Mongolian Shrimp is an exquisite culinary delight, blending the rich flavors of traditional Mongolian cuisine with the delicate taste of shrimp. This dish, known for its savory and slightly spicy taste, has gained popularity worldwide. The essence of Mongolian Shrimp lies in its unique recipe that perfectly balances spices and sauces, creating a mouth-watering experience.

Mongolian Shrimp

What is Mongolian Shrimp?

The Mongolian Shrimp recipe is a fusion of various ingredients that contribute to its distinct flavor. Typically, it involves stir-frying the shrimp with a mix of garlic, ginger, and green onions, followed by the addition of a special Mongolian sauce. This sauce, often a combination of soy sauce, brown sugar, and chili flakes, gives the dish its characteristic sweet and spicy profile.

What sets Mongolian Shrimp apart is its versatility. It can be served as a main course or as a side dish, complementing other Asian-inspired meals. The key to the perfect Mongolian Shrimp lies in the quality of the shrimp and the balance of the sauce’s ingredients, ensuring each bite is infused with flavor.

In essence, Mongolian Shrimp is not just a dish; it’s an experience. It’s a testament to the fusion of traditional Mongolian cooking techniques with modern flavors, offering a delectable treat for seafood lovers and spice enthusiasts alike. For those looking to explore new culinary horizons, trying a Mongolian Shrimp recipe is a must. This dish is sure to tantalize your taste buds and add an exotic flair to your dining table.

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
CourseMain course
Mongolian Shrimp

Ingredients for Mongolian Shrimp

  • Shrimp: 1 pound (450g), peeled and deveined
  • Vegetable Oil: 2 tablespoons, for stir-frying
  • Garlic: 2 cloves, minced
  • Ginger: 1 tablespoon, freshly grated
  • Green Onions: 4, chopped
  • Soy Sauce: 1/4 cup
  • Brown Sugar: 3 tablespoons
  • Chili Flakes: 1 teaspoon (adjust to taste)
  • Cornstarch: 1 tablespoon, for coating
  • Water: 2 tablespoons, for sauce
  • Sesame Seeds: 1 teaspoon, for garnish
  • Sesame Oil: 1 teaspoon, for flavor

Cleaning and Making Shrimps Crispy

  • Rinse Shrimps: Thoroughly rinse the shrimps under cold water to remove any debris or dirt.
  • Devein Shrimps: Carefully slit the back of each shrimp and remove the vein.
  • Soda Soak: In a bowl, soak the cleaned shrimps in a clear soda (like Sprite or 7Up) for about 10 minutes. The soda helps in tenderizing the shrimps and adding a subtle sweetness.
  • Drain and Dry: After soaking, drain the shrimps and pat them dry thoroughly with paper towels. Removing excess moisture is crucial for crispiness.
  • Cornstarch Coating: Lightly coat the shrimps in cornstarch. This coating acts as a barrier, preventing the shrimp from becoming soggy when cooked.
  • Refrigerate: Place the coated shrimps in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. This step helps the cornstarch adhere better and ensures a more uniform crisp texture.
  • Cooking: When stir-frying, ensure the oil in the pan is hot before adding the shrimps. Cook in batches to avoid overcrowding, which can lead to steaming rather than frying.
Mongolian Shrimp

Cooking Method for Mongolian Shrimp

  • Preparation of Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and chili flakes. Set aside.
  • Cornstarch Coating: Lightly coat the cleaned and dried shrimps in cornstarch. This helps in achieving a crispy texture when cooked.
  • Stir-Frying Shrimp: Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the shrimps to the skillet in batches, ensuring not to overcrowd them. Cook for about 1-2 minutes per side until they turn pink and crispy. Remove the shrimps and set them aside.
  • Sauteing Aromatics: In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Stir in minced garlic and grated ginger, and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Combining Ingredients: Return the cooked shrimps to the skillet. Pour the prepared sauce over the shrimps and toss to coat evenly. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken slightly.

How to garnish Mongolian Shrimp?

Garnishing Mongolian Shrimp transforms it into a visual and flavorful feast. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions atop the dish. A drizzle of sesame oil adds a nutty aroma, and a handful of fresh cilantro provides a burst of color and freshness.

What to Serve with Mongolian Shrimp?

