Salt and Pepper Shrimp, 椒盐虾
Jumbo shrimp deliciously fried so you can eat it whole
A staple of the family holiday menu. In this dish, we deep-fry the shrimp with the shell on. Then, stir-fry it with a mix of salt and pepper to create a delicious crunchy bite. You can eat the shrimp with the shell if you want to experience the crunch, or you can peel the shell off. Be warned though, if you remove the shell you lose a lot of the flavor! As Aunt Kim says, "It's gotta be crispy!"
1 egg white [optional]
1 green/red Bell pepper
1 yellow onion
salt and pepper mix
1 pint salt
1 tsp ground dried huajiao (花椒) pepper
3 tbsp white pepper
Salt and pepper mix
You want to start by creating the salt and pepper mix. We like to make a whole bunch all at once, which you can store in an air-tight container and use in the future. Please don’t actually put 1 pint of salt into this one dish.
First heat up a hot wok with no oil. Pour in the salt and stir fry for 20 seconds. Then you can turn off the heat. Then stir in the huajiao and white pepper. After mixing well and cooling, store it in an airtight container. This batch lasts for a long time and can be used for all sorts of dishes. For this dish, we’ll just use a few pinches.
Start by cleaning and dicing all of the vegetables (bell peppers, onions, scallions). Place to the side.
The key to good deep fried shrimp is time-consuming preparation.
Begin by removing the swimmerets (the little things that look like shrimp feet).
Cut a slit down the back of the shrimp and remove the black line. This allows the shrimp to expand during frying, and removes the waste line. Optionally, remove the head as well. Some people like to eat the shrimp with the head on.
When done properly, the shrimp should still have most of its shell intact
Thoroughly clean the shrimp in cold water
For a crispy shell, it is important to completely dry the shrimp and place in a large bowl. Residual water on the shrimp will affect the frying process. Once dry, coat the shrimp in a layer of cornstarch. Optionally add an egg white or yolk, which helps bind the cornstarch to the shell.
Heat up frying oil to 350 degrees F. Deep fry the shrimp in the hot oil.
When first placed, the shrimp will sink to the bottom. The shrimp is done cooking when it starts to float to the top.
When done, drain the shrimp into another bowl
Let the oils drip off, while we prepare the next step.
In a clean wok, heat a small amount of oil for stir frying.
First, stir-fry the diced bell peppers and yellow onion
Then, add the shrimp and scallions.
Add a small pinch of the salt and pepper mix (<1/3 tsp) and mix it in.
Serve on a plate and enjoy!
Fuzhou Food is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
This sounds great. I made salt and pepper fried tofu last month and I'd like to try this shrimp recipe sometime soon. Is "huajiao pepper" the same thing as "Sichuan pepper" (or "Tribute pepper")? Or is it something different?