Cantonese Cuisine: Sautéed Shrimp Balls in Oyster Sauce

Sautéed Shrimp with Oyster Sauce is a hearty and traditional home-made dish. The shrimp are hearty and savory, and the dish looks appetizing enough to grace any home banquet.


The steps are seemingly straightforward, with just a handful of ingredients and condiments. But according to Chef Liu Shun-tai, the experienced Cantonese chef who won silver medal at the 2010 NTD International Chinese Culinary Competition, simple dishes are often the most difficult to get right, because such dishes are often the ones that lay bare a chef’s skills in every aspect.


Sautéed Shrimp Balls in Oyster Sauce Ingredients:

  • Shrimp
  • Bamboo shoots sliced into thin pieces
  • Shiitake mushrooms sliced into thin pieces
  • Scallion sliced into roughly 4-inch segments
  • Egg whites
  • Oyster sauce
  • Starch

Sautéed Shrimp Balls in Oyster Sauce Directions:

    1. De-vein the shrimp.
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    2. Parboil the shrimp. Set aside for later.
    3. In the wok, add water, and then add egg whites.
    4. Add oyster sauce.
    5. Add sliced bamboo shoots, shiitake mushrooms, and scallion.
    6. Stir the mixture with a ladle as you add starch to thicken it.
    7. When the vegetables are almost cooked, add shrimp.
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    8. Stir-fry everything quickly, then dish is ready to serve.

Sautéed Shrimp Balls in Oyster Sauce Tips and Traditional Culture:

The egg whites must be silky white, tender, and not overcooked. The shrimp should be tender and bursting with umami flavors.%e8%a0%94%e6%b2%b9%e8%9d%a6%e7%90%83-chef
Chef Liu said that Cantonese cooking emphasizes on using seasonal ingredients. Foods are cooked differently during different times of the year. The dishes on the dinner table change depending on the season. For example, in summer, Cantonese people drink soups made with different kinds of melons; scallions harvested in winter and spring are of better quality; and shrimp are best in the fall.


Traditional Chinese cooking is very particular about eating the right food at the right time, in other words, eat whatever Mother Nature makes available during a particular time of the year. According to traditional Chinese beliefs, eating right is essential in balancing the yin and yang within the body. Seasonal produce are the best because their nutritional values are the highest when eaten at the right time of year, and they are in harmony with changes in the yin and yang of the natural world. So when we consume the right foods at the right time, it also helps to align our bodies with nature.

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