’s entirely true. But at least some credit must be given to the fact that I make said cake from scratch, therefore cutting significantly into my sitting-while-cake-eating time. I imagine a futuristic utopia where I’ll be able to picture a freshly baked and buttercream-slathered cake in my mind and it will instantly appear. Call me when that happens. You know where to find me.

Until then, I promise balance. Delicious, pure, and wholesome food to offset the decadence of my previous pumpkin spice layer cake festival. As tempting as it was to consider pumpkin cake at least two servings of vegetables, I’ve come to terms with the reality: it only counts as one. And cream cheese frosting…well…that’s in a food class system of its own, next to pound cake and angels and rainbows.

Today I’d like to invite you over for a wildly flavorful, healthy meal that takes all of fifteen minutes to prepare. I’m being generous with the fifteen minute marker, too; the recipe is closer to ten minutes, but I don’t like to feel rushed and neither should you.

The thing about this dish is this: it’s a triumph. I’ve spent years trying to create authentic dishes that truly delight taste buds in the same way as the rich, saucy ones you’d find at your favorite Asian restaurant. The difference being that you’ll dine in the comfort of your own home and not end the meal with upwards of two quarts of peanut oil swirling in your belly, and the tingling of a salt scrub on your tongue. Though I’ll admit that sometimes that’s all you really need in life.

This, my friends, is Shrimp with Spicy Garlic Sauce. Its flavors are deep, caramelized, and roasted, sweet yet hot and zesty from chili sauce and fresh ginger. Sharp and garlicky in all the most delectable, savory ways.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Shrimp with Spicy Garlic Sauce

Smash the garlic cloves by slamming the heel of your hand against the flat side of a knife placed over the garlic. This will make removing the skin much much easier.


Now mince them as finely as possible. Next, grate your peeled ginger using a microplane or the small grates of a hand grater.

Add the garlic and ginger to a small mixing bowl or a glass measuring cup along with all the other sauce ingredients. Whisk to combine.


Now pour this mixture into a small saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a gentle boil. You want the garlic to mellow a bit with cooking.

In a small dish, stir to dissolve a bit of cornstarch with cool water and stir it into the sauce.

Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes and it should thicken. If it’s not glossy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, add another teaspoon of cornstarch dissolved in cool water. In general, the ratio of cornstarch to water is 1:2.

In a large pot fitted with a steamer basket set over simmering water, steam your green beans and shrimp until the beans are tender and the shrimp has turned a light shade of pink.

Pour the hot sauce mixture over the shrimp and beans, stirring to coat.

Garnish with sesame seeds and extra hot chili sauce, if you’re feeling risky.

Shrimp with Spicy Garlic Sauce

(serves 4)

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili sauce (I recommend Sambal Oelek)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 4 teaspoons cold water


  • 1 1/2 pounds uncooked large shrimp
  • 6 cups fresh green beans, trimmed
  • toasted sesame seeds, for garnish


  1. Combine the first seven ingredients (soy sauce through chili sauce) in a small bowl and whisk to combine.  Add this sauce mixture to a small saucepan set over medium heat and bring it to a gentle boil. Let the mixture simmer for 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the dissolved cornstarch and stir, letting the mixture return to a simmer for about a minute, or until it has become glossy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  3. In a large pot fitted with a steamer basket set over simmering water, steam the green beans and shrimp until the beans are tender and the shrimp have turned an opaque shade of pink.
  4. Pour the sauce mixture over the steamed shrimp and green beans and toss to combine. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve!

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

MelissaNibbles October 12, 2010 at 2:22 pm

This looks great! I like how easy it is to prepare. Thanks :)


Faith October 12, 2010 at 4:25 pm

This looks amazing. My hubby was in the mood for shrimp and you’ve inspired me to make him something similar to your recipe! Thanks for sharing:)


lequan@luvtoeat October 12, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Hey Andrea,

I love shrimp and I love shrimp with spicy sauce, so needless to say, I love your dish. This dish has everything: it’s quick and easy, healthy, has great colours, and the sauce definitely is a winner with such striking flavors blended together. It’s like you’ve wrapped everything up in a cute little box and tied bow on it. Great recipe!


Can You Stay for Dinner October 12, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Aww thank you LeQuan!


Paula October 19, 2010 at 11:57 am

I’m gonna make this tonight. Can you please let me know the calories for this dish?


Can You Stay for Dinner October 20, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Hi Paula!

I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to get back to you sooner! The calories in this dish are: 230 calories per serving, and there are 4 servings total. I hope you enjoyed it! Let me know what you think!!


Devaki @ weavethousandflavors October 13, 2010 at 6:48 am

Dear Andrea – I love that you steam the shrimp and beans in this – lock in all those nutrients and not load up on fat with the stir frying. The sauce is delish and the presentation is astoundingly beautiful!

Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors


Can You Stay for Dinner October 13, 2010 at 7:21 am

Thank you Devaki!! I hope you’re doing well!!


