- 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
- 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.
A spice-infused American white ale, like the smooth Allagash White or the lightly citrusy Lost Coast Great White, would be great with this dish.