Salt & Pepper Shrimp

This is a favourite of mine, the Chinese restaurant near skool had a great version. For some reason it’s hard to find these days. Ideally made with head-on prawns, I adapted for the frozen shrimp I had, and mixed it up a bit with the addition of a plantain to make it a complete meal without needing rice. 


  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 1 onion, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 3 slices ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 green plantain, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1/8 cup raw peanuts, whole


  1. Defrost and rinse shrimps well. Shake off excess moisture. Coat with a dusting of cornstarch, season with powdered dried shrimp or salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the vegetables and stir to coat.
  2. Heat peanut or coconut oil in a wok, season with a star anise and a dried red chile pepper or Szechuan pepper. When smoking, remove spices and discard.
  3. Add the plantains to wok and stir fry until they just start to soften and get lightly brown, then add shrimp mixture and stir fry until cooked.
  4. Garnish with chopped scallion, Thai basil and/or cilantro 


This is traditionally a dry dish, but if you want a bit of sauce, deglaze the pan with rice wine, soy sauce, and a splash of mirin.

For a bit more heat, you can slice a second pepper into rounds and fry with the plantains. Or replace the plantain with an extra pepper, or use a Serrano. 


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