Jalapeno Salt and Pepper Shrimp
A simple recipe for Jalapeño Salt and Pepper Shrimp. Quick battered shrimp that are pan-fried and tossed with sliced jalapeños, onions, and chopped cilantro. Serve with brown rice and it’s a quick weeknight dinner recipe!
Now this is a story all about some spicy, tender and sweet shrimp tossed in a quick batter and pan-fried.
With jalapeños because they add that hint of heat, sweet sliced onions for that natural sweetness, and sprinkled with cilantro for a pop of flavor and color. Gah! These salt and pepper shrimp sure make me a happy camper.
Cooking for one has been a bit of a nightmare since the hubby started traveling. Sure, you know, in the beginning is started off pretty good. Meal prepped on Sunday and was good to go for the week ahead. But then, I started cutting back on the meal prep a bit and decided I could be a responsible adult and really just every other night of the week and be good. That lasted for all of about 5 seconds. Take out pizza or scrambled eggs in tortillas topped with salsa and cheddar was becoming a nightly affair. It’s one of my most favorite brinners ever, but hey, can you hear that voice deep from within me, yelling for a little variety?
So enter my quick + easy + delicious salt and pepper shrimp.
This jalapeño salt and pepper shrimp recipe is inspired by a local Chinese restaurant we have here in the big H. I find myself always piling lots of these cute shrimp onto my plate every time I go. And then one evening, on a whim my little sister, Fatima and I, decided to give it a go at home. Mainly because, we couldn’t figure out who would drive to the restaurant. SISTERS. You know all those Pop Sugar and Buzzfeed articles you see about sisters? We are those to a T.
It all starts with 1 ½ pounds of thawed shrimp. You really want to dry them well on a paper towel so the batter sticks to them. In a bowl, we’re going to combine sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cornstarch, and a couple egg whites. This creates a nice, thick coating for the shrimp. Add the shrimp in and toss. You want all the shrimp to be coated evenly, so really get in there with a spoon.
The Chinese restaurant we go to most likely deep fries these but we’re doing a quick pan fry in a couple tablespoons of oil. Since we’re keeping it light on the oil, I highly recommend a good nonstick skillet for this recipe. Here is the one I use and LOVE.
Next, we pan fry the salt and pepper shrimp in batches. I did three batches with about a tablespoon of oil per batch. You want the shrimp to just cook through. Keep a close eye on them because shrimp go from perfect to rubberband in a matter or seconds.
Once you’re done cooking the shrimp. Remove them to a plate and keep warm. Add the sliced jalapeños and onions to the remaining oil drippings in the pan. If you’re pan is completely dry, consider adding a teaspoon of oil and stir fry the peppers and onions for about 1-2 minutes or until nice and fragrant. Basically, you just want the onions and jalapeños to release their natural oils. Add the cooked shrimp back into the pan and toss to coat everything in the flavor we just developed. Sprinkle with a small pinch of salt and lots of extra peppers to taste. Add chopped cilantro on top.
Serving suggestions for these salt and pepper shrimp –> go with brown, white, or fried rice. Cauliflower mash or mashed potatoes will also do the trick.
It’s fast; it’s easy. It’s super flavorful. And it’s just 10 ingredients!
GET ON THIS FRIENDS.
- 1 ½ pounds large shrimp (dried on paper towels)
- 1 ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt + ½ teaspoon black pepper (plus more)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 egg whites
- ½ onion, thinly sliced
- 1-2 jalapeños, sliced
- 3-4 tablespoon oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cornstarch, and egg whites. You want to make sure the shrimp have been dried on a paper towel before adding it to the batter. Add the shrimp to the batter and stir to combine.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add one-third of the battered shrimp and cook for about 1 minute on each side. You want the shrimp to just curl into a 'c' shape. Remove to a plate. Continue cooking the remaining 2 batches of shrimp in the same way, remove to the plate when done.
- If there is no oil left in the skillet, drizzle a teaspoon of oil and allow it to heat. Add the sliced onions and jalapeños to the pan and cook for about 1-2 minutes or until they are fragrant. Add all the shrimp back to the skillet and using a spatula, toss the shrimp around so they are evenly coated with the onions and jalapeños. Sprinkle with a small pinch of salt and black pepper to just season everything. Let cook for another 1-2 minutes before removing from the heat. Top with chopped cilantro and serve with white, brown, or fried rice. Or even cauliflower mash or mashed potatoes.
- You can remove the tail or leave them on for the shrimp. Either will work!
- Feel free to remove the jalapeños before serving if you want this to be more mild. I also recommend using just 1 jalapeño for a milder spice level.
IS THIS A GOOD CHOICE FOR YOU?
Nutritional facts are for 1/4th of the recipe using 1 jalapeño and 3 tablespoons of oil.