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Sichuan Peppercorn Shrimp
© David Tsay

Sichuan Peppercorn Shrimp

  • TOTAL TIME: 40 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 4
  • FAST
  • HEALTHY

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.

  1. 1 1/2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns (see Note)
  2. 1 pound large shrimp—shelled, deveined and butterflied
  3. Salt
  4. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  5. 3 scallions—2 coarsely chopped, 1 thinly sliced
  6. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  7. 3 jalapeños, seeded and thinly sliced
  8. 1 dried pasilla or small ancho chile, seeded and very thinly sliced
  9. 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  10. Chile-sesame oil, for drizzling
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Notes Fragrant, mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns from China are increasingly available at Asian markets and on Web sites like thespicehouse.com.

Suggested Pairing

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.