Inspired by jiao yan xia, the classic Chinese dish of head-on, fried shrimp finished with a Sichuan or white pepper salt seasoning, these shrimp rolls celebrate the flavors of salt and pepper. Peeled shrimp are seasoned, breaded with cornstarch and fried until super crunchy, then sprinkled with a black pepper-salt. Once cooked, they’re tucked into toasted rolls smeared with a zingy garlic mayo.
Fresh cilantro, sliced chile and a squeeze of fresh lime brighten the hearty sandwich. Store any leftover pepper-salt in an airtight container and use it as a seasoning for roasted meats and vegetables.
Salt And Pepper Shrimp Rolls
• Vegetable oil, for frying (about 2 1/2 cups)
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 1/4 teaspoon grated garlic
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 4 hot dog buns, preferably top-split
• 1 pound peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp (16-20 shrimp), tails removed
• 1/4 cup whole milk (or 2%)
• 1 cup cornstarch
• 2 Fresno chiles, thinly sliced
• Tender cilantro sprigs, for garnish
• Lime wedges, for serving
In a 12-inch cast-iron or heavy skillet, heat 1 inch of oil over medium-high until an instant-read thermometer registers 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and garlic; mix well. In a separate small bowl, combine pepper and salt.
Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium. Using 1 teaspoon of garlic mayonnaise per bun, spread on outer sides of buns, then toast them until golden, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to plates.
Season shrimp with about 1 teaspoon of the pepper-salt, dip in milk, then dredge in cornstarch, gently pressing so cornstarch adheres. Working in two batches, fry shrimp until crispy and cooked through, turning halfway, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Season with more of the pepper-salt mixture.
Smear some garlic mayonnaise on the inner center of buns, then divide shrimp among buns. Top with chiles, cilantro and more pepper salt. Serve with lime wedges.
Total time: 15 minutes, serves 4.