Crispy Salt and Pepper Shrimp


Crispy Salt and Pepper Shrimp is a delightful dish that combines the perfect crunch of fried shrimp with a bold and zesty seasoning. This popular Chinese restaurant favorite is incredibly easy to make at home, delivering a burst of flavors with every bite. Whether you're looking for an impressive appetizer or a tasty main course, this dish will quickly become a go-to recipe in your kitchen.

Crispy Salt and Pepper Shrimp

Preparation and Cooking Times

  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes

Servings and Serving Size

  • Servings: 4
  • Serving Size: 1 plate (about 200 g)

Nutritional Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 220 kcal
  • Protein: 20 g
  • Carbohydrates: 15 g
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Sodium: 1200 mg


  • 1 lb (450 g) large shrimp, deveined and shells left on
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (optional)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 fresh red chilies, sliced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Method of Preparation

  1. Prepare the Shrimp: Rinse the shrimp under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. In a bowl, combine the cornstarch, salt, white pepper, black pepper, and Chinese five-spice powder.
  2. Coat the Shrimp: Toss the shrimp in the seasoned cornstarch mixture until they are well coated.
  3. Fry the Shrimp: Heat vegetable oil in a deep pan or wok over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot (about 350°F or 175°C), fry the shrimp in batches for 2-3 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove the shrimp and drain on paper towels.
  4. Stir-Fry the Aromatics: In a separate large pan or wok, heat a small amount of oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, sliced red chilies, and green onions. Stir-fry for about 1 minute until fragrant.
  5. Combine and Serve: Add the fried shrimp to the pan with the aromatics. Toss everything together to evenly coat the shrimp. Serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • Dry Shrimp: Ensure the shrimp are thoroughly dried before coating to achieve maximum crispiness.
  • Oil Temperature: Maintain the oil temperature at 350°F (175°C) to ensure the shrimp cook evenly and become crispy without absorbing too much oil.
  • Flavor Variations: For extra flavor, you can add a dash of soy sauce or sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use peeled shrimp?

  • Yes, you can use peeled shrimp if preferred, but the shells help to protect the shrimp and retain moisture, enhancing the texture and flavor.

What if I don't have Chinese five-spice powder?

  • The five-spice powder is optional. You can omit it or substitute it with a pinch of ground ginger and star anise.

How do I store leftovers?

  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in a hot oven to maintain crispiness.

Savor the irresistible flavors of Crispy Salt and Pepper Shrimp, a dish that effortlessly marries simplicity with sophistication. Perfect for sharing or enjoying solo, this recipe is a true testament to the beauty of minimal ingredients and bold seasoning. Add this to your culinary repertoire, and watch it become a favorite for any occasion.