Sweet and Sour Shrimp Recipe

by | Recipes

photo of Emeril's_sweet_sour_shrimp on the Peacock & Paisley Blog by Heather Cate

Emeril's Sweet & Sour Shrimp

I made this last night for dinner, and yuuuummmmm!!  A bit of prep to do, but it was delicious, easy, and just as good as at a restaurant.

I used Maine shrimp, which are small and delicate and don’t require as much cooking as “regular” shrimp.  So, I didn’t pre-cook the shrimp, I just added them after the sauce had cooked up a bit, and it came out beautifully.  See below for more info on the shrimp and why I chose that kind.

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2003

Level:  Easy
Serves:  4 servings


  • 6 tablespoons chicken stock or water
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pineapple or orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 1 cup 1-inch chunks green bell peppers
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 12 maraschino cherries
  • 6 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
  • Hot white rice, accompaniment


To make the sauce, in a bowl, combine 1/4 cup of stock, the ketchup, sugar, juice, vinegar, soy, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper flakes. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with the remaining 2 tablespoons of stock and stir to dissolve. Set aside.

In a bowl, toss the shrimp with the ginger, garlic, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes. Set aside for 10 to 20 minutes.

Heat a large wok over high heat. Add the oil, swirling to coat the sides and bottom of the pan. Add the shrimp, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry until pink, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan. Add the onions and peppers and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the sauce and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Add the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil. Return the shrimp to the pan and add the pineapples, cherries, and green onions. Cook until the sauce is thick, about 1 minute.

Remove from the heat and serve over rice.

Why the Maine shrimp?

Yes, I live in Maine, and yes, Maine seafood is fabulous, but primarily, I used these shrimp (which I bought at Hannaford, by the way) because they aren’t contaminated with antibiotics and they grow in a clean environment, unlike the Asian-produced shrimp normally found in the supermarket.


Heather Cate's signature -- Heather Cate, Spiritual Coach for the Creative Soul

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