Salt and Pepper Shrimp (Deep-Fried)

Salt and Pepper Style Fried Whole Shrimp
Special*Dark/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
Ratings (22)
  • Total: 30 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 30 hrs
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
144 Calories
1g Fat
6g Carbs
27g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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.)

Ingredients

  • 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

Steps 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.

  4. Carefully remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Continue deep-frying the remainder of the shrimp.

  5. 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.