There is something to be said for dishes that are simple in nature. Sure, I love things that are a big to-do and have a lot of ingredients and steps. But sometimes simple dishes pack the most flavor. Like this Salt & Pepper Shrimp. I first learned about this dish at a PF Chang's restaurant a long while ago. Back then, I wasn't as much of a foodie as I am now, and I saw it only as fried shrimp. But I recently came across the dish again somewhere while perusing the internet. It's a simple lightly battered shrimp with salt and pepper as its only seasoning. Then it gets tossed in a bit of a homemade chili oil. And it's divine. The shrimp stands on its own here. The salt and pepper are a perfect accompaniment, and the little bit of chili gives it a slight kick. Perfect for date night!
SALT & PEPPER SHRIMP
12 ounces jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
1/2 C flour
1/4 C cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 C water
1 T vegetable oil
2 green onions, sliced
1 jalapeno, sliced
1 red serrano or red chili pepper, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
Put the shrimp in a bowl and generously salt them. Cover them with water and soak them for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Then take them out and dry them on a towel.
Drizzle some vegetable oil into a small skillet. Over medium high heat, cook the peppers until tender, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook about 30 seconds more. Turn off the heat and set it aside.
Mix together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, egg, water, and the 1 T vegetable oil and season well with salt and pepper. Preheat some vegetable oil in a large skillet. Toss the shrimp into the batter mixture. Fry the shrimp until brown and done through. Drain them on a paper towel. When they are all fried, add them to the skillet with the chilies and garlic. Turn the heat on and toss the shrimp around for about 30 seconds in the chilies. Remove from heat. Serve with the green onions as a garnish.