Cindy October 13, 2010 at 7:47 am

Ohhh lookie what we are having next week! I love fast and easy. I also love to really cook a good meal but on weeknights it’s a gamble with the little one. so I love to sneak in easy dishes all over the place.
could you teach us how to make udon noodle soup?????

I need a how to on that one!

luv ya!!!!


Can You Stay for Dinner October 13, 2010 at 7:50 am

Hey doll! I will have to put on my thinking cap and come up with an udon noodle soup! Daniel would love it! Hope your week is going great!! xo


Krista October 13, 2010 at 8:29 am

This is a perfect weeknight meal, Andrea!!! Loving this post.


Can You Stay for Dinner October 13, 2010 at 8:31 am

Thank you Krista!!


Balanced Healthy Life October 13, 2010 at 10:41 am

This dinner looks awesome! I love extra spicy foods!


Can You Stay for Dinner October 13, 2010 at 10:45 am

Thank you!!


Healthy Coconut October 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I’m loving this simple recipe. I just made sesame peanut noodle dish with shrimp too and I can eat this dish mix with my leftover pasta :)

I don’t have cornstarch, but I do have arrowroot, I think they are a substitute for each other so hopefully the dish will come out the same.


Can You Stay for Dinner October 13, 2010 at 12:09 pm

I bet arrowroot would work just fine! Thanks!


liane October 14, 2010 at 11:46 am

I loved this recipe!
I am obsessed with anything hot and spicy and I had all the ingredients on hand at home, so I made it for dinner last night.
I added more veggies to the mix (broccoli, white onion, red pepper) and served it over quinoa. It was so good and super easy to prepare.

I’m anxiously waiting for an acceptable lunch time for me to devour my leftovers! Seriously, I’ve been clock watching since 9AM.


Cathrine Schmith October 17, 2010 at 3:33 am

great blog! thanks!


明明如月 October 21, 2010 at 1:59 pm

by just looking at the entry I would guess you are a chinese:)


Can You Stay for Dinner October 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Hi! No, I’m not Chinese, just a huge lover of all Asian cuisine!! I actually do look Asian too, which is interesting because I’m Irish/Italian! I’m flattered!


Carbzilla October 23, 2010 at 10:33 am

Popping over from Liane’s blog with a long overdue “Welcome to Seattle!” This looks delicious. Can’t wait to make it and catch up on your blog.


Can You Stay for Dinner October 23, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Hi! Thank you very much for the welcome, and for the kind comment! You’re in Seattle??


Stephanie @ Stephanie Cooks February 19, 2011 at 6:46 pm

I just stumbled upon this recipe while looking for something to do with shrimp for dinner tomorrow. LOVE it. Your blog looks great- I am about to go dig through it. Can’t wait for dinner tomorrow.


Can You Stay for Dinner February 19, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Thanks so much Stephanie!!


Abby March 5, 2011 at 9:06 pm

I found you through Stephanie Cooks! This looks wonderful! Love your pictures!


Can You Stay for Dinner March 5, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Thanks Abby!


Jinal May 22, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Since I am a vegeterian i will substitute tofu instead of shrimp.. N I will make shrimp one for my fiance. I can’t wait to try this recipe…thank you dear for such a wonderful recipes… I feel like cooking all day now… :D. You have inspired me to cook…. :)… I am really happy im learning this wonderful recipes from you…


April February 13, 2012 at 8:11 pm

I know this is an older post but I had it pinned on Pinterst. We made it tonight and it was sooooo good. I love shrimp, it’s one of my favorite foods and the spicy garlic sauce is killer!

Thanks for posting


Kim April 12, 2012 at 7:16 pm

I just made this tonight – AND IT WAS SO DELICIOUS!!! I honestly could not believe I had made it in my own kitchen. It was way better than any takeout I had originally planned on ordering. Thanks for the recipe!


Stephanie April 28, 2012 at 4:45 am

Made this dish and it was DELICIOUS!!! I left out the ginger because I didn’t have any and I also used sweet chili sauce. I sauteed mushrooms, onions, green bell pepper and snap peas to add to the shrimp and sauce. This will definitely be made again! :)


Juliet May 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Love the recipe! But I am a nervous nelly about overcooking the shrimp… so next time I think I would start steaming the green beans first for about 3-5 minutes first, then top with shrimp to steam all together.


Juliet May 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Nevermind! Everything was perfectly tender… next time I’ll have to make more sauce for the hubby though… why can’t the men just enjoy the healthy food and eat it all! Thanks again Andy!


Karen June 25, 2012 at 8:47 am

I cant wait to make this :). Maybe i’ll do this instead of Shrimp Scampi this week. mmmmmm


Tahirih Gutelius July 11, 2012 at 2:09 pm

What a great recipe. I just made it for dinner and it definitly lived up to all of the hype. It was fast, easy and delicious. Yum!


Steph=> June 13, 2015 at 6:30 pm

Thank you so much, ah-mazing!


Leave a Comment

{ 13 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: