I burned it. This wonderful Stir-Fried Pepper and Salt-Shrimp dish. Oh my goodness. The smoke detector sent off a piercing sound. The wok was too hot, the oil beyond boiling. The minced garlic and ginger strips had turned black. But the shrimps were sizzling, bright orange, shiny and smelled irresistible.
This was my first entry for Wok Wednesdays and I burned it. How on earth do you mess up a simple shrimp stir fry, you probably wonder. I’ve cooked more complex dishes, baked longer recipes. And nothing like this happened.
I was multi tasking while stir-frying. This is what happens when a dish is SO EASY to cook. I read the recipe through, checked my shrimps, my wok, and the rice was cooked. The shrimps were gigantic, freshly bought and promised to be superb. I was over confident. I was also super excited. I’d been wanting to join the “Wok Wednesdays” group, who stir-fry a few times a month from the splendid “Stir Frying to the Sky’s Edge” by wok-expert extraordinaire, Grace Young.
There were many similar flavors to Filipino food in this gorgeous stir-fry cookbook. I’ve had this book for the past two years and have cooked numerous times from its delightful recipes. I’ve followed Grace’s recipes and wok instructions religiously and obediently. But this time, for the blog post, I was just too confident I was going to breeze through it. And because it seemed so easy, I started to bake a pie, simultaneously. Yes, I am guilty of multi-tasking. The pie was easy to do, and so was the shrimp in a wok. But too easy, I ended up burning the garlic and ginger.
Ultimately, here’s what it all came down to. A beautiful, picturesque shrimp dish that was heavenly! The garlic-gingery aroma penetrated through the fresh flavors of the jumbo shrimps. A sprinkling of salt and pepper was all I added and quickly I saw the shrimps sizzle in the wok, turning a bright pinkish orangey hue. I moved them around the wok, and the shiny, succulent seafood bits looked splendid. Quickly, I poured them over a mountain of steamed jasmine white rice and garnished the plate with chopped scallions. Supper was served!
Stir-Fried Pepper and Salt-Shrimps
- large wok
- 2 Tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 pound large shrimps peeled and deveined (about 12 pieces jumbo sized)
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black peppercorns
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 knob (about 1-inch) fresh ginger peeled, sliced like matchsticks
- In a large bowl combine 1 tablespoon of the salt with 1 quart cold water. Add the shrimp and swish the shrimp in the water with your hand for about 30 seconds. Drain. Add 1 more tablespoon salt to the bowl with 1 quart of cold water and repeat. Rinse the shrimp under cold water and set on several sheets of paper towels. Pat the shrimp dry.
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, sugar and peppercorns.
- Heat a 14-inch flat bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 1 tablespoon of the oil.
- Add the garlic, ginger, and using a metal spatula, stir-fry 10 seconds or until the aromatics are fragrant.
- Push the garlic mixture to the sides of the wok. Carefully add the shrimps, and spread them evenly in the wok.
- Cook undisturbed for 1 minutes, letting the shrimp begin to sear. Swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and stir-fry 1 minute or until the shrimp begins to turn orange.
- Sprinkle on the salt mixture and stir fry 1 to 2 minutes or until the shrimp are just cooked. Serve with steamed jasmine white rice and garnish with chopped scallions. Serve hot.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe?I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. I also have more classic recipes inspired by my mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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