Salt and Pepper Shrimp

Salt and pepper shrimp is a classic Cantonese dish that can be easily made at home in just 20 minutes!

Whenever I go to a Cantonese restaurant, I always order something salt and pepper because the flavor profile is just that good! This is an extremely versatile dish because you can use any protein you like including tofu, pork, chicken, squid, shrimp and even frog legs! If you’re looking for a healthy air-fried vegetarian alternative to this, check out my Air Fryer Salt and Pepper Tofu recipe!

Salt and Pepper Shrimp

Servings 2 people
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins


  • 8 oz shrimp trimmed, deveined, shell on
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 long green pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 hot red pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 scallion chopped, for garnish
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • neutral oil for frying


  • Trim away any sharp or pointy areas of shrimp. Using a scissor, carefully cut the back side of the shrimp with the shell on. Devein, rinse and set aside.
  • Season the shrimp with salt and white pepper. Mix well. Next, add cornstarch and mix until fully coated.
  • In a deep pot, heat oil over medium heat to 375 F / 190 C. Add the shrimp, making sure not to overcrowd the pot. You may need to work in batches. Drain on a wire rack or on a bed of paper towels.
  • In a wok, heat up 2 tbsp oil and toss in the minced garlic. When they've slightly browned, add the chopped peppers and stir fry for 1 minute.
  • Toss in the fried shrimp and season with salt and white pepper to taste. Stir together to mix well.
  • Garnish with scallions and enjoy!


  1. Feel free to use shrimp without heads. I personally think the heads are the best part however, it’s all a matter of preference.
  2. White pepper powder can be substituted for black pepper. 

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