  • Steamed Jasmine Rice: The perfect base for soaking up the delicious sauce of the Mongolian Shrimp.
  • Vegetable Stir-Fry: Combine vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, and carrots for a healthy and colorful side.
  • Noodles: Choose from options like Lo Mein, Udon, or rice noodles to add a comforting, hearty element to the meal.
  • Fried Rice: A flavorful side that can be made with vegetables, eggs, or even pineapple for a sweet twist.
  • Asian Slaw: A refreshing and crunchy slaw with cabbage, carrots, and a light vinaigrette balances the dish’s richness.
  • Cucumber Salad: A simple salad with cucumber, vinegar, sugar, and sesame seeds offers a crisp and tangy contrast.
  • Steamed Bok Choy or Spinach: These leafy greens, lightly steamed and seasoned, add a healthy and easy side.
  • Quinoa or Cauliflower Rice: For a low-carb alternative, these options work well with the bold flavors of Mongolian Shrimp.

Tips and Tricks for Making Mongolian Shrimp

  • Marinate the Shrimp: Enhance the shrimp’s flavor by marinating it in a mixture of soy sauce, a touch of honey, and minced garlic for about 15 minutes before cooking.
  • Use Fresh Ginger and Garlic: Opt for fresh ginger and garlic instead of powdered versions. Their fresh, pungent flavors make a significant difference in the dish.
  • Incorporate Orange Zest: Add a bit of grated orange zest to the sauce for a citrusy twist that complements the savory and spicy flavors.
  • Experiment with Chili Varieties: Instead of regular chili flakes, experiment with different types of chili like Sichuan peppercorns or smoked paprika for a unique heat profile.
  • Add a Dash of Rice Vinegar: A little rice vinegar can introduce a subtle tanginess, balancing the sweetness and spiciness of the dish.
  • Toast the Sesame Seeds: Before garnishing, lightly toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan. This enhances their nutty flavor.
  • Cook in Sesame Oil: Use a mix of vegetable oil and a bit of sesame oil for frying to infuse the shrimp with a deep, rich flavor.
  • Incorporate Colorful Vegetables: Add red and yellow bell peppers or green snow peas for an extra crunch and vibrant visual appeal.
  • Finish with Fresh Herbs: Garnish with fresh cilantro or Thai basil for a burst of freshness in every bite.
  • Adjust the Sweetness: Depending on your taste, adjust the amount of brown sugar in the sauce. A little more can round off the spiciness, or a bit less can let the other flavors shine through.
Mongolian Shrimp

How to make ahead, store and reheat?

Making Ahead

  • Prepare the sauce and chop the aromatics (garlic, ginger, green onions) in advance. Store them separately in the refrigerator.
  • Clean and marinate the shrimp if desired, keeping them refrigerated.


  • After cooking, let the Mongolian Shrimp cool to room temperature.
  • Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


  • For best results, reheat in a skillet over medium heat. Stir gently to evenly warm the shrimp and sauce without overcooking.
  • If using a microwave, cover and heat on medium power in short intervals, stirring in between.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ’s

Mongolian Shrimp stands out due to its unique sauce, a combination of soy sauce, brown sugar, and chili flakes, offering a perfect balance of sweet, salty, and spicy flavors. It’s typically stir-fried with garlic, ginger, and green onions, giving it a distinctive Asian flair.

While traditional Mongolian Shrimp is seafood-based, you can substitute shrimp with chicken or tofu for a shellfish-free version. The key lies in the sauce and cooking technique, which can be applied to various proteins.

Yes, with some adjustments. Replace the brown sugar in the sauce with a low-carb sweetener and serve the dish with cauliflower rice or steamed vegetables instead of traditional rice or noodles.

Adjust the spice level by increasing or reducing the amount of chili flakes. For extra heat, add fresh sliced chili peppers or a dash of hot sauce.

Yes, you can prepare Mongolian Shrimp ahead of time and reheat it. However, for the best texture, it’s recommended to eat it fresh. If you must store it, keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consume within a couple of days.

Mongolian Shrimp

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Mongolian Shrimp is a delightful dish that combines the succulence of shrimp with the rich, enticing flavors of a sweet and spicy sauce. Its versatility in terms of spice levels and protein substitutions makes it a suitable choice for various dietary preferences. This dish stands out for its ease of preparation, making it perfect for both quick weeknight dinners and special occasions.

By preparing and storing it correctly, Mongolian Shrimp retains its flavors and textures, making it a convenient and delicious option for meal planning. The balance of flavors and the dish’s adaptability to different tastes ensure its popularity in any culinary setting.

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