Being an entrepreneur (especially a solo one) means that your schedule could be very flexible; you have the option to go to Costco on a Wednesday afternoon instead of weekends or hit the movie theatre on a Monday morning when there’s nobody there; your commute is literally from rolling out of your bed to sitting at your desk in your pajamas.

salt, pepper and sugar

However, often times you find yourself working 14 hours a day and 7 days a week. Your friends think that you are ignoring them because you haven’t replied to the messages they sent you two days ago.

There’s no one telling you what you should do, how to do it, and when to finish it. Nobody is responsible for any serious consequences due to your mistakes besides YOU, because you are your own boss. The truth of being an entrepreneur is that you are going to fail. Guaranteed!

Salt and Pepper Shrimp - Spices

I learned all the pros and cons of being an entrepreneur from my husband Han, who has been a typical one for almost 10 years, focusing on online business. There has been great successes and countless failures in his life. Recently, I have started to truly understand what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

Miserable failures.

In October 2014, due to an algorithm change conducted by Google, the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) business that Han and his business partners had been successfully running for almost a year got completely destroyed overnight. Their healthy monthly revenue suddenly dropped to ZERO.

Salt and Pepper Shrimp - Super easy and quick shrimp recipe that only requires 8 ingredients and 20 minutes to cook. It gets better with every try! Read more at

That can be easily translated into one fact – the cost of living in San Francisco (especially housing) became too high for the two of us to afford as we want to continue building our businesses without getting a nine-to-five job. We had to adjust our life accordingly.

Terminating the lease of our apartment in downtown San Francisco was our first move, then we went back to China to visit my mom for a month in November 2014, which was planned in early 2014. Our lifesaver friend offered us his place in South San Francisco to stay until we figured out what we wanted to do.

Life changed dramatically in the middle of January 2015. We moved into Han’s parents’ house in Jacksonville, Florida.

salt and pepper shrimp

The mutual decision of leaving San Francisco for the other side of the country didn’t come easily. One of my biggest achievements in 2014 was to obtain the California Real Estate license and became a real estate agent with the #1 real estate company in San Francisco. Under the current circumstances, I decided to put my real estate business on hold and stand closely beside my life partner.

Han and I believe that we made a wise decision as a team. This temporary geographical change will allow Han to focus on launching his new sustainable and value-adding business in 2015. It will allow me to 100% focus on cooking, starting a food blog, and cookbook writing.

salt and pepper shrimp

Our goal is to move back to the west coast by the end of 2015. It’s not going to be easy but we will try our best, because we believe that

Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. Henry Ford

We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success, don’t we? So I think it’s Okay to fail as long as we learn from it and move on.

I am grateful for having the opportunity to start our lives in San Francisco. I feel blessed to have friends and families who are willing to open their doors widely for us when we are lost. On top of all that, I am lucky to have you here reading and providing great feedback to me in order to keep me accountable, cook better, and share more delicious recipes.

Now, onto an easy recipe that I learned from my mom during our recent trip back to China – Salt and Pepper Shrimp.

salt and pepper shrimp

The title kinda self-explained the three main ingredients for this recipe. Shrimp, salt and pepper. Mom suggested to add a little bit sugar to balance out the flavor. Trust me, you won’t taste the sweetness but it surely makes a difference.

In addition, finely chopped ginger and garlic are going to complement each other and really bring out the nature flavor of shrimp. Add one Thai chili or dried chili to give it an extra kick. What are the key words for this recipe? Easy, quick and delicious!


Salt And Pepper Shrimp

  • Author: DelishPlan
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 1/2 pounds large raw shrimp, deveined and shell on
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 dried chili or fresh Thai chili, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons Canola oil
  • 1 stem green onion, finely chopped for garnishing (optional)


  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 up a large sauté pan or wok over high heat. Add oil and swirl.
  5. When the oil is hot, place shrimp into the pan and sauté until done. It takes about 2 to 3 minutes.Remove cooked shrimp from the pan and set on a paper towel.
  6. Place ginger, garlic and chili combination into the same pan. Quickly move it around in the remaining oil with your spatula.
  7. Return shrimp into the pan. 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.


The same amount of spices might be too strong for peeled shrimp. Be conservative if using peeled shrimp for this recipe.


  • Serving Size: 4

3 thoughts on “Salt and Pepper Shrimp + A Story About Failure”

  1. That is really fascinating, You are an overly professional blogger.

    I’ve joined your rss feed and sit up for looking for more of
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  2. Hi! This sounds just delicious, but I’m wondering..are the shrimp raw or already cooked? And why not shell them before you cook them…because they will have more flavor? It just seems that it would be easier to eat if they were already shelled before serving them. Thank you!

    1. Hi Roberta, the shrimp is raw, not cooked. You can totally cook shelled shrimp with this recipe. I’ve done it. Just be conservative with the spices since the flavor is going to attach to the shrimp meat directly. (Thanks for the reminder – I am going to update the recipe now.)

      The reason that I left the shell on is because I learned this recipe from my mother when I visited her in Shanghai and she cooks with whole shrimp (with the heads on) to keep it juicy. When ready to eat, we take off the head and peel the shell, but there’s still a little bit of shrimp juice left on the shrimp meat. I have to say that it tastes even better this way. I understand that’s not how people enjoy shrimp here, so I just tried to cook shrimp with shells but no heads the same way my mom does. And it worked. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

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