Szechuan pepper prawns Ingredients:
For the Sichuan pepper-salt:
- 1/4 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon white peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the shrimp:
- 1/4 cup peanut oil
- 1 pound extra large or jumbo shrimp (about 15 or less count per pound), shell-on, split down the back and deveined
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon seeded, minced serrano chili, or to taste
How to make Szechuan pepper prawns:
To make Sichuan pepper-salt:
- In a small saute pan over medium heat, toast the Sichuan and white peppercorns, shaking the pan, for about 3 minutes. Do not let them burn. They may smoke and pop like popcorn; this is okay. Remove the pan from the heat; set aside to cool slightly. In a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle, coarsely grind the peppercorns. Transfer to a bowl and combine with the salt. Set aside.
- In a wok or large saute pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot but not smoking. 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. Add the shrimp to the wok and cook, tossing a few times to cook through on both sides, for 2 to 3 minutes. 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. Add the garlic, chile pepper and pepper-salt mixture. Return the wok to the heat and toss the shrimp with the spice mixture until the spices release their fragrance and coat the shells, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
- These are beautiful served very simply on a pretty plate, garnished with lime wedges. If you can find fresh pea vines in a local farmers’ market, arrange them on your platter and set the seared shrimp on top.