Salt and Pepa’s here, and we’re in effect! That’s right, today’s dish is in honor of the popular 90’s musical duo. These shrimps are the perfect finger food for any holiday gathering. It’s a super popular dish in Southern Chinese cuisine, and is a good blend of Asian and American flavors.
The unique thing about Salt n’ Pepa Shrimp is that it still has the shell on it. This helps to retain flavor and moisture while adding some crunch to the dish. Prepare to try something new!
Here’s what you’ll need to push it…. push it real good:
- 1 lb. of raw shrimp (with the shell still on)
- Olive oil
- Ginger (optional)
- Chili oil or Jalapenos (optional)
1. First, you’ll want to wash your shrimp. DO NOT remove the shells. The purpose of this is to trap the flavor and moisture while cooking. When they’re done, the shell will actually be quite edible. Lightly dab the shrimp with a paper towel. You want them to be slightly moist, but not wet. Heh heh.
2. Next, it’s time to prep your coating. Toss some flour into a bowl and give it a liberal dash of salt and black pepper. Shake it up.
3. Now, you’ll need to chop up some garlic, onion and cilantro. You can also chop up some ginger to give it more Asian flava…. Flavvvvv
4. Ready for the next step? Okay — throw enough oil in a pan to cover the entire bottom. Remember, you want your shrimp the be crispy, so you’ll need a good amount of of oil. Cook it over a medium heat until it starts to bubble a little. Now you can toss your garlic, onion, cilantro and ginger in. Let that cook for about 5 minutes on medium.
At this time, you can add in spicy oil or chopped up jalapenos if you want to give it some kick. That might even help sober up drunk Uncle Mike.
5. Finally, it’s time to cook the shrimp! Put a few of your shrimp in the flour and give them a nice toss. The flour should coat the entire shrimp, but it shouldn’t be clumpy. Place the shrimps in the pan so that the entire side is touching oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan or the shrimp won’t cook evenly. Use kitchen tongs for this step if you have them. They are the truth.
Fry each side for about 1-2 minutes, or until they look orange and crispy.
6. Once your shrimp are cooked, pull them out and arrange them nicely on a plate. Don’t forget to get the garlic, onions, cilantro and ginger on there too. They should be cooked to crispy perfection by now.
For presentation, you can chop up a little more cilantro and sprinkle it over your dish.
To eat, you can use your hands. Barbarian style. Just pick the shrimp up by the tail and bring to mouth. You can either peel the shell off with your teeth (and spit ’em out somewhere), or eat the entire shrimp with the shell on. If you do peel it, make sure you suck all that flavor out of the shell before you spit ’em.
Cheers and happy holidays!