Friday, February 20, 2009

Salt-and-Pepper Shrimp with Garlic and Chile

I always look for a recipe that easily allows me to make half of it spicy and the other half without (for the wife.) I made these with the Chinese Green Beans, but it’s a dish that you can mix with a pretty wide variety of sides.

Salt-and-Pepper Shrimp with Garlic and Chile
By Dawn Yanagihara Serves 4
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • Pinch of Chinese five-spice powder
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 5 large cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Serrano Chile, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 4 large Scallions (green parts only), sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1-1/2 lb. large shrimp (26 to 30 per lb.), peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • 1-1/2 Tbs peanut or canola oil
  • 1 small lime, cut into 4 wedges

In a large bowl, mix the cornstarch, sugar, five-spice powder, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. In a small bowl, mix the garlic, chile, and scallions; set aside.

Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Line a small baking sheet or large plate with a double layer of paper towels. Add the shrimp to the cornstarch mixture and toss until evenly and thoroughly coated.

In a heavy-duty 12 inch nonstick skillet, heat 1-1/2 Tbs of the oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Add half of the shrimp in a single layer. Cook without disturbing until deep golden and spotty brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, quickly flip each shrimp and continue to cook until the second sides are spotty golden brown, about 1 minute longer. (The shrimp may not be cooked through at this point.) Transfer the shrimp to the prepared sheet. Add another 1 Tbs of the oil to the skillet and repeat with the remaining shrimp, transferring them to the sheet when done.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 Tbs oil to the skillet. Add the garlic mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the chile and scallions are softened and the garlic is golden and smells toasted, about 1 minute. Return the shrimp to the pan and stir to combine. Serve immediately, with the lime wedges.

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