Chinese Salt and Pepper Shrimp
Recipe by Anna Gill
12 -14 large to jumbo shrimp in shell
1 ½ cups corn oil
1 large egg white, at room temperature 30 minutes
½ cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
¾ cup sliced (1/8 inch thick) fresh jalapeño (about 3 chiles)
1 cup cilantro leaves, shredded
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1. Cut shell along back of each shrimp with small kitchen shears (do not peel) and devein, then snip off tip fins.
2. Prepare large plate lined with paper towels for draining.
3. Heat oil to 400°F in a large heavy pan with deep sides. Keep the cover handy to contain spattering grease.
4. Toss shrimp with ½ tablespoon kosher salt and let stand 5 minutes. Rinse with cold water, then drain and pat
5. Whip the egg white with a whisk or a hand mixer until watery, then place in a small bowl.
6. Stir together cornstarch, 1 tablespoon pepper, and ½ tablespoon kosher salt in another bowl.
7. Toss shrimp with 1 teaspoon each of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon ground pepper in a third bowl.
8. Dip the seasoned shrimp into the egg white, letting excess drip off. Then lightly dredge shrimp in cornstarch mixture, shaking off excess. (Coating should be as light as possible.) Place the coated shrimp in a single layer on a plate.
9. Quickly toss the shrimp into the hot corn oil and cook until crisp, about 1½ to 2 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
10. Reduce oil temperature to medium.
11. Toss the chilies into the oil just until they are wilted (be careful not to brown them), about 30 seconds. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
12. Place the shrimp on a serving dish, sprinkle first with the chilies and then with the fresh cilantro. Top with the sea salt and serve.
Some shrimp shells are thinner than others. This is a seasonal condition so check with your local supplier. It’s great fiber.
Use half red chilies and half jalapeno, the dish will be much prettier.
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