Using a sharp paring knife or kitchen shears, cut along the back of shrimp, through the shells, and remove and discard veins. Pat shrimp dry.
Whisk together cornstarch, black pepper, and 2 teaspoons of the salt in a large bowl. Add shrimp, tossing to coat.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Working in 3 batches, fry shrimp until golden brown, crispy, and cooked through, about 1 minute per side. Drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Sprinkle shrimp with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and serve over grits sprinkled with parsley.
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