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Salt-and-Pepper Shrimp with Garlic and Chile

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 97

For a quick, easy, and fresh-tasting dinner, you can always count on shrimp. Using easy-peel shrimp will speed prep because the shells are slit open and they’ve been deveined. You'll want to use your fingers to dig in, so keep lots of napkins on hand. 

  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • Pinch of Chinese five-spice powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 4 large scallions (green parts only), sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1-1/2 lb. large shrimp (26 to 30 per lb.), peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • 3-1/2 Tbs. peanut or canola oil
  • 1 small lime, cut into 4 wedges

In a large bowl, mix the cornstarch, sugar, five-spice powder, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper. In a small bowl, mix the garlic, chile, and scallions; set aside.

Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Line a small baking sheet or large plate with a double layer of paper towels. Add the shrimp to the cornstarch mixture and toss until evenly and thoroughly coated.

In a heavy-duty 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1-1/2 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Add half of the shrimp in a single layer. Cook without disturbing until deep golden and spotty brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, quickly flip each shrimp and continue to cook until the second sides are spotty golden brown, about 1 minute longer. (The shrimp may not be cooked through at this point.) Transfer the shrimp to the prepared sheet. Add another 1 Tbs. of the oil to the skillet and repeat with the remaining shrimp, transferring them to the sheet when done.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil to the skillet. Add the garlic mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the chile and scallions are softened andthe garlic is golden and smells toasted, about 1 minute. Return the shrimp to the pan and stir to combine. Serve immediately, with the lime wedges.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with steamed or stir-fried vegetables or jasmine rice.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 270; Fat (g): fat g 13; Fat Calories (kcal): 120; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 2.5; Protein (g): protein g 28; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 9; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 580; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 250; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

OMG this was so good! My DH kept raving about it, saying it was the best shrimp he's ever had and wanting to know if we could have it again tomorrow. I couldn't find a serrano pepper so I used a jalapeno instead as suggested by another person. I think next time I might cut down on the salt a bit.Can't wait to have it again. Definitely a keeper!

This is probably THE best shrimp dish I have ever had (restaurants included!) - crazy easy to make and ridiculously delicious.

Great flavor. Easy recipe.

Super-yummy, crispy, crunchy, sweet and spicy. I substituted ~1/4 tsp crushed Szechuan peppercorns instead of the 5-spice powder, I love the zing of those peppercorns on the tongue.

Loved this recipe. Easy to make and the serrano pepper adds a nice bit of heat.

I made this last night, substituting a jalapeno pepper for the serrano chile. Simple and easy to prepare with fantastic flavor! This recipe is going into my regular rotation.

So Quick & Easy to fix! My hubby loves the heat so I increased the spice powder and added another serrano. I made the shrimp tail-less and served it over a bed of Caesar salad... super yum-fest!

This was absolutely delicious. We used lemon instead of lime. Next time i make it, I will try jalapeno instead of serrano. I think it has more flavor than heat.

Best shrimp dish ever yet, simple but the best.

Excellent dish. I did not have the serrano chilis on hand so I substituted 1 tsp crushed red pepper.

Such a simple recipe with great results. Served it along side sesame noodles. I just chopped up twice the amt of garlic, green onions and peppers, and started my seseme noodles sauteing the same. Very very good.

My husband loves salt and pepper shrimp and have found it very hard to find a good recipe for it. This was incredible!!! Easy and Amazing... Have made it several times for dinner parties and I end up printing the recipe for guests! Highly recommend! If you love shrimp you will love this!

Loved it. Very easy. I used 1/2 seeded serrano because I was afraid of the heat, but it wasn't hot. Next time will use more. Doesn't make a sauce like some Chinese dishes so it's dry over plain rice, so I served it with refried rice. Somehow was even better reheated the next day.

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