Sang Yoon has been going to what he calls Los Angeles's "real" Chinatown—the Chinatown in Monterey Park, California—every week for the past five years. Those visits inspired these Sichuan peppercorn-coated shrimp; stir-frying them with two kinds of chiles gives them all kinds of heat.
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1 1/2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns (see Note)
1 pound large shrimp—shelled, deveined and butterflied
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 scallions—2 coarsely chopped, 1 thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 jalapeños, seeded and thinly sliced
1 dried pasilla or small ancho chile, seeded and very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Chile-sesame oil, for drizzling
How to Make It
In a small skillet, toast the peppercorns over moderate heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds; let cool. Transfer the peppercorns to a mortar or spice grinder and grind to a powder. Put the shrimp in a bowl, toss with 1 teaspoon of the ground peppercorns and season with salt.
In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Add the shrimp and stir-fry over moderate heat until almost cooked through, 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the skillet. Add the chopped scallions, garlic, jalapeños and chile and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the scallions and garlic are softened, 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of ground peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the shrimp and lime juice and stir until the shrimp are just cooked through, 1 minute. Season with salt and transfer to a bowl. Garnish with the sliced scallion, drizzle with the chile oil and serve.
Fragrant, mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns from China are increasingly available at Asian markets and on Web sites like thespicehouse.com.
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