Salt and Pepper Shrimp is a favorite dish found at many western Chinese restaurants. It's a quick and delicious, and perfect appetizer or snack. Being a crazy sauce guy, I usually dip them into Sriracha Mayo, Sweet Mango Chilli Sauce or Sweet Chili Sauce.
My brother asked about this recipe, as he recently ordered it in a restaurant and loved it. My local fish and chip shop makes a delicious Salt and Pepper Squid, which is what I based my recipe on.
Salt and Pepper Shrimp No Cornstarch
My Chinese Salt and Pepper Shrimp recipe doesn't use flour, instead uses potato flour or potato starch. You could use corn starch, but I always use potato flour over corn starch. I find that it makes my gravies less lumpy as it thickens at a lower temperature compared to flour or corn starch. I always have it on hand. Don't substitute with flour. Potato starch always gives the fried shrimp a crunchier texture. Plus it makes this a gluten free recipe for everyone to enjoy.
Salt And Pepper Shrimp No Shell Recipe
I don't know about you guys, but I hate peeling shrimp, especially cooked shrimp. This crispy shrimp recipe is cooked without the shell. It's the fastest way to eat shrimp, a lot of shrimp quickly. There are many Asian prawn recipes out there that look beautiful on the plate, but they use unpeeled prawns (with shells), making it hard and messy to eat. Restaurant kitchens like making shrimp with the shell on because it's easier for them. Food leaves the kitchen faster, but it leaves you with the mess of peeling the shrimp!
Can I use cooked shrimp?
Nope! Make sure you buy raw shrimp, called green prawns in Australia. Peel and de-vein them if necessary. Don't use already cooked shrimp, which looks pink and already boiled, which will taste awful. Raw shrimp sometimes costs a bit more, but it's worth it for the difference in taste! You can buy frozen shrimp, and that works great for this recipe. Just defrost before using!
Popcorn Shrimp vs Salt and Pepper Shrimp
This Salt and Pepper Shrimp No Shell recipe, reminds me of a version of Asian Popcorn Shrimp, but much tastier. Some people say Red Lobster invented Popcorn Shrimp in the 1970's. It's popularity spread around the world. There are a few differences between the two recipes.
Popcorn Shrimp is often dredged in egg and flour before being deep fried in oil. My Salt and Pepper Shrimp recipe is fried in a hot wok using less oil, no egg and no flour. Plus it's tossed in garlic, chilli peppers and green onions, so it's taste much better than plain popcorn shrimp!
- Raw frozen shrimp work great for this recipe
- Don't use olive oil, but vegetable oil, canola, sunflower or peanut oil
- Use Potato Flour for a crunchier shrimp that's gluten free
- Fry in small batches, about 10 at a time
- To keep shrimp hot while frying, place on a baking tray and place in oven on lowest setting
I love eating this meal. It's supposed to be an appetizer, but I sometimes eat it for dinner. Once you start, you won't be able to stop (or share). A tasty appetizer for Chinese New Year that everyone will love. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Salt and Pepper Shrimp - Popcorn Shrimp
- 1 lb / ½ kg raw shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 cup oil for deep frying
- ½ cup potato flour
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 green onions chopped
- 1 red chilli pepper finely sliced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- salt and pepper
- Heat oil in a wok or a deep fryer on high heat.
- Mix together potato flour, white and black pepper and salt in a plate or small bowl. Lightly toss about 10 shrimp in the potato flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
- Cook the shrimp carefully in the hot oil, until it's pink in colour (about 3-5 minutes). Remove and allow to drain on paper towel on a plate. *Optional - keep the shrimp on a baking tray in the oven to keep warm in between cooking batches.
- Put about 1-2 tablespoons oil in a wok over medium high heat. Flash fry green onion, red chilli peppers, and garlic cloves for no more than 2 minutes. Add the shrimp into the onion mixture and mix together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.