|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
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.)
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.
In a small bowl, mix the salt with the freshly ground peppercorns and set aside.
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.
Carefully remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Continue deep-frying the remainder of the shrimp.
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.