In a small bowl combine water, 1 tablespoon sherry, soy sauce and 2 teaspoons corn starch; set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine remaining sherry, corn starch and salt. Toss with shrimp; set aside.
In wok or large skillet, heat oil over high heat; add the chiles and stir-fry until they begin to darken (about 1 minute). Add green onions, garlic and gingerroot; continue stir-frying 1-2 minutes.
Add shrimp mixture; stir frequently, but not constantly until shrimp are opaque and cooked through (about 5-6 minutes).
Add sherry mixture to the shrimp; stir until sauce thickens (about 1 minute). Add peanuts and stir to coat. Serve with prepared white rice, if desired.