Chinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce

As the summer heat rises, this quick, crazy easy, and fabulous recipe, Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, will get you in and out of the kitchen quickly! Most people are familiar with boiled shrimp (with cocktail sauce or maybe in a low country boil), but in Asian cooking, the shrimp is cooked very quickly, with the flavor delivery coming from the ginger scallion dipping sauce.

This is my version of this common dish. Most of the variation from region to region comes with the sauce, so feel free to change it to suit your own taste!

Bill and I recently came back from a long stay in Shanghai, and I’ve learned a thing or two from my aunt. She used to make all of our clothes and shoes when I was young, and she is also a great cook.

But now that she is older and retired, her cooking has definitely become simpler. We enjoyed a few meals at her house during this trip, and this poached shrimp dish is her specialty.

Chinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.comChinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.com

Choosing Shrimp for This Dish

Every time my aunt made it, she would buy fresh live shrimp from the market. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on fresh, never-frozen shrimp, definitely go for it!

Since we don’t have easy access to live shrimp here in the States, the next best thing is a high quality frozen shrimp from your local supermarket. And here comes the really tough decision: heads on or heads off?

I do generally insist on using the heads-on shrimp for a lot of classic dishes like our Shanghai Shrimp Stir Fry and Salt and Pepper Shrimp, because the heads help to keep the shrimp moist during the cooking process. For this recipe, though, the trimmed shrimp will do just fine. So now you have no excuse to not make this dish!  

Chinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.comChinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.com

Recipe Instructions

Chinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.comChinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.com

Prepare the dipping sauce first. Mix the minced ginger and minced scallion in a small heat-proof bowl.

Chinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.comChinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.com

Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil until it just starts to smoke, and pour it over the ginger and scallion to flash fry the mixture.

Chinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.comChinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.com

Now, add the light soy sauce, water, sugar and Chinese black vinegar. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. That’s the sauce!

Chinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.comChinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.com

Next, trim, de-vein, and clean the shrimp as shown in the step-by-step photos. A good pair of kitchen shears will come in handy for this task!

Shanghai Shrimp Stir-fry, by thewoksoflife.comShanghai Shrimp Stir-fry, by thewoksoflife.com

Shanghai Shrimp Stir-fry, by thewoksoflife.comShanghai Shrimp Stir-fry, by thewoksoflife.com

Shanghai Shrimp Stir-fry, by thewoksoflife.comShanghai Shrimp Stir-fry, by thewoksoflife.com

Rinse, drain and set aside.

Chinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.comChinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.com

In a medium pot, add 5 cups of water, 3 slices of ginger, the 2 whole scallions, 1½ tablespoons salt, and 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Chinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.comChinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.com

Add the shrimp and stir slowly. The shrimp will cook very fast, and they’re done once they’ve turned completely pink.

Chinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.comChinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.com

It should only take a minute. Scoop the shrimp out of the pot immediately to avoid overcooking.

Chinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.comChinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.com

Plate and serve with the dipping sauce!

Chinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.comChinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.com

By the way, these shrimp are delicious fresh, at room temperature, and chilled, so this is perfect to make in advance for a party or dinner.

Chinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.comChinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.com

Chinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.comChinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.com

Chinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.comChinese Boiled Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, by thewoksoflife.com

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