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Chinese Salt & Pepper Garlic Shrimp

This Chinese Salt & Pepper Garlic Shrimp recipe is easy to make at home when we skip the deep-fry step and the garlic and scallions make it over the top delicious. I recommend using frozen shrimp for optimal freshness and convenience. But do remember to thaw overnight or allow a few extra minutes to thaw according to package instructions.

Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine Chinese Stir Fry
Keyword shrimp
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 177 kcal
Author Sharon Wong


  • 1 pound extra large shrimp (12-15 count)
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground or black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (1 tablespoon more if needed)
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 jalapeño sliced (optional)
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (or sherry, brandy, broth, water, etc)


  1. Rinse, peel, and devein the shrimp, leave the tail on. Pat dry the shrimps with paper towels and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

  2. Sprinkle on salt and freshly ground white pepper, mix.

  3. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cornstarch on the shrimp, mix. The shrimp needs to be coated with cornstarch and look partially dry. Add an additional tablespoon of cornstarch if needed.

  4. Preheat a non-stick frying pan or wok on medium heat (3 minutes) or until a drop of water splashed on the pan sizzles.

  5. Pour the oil in the pan and add the garlic, stir-fry until fragrant (30 seconds). Add the shrimp and spread them out in a single layer and sear them for 3-4 minutes. While waiting, add the scallions and jalapeño (if using).

  6. When the tails turn pink and stir fry the shrimps briefly and sear them for 1 minute on the other side.

  7. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of rice wine over the shrimp and then stir fry until the shrimps are cooked thru and look completely pink with some light browning.