- 1/2 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns (purchase at your local Asian market)
- 1/2 teaspoon white peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup peanut oil
- 1 lb large shrimp, peeled, shelled and deveined
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons serrano chilies, seeded and minced
- lime, for garnish
1. To make pepper-salt: In a small saute pan over medium heat, toast the Sichuan and white peppercorns, shaking the pan, for about 3 minutes.
2. Do not let them burn.
3. They may smoke and pop like popcorn; this is OK.
4. Remove the pan from the heat; set aside to cool slightly.
5. In a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle, coarsely grind the peppercorns.
6. Transfer to a bowl and combine with the salt.
7. Set aside.
8. To make shrimp: In a wok or large saute pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot but not smoking.
9. Working quickly, in a bowl, toss the shrimp in the cornstarch and remove the excess cornstarch by shaking the coated shrimp in a sieve or strainer.
10. Add the shrimp to the wok and cook, tossing a few times to cook through on both sides, for 2 to 3 minutes.
11. With a large spatula or other implement, hold the shrimp in place, tip the wok and very carefully pour off and discard the excess oil.
12. Add the garlic, chili pepper and pepper-salt mixture.
13. Return the wok to the heat and toss the shrimp with the spice mixture until the spices release their fragrance and coat the shrimp, about 1 minute.
14. Remove from the heat.
15. A step ahead: The pepper-salt can be made a week or more ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature.