Classic Chinese salt and pepper shrimp with a healthy twist without losing any authentic taste. It’s gluten-free and only requires 15 minutes. So quick and yum!

Classic Chinese salt and pepper shrimp with a healthy twist without losing any authentic taste. It's gluten-free and only requires 15 minutes. So quick and yum!

The title of this recipe sounds like it gave away all of the ingredients: salt, pepper, and shrimp. But I promise you, there’s a little more punch to it than that.

This healthy Chinese restaurant-style dish is loaded with flavorful, warming aromatics like ginger, garlic, and bird’s eye chilis—and the smallest touch of brown sugar (as recommended by my mom) to balance out the flavors.

Classic Chinese salt and pepper shrimp with a healthy twist without losing any authentic taste. It's gluten-free and only requires 15 minutes. So quick and yum!

The sugar won’t make the shrimp taste sweet (it’s only 1/2 of a teaspoon), but it’s a little trick that makes all the difference in how the flavors come together. Trust me on this one if you’re thinking of omitting it.

The salt and pepper shrimp you’d find in a Chinese restaurant is usually deep fried and breaded with all-purpose flour. Instead, this shrimp is stir-fried, which means it’s completely gluten-free (and a little better for you).

Classic Chinese salt and pepper shrimp with a healthy twist without losing any authentic taste. It's gluten-free and only requires 15 minutes. So quick and yum!

This shrimp recipe makes four to six servings, so you can serve it as a side or an appetizer for a larger crowd. It could also be shared as a main among four people, with rice and your favorite steamed vegetables.

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Classic Chinese salt and pepper shrimp with a healthy twist without losing any authentic taste. It's gluten-free and only requires 15 minutes. So quick and yum!

Healthy Chinese Salt and Pepper Shrimp

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 6 reviews
  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: Gluten Free
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Chinese
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Description

Classic Chinese salt and pepper shrimp with a healthy twist without losing any authentic taste. It’s gluten-free and only requires 15 minutes. So quick and yum!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 pounds uncooked large shrimp, deveined and shells on
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns or ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 fresh Thai chili or dried red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil with high smoke point such as avocado oil or vegetable oil
  • Chopped green onion for garnishing

Instructions

  1. Rinse shrimp in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Combine salt, pepper and sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Combine prepared ginger, garlic, and chili in a separate small bowl. These two steps will allow you to move quickly while cooking.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Swirl.
  5. When the oil is hot, place shrimp into the pan and sauté until it begins to turn pink, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Toss ginger, garlic and chili combination into the pan. Stir frequently until the shrimp is opaque.
  7. Quickly add salt, pepper, and sugar. Stir until shrimps are evenly coated by all seasonings, about 30 seconds. Dish. Garnish with green onion and serve immediately.

Notes

  • The same amount of spices might be too strong for peeled shrimp. Reduce the spices accordingly if using peeled shrimp for this recipe.
  • I recommend purchasing your shrimp in the seafood section of an Asian market for the most authentic taste, but that will require a bit more prep time in order to devein the shrimp. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 216
  • Sugar: 0.7g
  • Sodium: 493.1mg
  • Fat: 9.8g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.6g
  • Trans Fat: 0.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Fiber: 0.3g
  • Protein: 30.7g
  • Cholesterol: 243.3mg
Classic Chinese salt and pepper shrimp with a healthy twist without losing any authentic taste. It's gluten-free and only requires 15 minutes. So quick and yum!

About the Author

Sharon Chen is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and author of the Complete Sous Vide Cookbook. She believes food not only brings healing but also connection. As the creator of StreetSmart Kitchen, she aims to make meal prep easier than ever and help you find balance, ease, joy, and simplicity in the kitchen as you improve your well-being.