Salt and Pepper Shrimp

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    30 mins

Edited by Liv Wan.

This spicy salt and pepper shrimp dish makes an excellent appetizer or main course. The shells of the shrimps have been deep-fried to make a crispy and crunchy texture and they have also turned an amazing orange color. The spicy seasonings add an extra flavor.

The shrimps in this dish are cooked with the shells on to protect the shrimp meat inside so that it tastes very tender.

This is a Cantonese dish but it is sometimes made with Sichuan salt and pepper mix. Please feel free to use this instead of the sea salt and ground pepper in the recipe if desired. (Use 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons).

** Chinese Pepper Salt Recipe:

1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorn

2 tablespoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper


1.    Put Sichuan peppercorns and salt into a small and dry saucepan and keep stirring while cooking. This procedure is to toast the Sichuan peppercorn together with the salt and the salt will absorb the aroma and flavor of the Sichuan peppercorns. Cook for 2-3 minutes and remember to use medium to low heat.

2.    Use a sieve to pass the salt and Sichuan peppercorn. Keep the Sichuan peppercorn and salt separate. You can use the Sichuan peppercorn to make Sichuan peppercorn oil. Please check this article to find out how to make Sichuan peppercorn oil.

3.    Mix the salt with ground black pepper. This is how I like to make this “Chinese pepper salt” for my “salt and pepper spareribs” and “salt and pepper spareribs”.

What You'll Need

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 pound of medium size shrimps (about 25 shrimps). Head removed, deveined, but not shelled.
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons tapioca starch or cornstarch, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt or you can use 2 teaspoons of Chinese pepper salt.
  • ¾ teaspoon freshy ground black, white or Sichuan 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 shrimps 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 degrees Fahrenheit 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).
  1. 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 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Carefully remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Continue deep-frying the remainder of the shrimps.
  3. Heat a wok to medium heat. Add the salt and pepper mixture and the deep-fried shrimp. Stir-fry briefly to coat the shrimp in the mixture (20-30 seconds). Serve hot.


Each serving includes: Calories 340, 2 g Carbohydrates, 23 g Protein, 24 g Fat, 173 mg Cholesterol, trace Fibre, 639 mg Sodium, 215 mg Potassium. An excellent source of thiamine and vitamin B12. A good source of calcium.