Sichuan Ma La (Spicy) Crawfish or Shrimp 麻辣小龙虾
Author: Karen Christensen
On one of my first trips to Chinatown in New York I was entranced by a tub of crawfish, which I knew were a treat in France and Louisiana. But we weren’t fans: there was little meat in the crawfish and most of the delicious sauce was wasted. Next time we’ll use shrimp instead.
  • 2 pounds crawfish (or uncooked shrimp)
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 5 sprigs cilantro
  • 5 slices fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 10-15 dried red chilies
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt to taste
  1. Soak the live crawfish in cold water with some salt for half an hour.
  2. Rinse crawfish with cold running water until they are thoroughly clean.
  3. Heat wok over highest heat, then add oil, followed quickly by the garlic, ginger, dried chilies, and Sichuan peppercorns. Stir for a minute or two, until spicy and aromatic. Toss in the crawfish and stir for another couple of minutes. Add the remaining seasonings and water and cover the wok for several minutes.
  4. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.