Appetizers/ Entree/ Fish/Seafood/ HotApp

Crispy Salt and Pepper Shrimp

And you can even eat the shells!

When I first saw this recipe I thought of my sister. She loves to eat the tails of fried shrimp and I thought she would love to try this recipe. We also love (maybe most people do) to eat the fried fins of fish when they are fried whole; that would be Crappie fish, of course, but I don’t get that anymore.

I have a closet full (not really) of Szechuan peppercorns that I ordered years ago and never really know what to use them in. Well this recipe calls for them and what better way to use some of them up.

While recovery from foot surgery I decided to spend some time at the computer before the pain finally set in (wow, it never did) and I found a blog with this recipe. The recipe looked so good and I loved the fried jalapeño pepper rings for garnish.

We can get all kinds of fresh shrimp all times of the year here in Texas so I can go tiny or all the way up to Tiger shrimp and I think there is even one bigger that I used to make Shrimp Kiev one time. Now that was really good.

Seems like I have more shrimp recipes than just about anything I cook. Here are some of my favorites (they all really are so good, look under “entrees”- “seafood” to see them all) Bang Bang Shrimp, New Orleans style BBQ Shrimp (a must try), Shrimp Corndogs with Blueberry Mustard Sauce (from Moonshine Grill in Austin), and Honey Walnut Shrimp that I also had at a restaurant in Austin and definitely worth a try.

I was looking at my iPad edition of Cooks Illustrated and found this recipe. If you have an iPad and subscribe to food magazines, you should get this one. What is really cool is that the magazine only shows pictures of the food in black and white pictures and the iPad version shows them in black and white and they slowly turn to beautiful colored pictures and there are also videos of them making the recipes which is pretty cool. I don’t know what I would do without my technology gizmos. My husband just bought a Sling box (he’s as bad as I am) and we can watch tv anyplace, — on the bike at the gym, in the car as long as we have 4G connection or anyplace in the world for that matter.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: This Avocado Shrimp Salad is one of my favorite shrimp salad recipes.


Cut jalapeños into thin slices and remove seeds.


Add the rice wine or sherry (I used sherry) and salt in bowl and let stand 10 minutes.


Crush the Szechuan and black peppercorns.


Toss the shrimp (with shells) with the cornstarch.


Fry the coated shrimp in 385° oil until brown and crisp. Put on drain rack and put in oven to keep warm.


Toss the jalapeño rings with cornstarch and fry until crisp.


After you have sautéed the garlic and peppercorns, add in the fried shrimp and a few of the peppers and toss to coat with pepper mixture.


Put shrimp on top of a platter covered with shredded lettuce and garnish with remaining pepper rings. (I cut up and fried about 4 jalapeños because we really like hot peppers.)

Crispy Salt and Pepper Shrimp
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  1. 1 1/2 lbs. shell-on shrimp (31-40 per lb.)
  2. 2 Tbsp. Chinese Rice wine or dry sherry
  3. Kosher salt
  4. 2 1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
  5. 2 tsp. Szechuan pepper
  6. 2 tsp. sugar
  7. 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  8. 4 c. vegetable oil
  9. 5 Tbsp. cornstarch
  10. 2 jalapeno peppers, trimmed, seeded, sliced into 1/8" thick rings
  11. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  12. 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  13. 2 scallions, sliced thin on bias
  14. 1/4 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 225°. Toss shrimp, rice wine and 1 teaspoon salt together in large bowl and set aside for 10-15 minutes
  2. Grind black peppercorns and Szechuan peppercorns in spice grinder or mortar and pestle until coarsely ground. Transfer peppercorns to small bowl and stir in sugar and cayenne.
  3. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until oil registered 385°. While oil is heating, drain shrimp and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer shrimp to bowl, add 3 tablespoons cornstarch and 1 tablespoon peppercorn mixture, and toss until well combined.
  4. Carefully add one layer of shrimp to oil and fry, stirring occasionally to keep shrimp from sticking together, until light brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a wire skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to paper towel-lined plate. Once paper towels absorb any excess oil, transfer shrimp to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and place in oven. Return oil to 385° and repeat in 2 more batches, tossing each batch thoroughly with coating mixture before frying.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Rosemary and the Goat

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  • Reply
    April 11, 2015 at 6:30 am

    I am going to make this…so yummy! I really appreciate that it is gluten free too. So many times when the word “crispy” is in a recipe title, the crispy part is derived from flour (I have Celiac). Love this recipe and all the flavors.

    • Reply
      April 15, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      Make sure you use smaller shrimp, like 36-40 count. I’m making an Asian dipping sauce the next time I do these. If you are eating gluten-free, watch my Lemon Shrimp spaghetti coming up soon. I used a little gluten-free pasta and then made spaghetti from carrots and zucchini to mix in with it. Cutting the gluten for sure and also cutting down the pasta by mixing in the veggie spaghetti. Hope you will try that also.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Where can I find Szechuan peppercorns? Is this similar to corriander? I don’t cook much but this recipe looks delicious

    • Reply
      June 7, 2017 at 9:23 am

      You can find on Amazon but around $15 for 4 oz. if you have a Penzy’s Spice company you may can get a smaller amount.

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