Salt and Pepper Shrimp (Deep-Fried)

Salt and Pepper Style Fried Whole Shrimp
Special*Dark/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
  • 30 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 30 hrs,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Ratings (21)

Spicy salt and pepper shrimp make an excellent appetizer or main course. The deep-fried shrimp shells turn a wonderful orange color, while the spicy seasoning adds extra flavor. Leaving the shells on protects the shrimp meat inside, so it tastes very tender.

Although this is a Cantonese dish, it is sometimes made with Szechuan salt and pepper mix - feel free to use this instead of the sea salt and ground pepper in the recipe if desired. (Use 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons.)

What You'll Need

  • 1 pound medium shrimp (about 25 shrimp), head removed, deveined, but not shelled
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons tapioca starch or cornstarch, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black, white, or Szechuan peppercorns
  • 4 cups oil for deep-frying

How to Make It

  1. Soak the shrimp in warm, lightly salted water for 5 minutes. Rinse in cold water, drain and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly coat the shrimp with the tapioca starch or cornstarch.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the salt with the freshly ground peppercorns and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil to 360 F in a deep fat fryer, heavy saucepan with deep sides, or a second wok (it is easiest not to deep-fry and stir-fry the shrimp in the same ​wok). Carefully add the shrimp to the hot oil, 4 to 5 at a time, and deep-fry until they turn bright orange (about 40 seconds). Make sure the temperature does not fall below 350 F.
  1. Carefully remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Continue deep-frying the remainder of the shrimp.
  2. Heat a wok over medium heat. Add the salt and pepper mixture and the deep-fried shrimp. Stir-fry briefly to coat the shrimp in the mixture (20 to 30 seconds). Serve hot.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 144
Total Fat 1 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Unsaturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 227 mg
Sodium 1,182 mg
Carbohydrates 6 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Protein 27 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)