Szechuan Pepper-Salt Prawns

Recipe by Aunt Cookie
READY IN: 30mins




  • To make 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 OK.
  • 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.
  • To make shrimp: 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, chili 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 shrimp, about 1 minute.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • A step ahead: The pepper-salt can be made a week or more ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature.