Place sugar and water in a small pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Swirl pan occasionally (do not stir) until the caramel reaches a dark golden brown. Watch carefully to prevent burning. Set aside.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add shallot, garlic, ginger and chili. Saute 3-5 minutes until vegetables soften and shallots are translucent.
Add the shrimp and 2 tablespoons of the caramel sauce. Add fish sauce, lime juice and black pepper. Simmer until the shrimp curl and turn pink, 2-4 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in sesame oil and cilantro and serve over jasmine rice.