salt and pepper shrimp

Salt and Pepper Shrimp

Though Sichuan peppercorns bear resemblance to black peppercorns – and have a similar kick – they are not of the pepper family, but the dried berry of a tree of the rue family native to the Szechuan province of China.

Prepared at a recent class at the San Antonio Museum of Art, his dish gets its kick from both peppers combined with the Mexican jalapeño or serrano chiles.

2 pounds shrimp
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon black pepper
1½ teaspoons salt, divided
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns
1 jalapeño or serrano chile, seeded and thinly sliced
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems

Peel the shrimp and pat dry.

Whisk cornstarch, black pepper, pepper and ¾ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, fry shrimp until golden, crisp, and cooked through, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to paper towels and let drain, then toss in a medium bowl with the Sichuan peppercorn and the remaining salt. Add the sliced chile and cilantro to the bowl and toss to combine.

Serves 6

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