Spicy salt and pepper shrimp makes an excellent appetizer or main course. The deep-fried shrimp shells turn a wonderful orange color, while the spicy seasoning adds extra flavor. Leaving the shells on protects the shrimp meat inside, so that it tastes very tender.

Although this is a Cantonese dish, it is sometimes made with Szechuan Salt and Pepper Mix - feel free to use this instead of the sea salt and ground pepper in the recipe if desired. (Use 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons).

Ingredients:

1 pound medium shrimp (about 25 shrimp), head removed, deveined, but not shelled
2 to 3 tablespoons tapioca starch or cornstarch, as needed
1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black, white, or Szechuan peppercorns
4 cups oil for deep-frying

Preparation:

Soak the shrimp in warm, lightly salted water for 5 minutes. Rinse in cold water, drain and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly coat the shrimp with the tapioca starch or cornstarch.

In a small bowl, mix the salt with the freshly ground peppercorns and set aside.
Heat the oil to 360 degrees Fahrenheit in a deep fat fryer, heavy saucepan with deep sides or a second wok (it is easiest not to deep-fry and stir-fry the shrimp in the same wok). Carefully add the shrimp to the hot oil, 4 to 5 at a time, and deep-fry until they turn bright orange (about 40 seconds). Make sure the temperature does not fall below 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Carefully remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Continue deep-frying the remainder of the shrimp.

Heat a wok on medium heat. Add the salt and pepper mixture and the deep-fried shrimp. Stir-fry briefly to coat the shrimp in the mixture (20 to 30 seconds). Serve hot.

Each serving includes: Calories 340, 2 g Carbohydrates, 23 g Protein, 24 g Fat, 2 g Saturated Fat, 173 mg Cholesterol, trace Fibre, 639 mg Sodium, 215 mg Potassium. An excellent source of thiamine and vitamin B12. A good source of calcium.