Salt and Pepper Shrimp

Salt & Pepper Shrimp - Chinese restaurant-style salt & pepper shrimp recipe. SO easy, yummy & budget friendly!! |


Salt & Pepper Shrimp - Chinese restaurant-style salt & pepper shrimp recipe. SO easy, yummy & budget friendly!! |

Salt and Pepper Shrimp

Salt & Pepper Shrimp – Chinese restaurant-style salt & pepper shrimp recipe. SO easy, yummy & budget friendly!!

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total Time:


10 oz (330 g) head-on, shell-on shrimp
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
Oil, for deep-frying

Frying Batter:

½ cup (65 g) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (35 g) corn starch
½ teaspoon baking powder or baking soda
1 egg white
½ cup water
1 tablespoon cooking oil
A pinch of salt


½ tablespoon oil
1 heaping tablespoon chopped green onion (scallion)
Some sliced red chili or green jalapeno
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper

1. Rinse the shrimp with cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels and then marinate with the salt and white pepper, about 15 minutes.

2. Mix all the ingredients in the Frying Batter until well combined. Add the shrimp into the Frying Batter, stir to coat evenly with the batter.

3. To deep fry the shrimp, heat 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) of the oil in a wok or stockpot to 350° F (175° C). Gently drop the shrimp into the oil and loosen them up immediately with the spatula to prevent them from clumping together.

4. Deep-fry the shrimp to a light golden brown or until the batter becomes crispy. Dish out with a strainer or slotted spoon, draining the excess oil by laying the shrimp on a wire rack or a dish lined with paper towels.

5. To stir-fry, heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the chopped green onion and chili/jalapeno and stir quickly for a few times. Add the fried shrimp into the skillet and then add the salt and white pepper. Stir to combine all the ingredients well, dish out and serve immediately.

Salt & Pepper Shrimp - Chinese restaurant-style salt & pepper shrimp recipe. SO easy, yummy & budget friendly!! |

Salt and pepper, two of the most basic ingredients in a kitchen and they do wonders for Chinese deep-fried dishes, such as this Salt and Pepper Shrimp. This Salt and Pepper Shrimp is one of the most requested recipes from my readers and finally, you can have the recipe and try to make it at home.

For the shrimp, I recommend buying shell-on and head-on shrimp because salt and pepper shrimp will not be the same if it’s made with peeled shrimp. I usually get my shrimp from the seafood section of Asian supermarkets. They are frozen and come in a rectangle paper box but you can always buy the quantity you want from the seafood section. Somehow, the shrimp sold in regular supermarkets usually has an amonia taste and they are not ideal for this recipe.

Salt & Pepper Shrimp - Chinese restaurant-style salt & pepper shrimp recipe. SO easy, yummy & budget friendly!! |

My recipe calls for a two-step process that promises restaurant-style Salt and Pepper Shrimp. First, deep fry the shrimp with a light and crispy frying batter, and then lightly toss the fried shrimp in a wok with chopped green onion, red chili, salt, and pepper. The end result is a serving of Salt and Pepper Shrimp that tastes like it’s straight from a Chinese restaurant kitchen!

This salt and pepper shrimp recipe is actually adapted from the salt and pepper squid recipe in my cookbook Easy Chinese Recipes. The cooking process is the same, which meas that you can use the same recipe to make squid.


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  1. When we eat this, are we eating the head & shells & legs?
    Or do we peel off the head & shells & just eat the meat?

    • You peel off the head and skin, but for the Chinese, we would suck the juice out of the head though. ;)

      • When you peel off the skin – don’t you peel off all the delicious batter though?

        • Yes, but for Chinese, we would somehow eat the skin and just peel off the shell. Complicated I know…LOL

          • I totally know what you mean Bee. LOL. Means I’m Asian enough :-D

          • Rasa,

            With all due respect. You are meant to eat the shell. It’s delicious.
            It does not make sense to batter something only to peel it off.

            • I do eat with the shells when it comes to this dish but most people will not. So there is no respect due from you. Go to any Chinese restaurants that Chinese go to, and most of the Chinese people will still peel the shell off with this dish! We have salt and pepper lobster, and salt and pepper crab, too. So do you suppose we eat the lobster shell and crab shell, too?!

              • Mike is probably the few who eat the shell. There is nothing wrong with eating the shell. Actually I eat the whole thing (including the head) if its crispy enough our whole family does even my boyfriends’ family. We call it eating “shrimp chips”. However what I have seen from my fellow chinese co workers who have only been to the states for only a yr or more. “Authentic” as you can get will bite the heads off suxk the juice and then take a bite of the shrimp depending how big it is and swhile working the shell off with thheir teeth they are sucking out the flavor. Complicated however its and amaizng trick and quiet easy when youget the hang oofit.

  2. Can I use shelled shrimps? It looks so good.

  3. I’ve just read your comments and see that you recommend to use shrimps with the shell on.

  4. SALLY TEWS says:

    What if you can not find shrimp heads on~does that make a
    big change in the recipe?

  5. Does it matter if I use baking Powder or Soda? would one or the other affect the taste?

  6. Oh, this shrimp dish is LOVELY! This looks like something I must try. The recipe is great and I loved the picture!!

  7. I like this version with the crispy batter. Yum! I’d chew the batter off first and then peel off the prawn shells :)

  8. These shrimps look so good! Thank you so much for the recipe. What size of shrimp do you recommend?

  9. This is a lovely recipe! I will never say no to any prawn dishes!

  10. I use the bigger prawns,fresh raw king/tiger prawns & eat the shell,it doesn’t hurt & tastes good.

  11. Bill Logan says:

    I am at home in Uk with 7 inches of snow outside,so watching a tv show about a couple buying a house in penang,saw you blogging on your computer,checked out rasa website (which i often use) as i love asian food,how nice to put a face to your recipes


  12. Can I use the same recipe for salt and pepper calamari?

  13. Just made this for dinner tonight. Yummy!

  14. Thanks for posting. Love this Dish…LOVE.
    Tried it tonight with great success and yumminess. Used shell off shrimp and yes it didn’t quite pack the flavor punch, but was perfectly fine and easy to eat. Dusted the shrimp in Flour/cornstarch mixture before adding wet ingrediants then dipped in batter.

    Didn’t figure out till too late it;s White Pepper…ohhhh. Next time!!

  15. I just made this recipe and it turned out horrible. I followed the instructions exactly. Something is wrong with the water ratio in the batter, it turned out way too thick and my prawns were coated with a super thick layer of batter which when fried produced a thick white layer nothing like the picture. The coating tasted bready and got soggy in seconds.

    • Hi Michael, that is strange because I have personally tried this and shot the photos and it worked out. Other readers had tried with great success. Please check the comments. What kind of cups are you using? You have to use the proper measuring cups.

  16. How could I get a this specific recipe sent to my email or if I wanted to SEND THIS RECIPE to a friend?

  17. Looks heavenly! Thanks for the recipe, Bee!!

  18. Can we use the “How to Make Shrimp Crispy” method before deep frying? Also, while curing the shrimp you mention to marinate it in the egg white and tapioca mixture, do we rinse that off or do we leave it on?

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