Recipe: Shanghainese Big Headed Shrimp

By Cristina Ng, January 4, 2019

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This is part of our Healthy & Delicious Restaurant Recipe Series.

As chef and partner at Mi Xiang Yuan (aka The Rice Garden), a popular Chinese lunch spot, Anthony Zhao draws from his Shanghainese background and fine dining training to modernize local dishes. A favorite of his daughter’s, this tasty shrimp is an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals. While he uses traditional flavoring such as soy sauce, ginger and garlic, regular cooking oil is replaced with olive oil and grass-fed butter while honey stands in for processed sugar.

Shanghainese Big Headed Shrimp

Image courtesy Mi Xiang Yuan (left) and by Cristina Ng/That's (right)

Serves 2 as a main

  • 500g big headed shrimp

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 small bunch scallions

  • ½ tsp chopped garlic

  • ½ tsp chopped ginger

  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp honey

  • 1 tbsp water

  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

  • 1½ tbsp grass-fed butter

  • Dash of salt

  • 2 cups cooked organic rice


  1. Trim the ends off the scallions, chop two tablespoons finely and set aside. Roughly chop the rest into two-inch long sections.

  2. Heat the oil in a wok and add the large pieces of scallion. Slowly sauté until they are golden brown and fragrant.

  3. Add the shrimp and sear quickly on each side. Remove from pan and drain excess oil, leaving about a tablespoon.

  4. Put the wok back on the stove and add ginger and garlic, sauté for one minute while stirring quickly.

  5. Add soy sauces, water, honey and dash of salt. Deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar.

  6. Return shrimp to the wok and stir quickly for three minutes. Add butter to enrich the sauce, and garnish with chopped scallions. Serve immediately on organic rice.

[Cover image by Cristina Ng/That's]

See listing for Mi Xiang YuanFor more recipes in this series, click here.

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