Crunchy Salt Shrimp with Ginger Sauce

James Carrier

While in Kenting, a fishing village in Taiwan, Jean Patterson was served just-caught shrimp crisp-fried in hot oil; to her delight, the shells were crunchy and edible, and the shrimp the most succulent she had eaten. Back home, she now cooks shrimp in the shell for adventurous guests; those less daring can shell the shrimp before eating them. You can also start with shelled shrimp.

Yield: Makes 4 servings
Recipe from Sunset

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 366
  • Calories from fat: 71%
  • Protein: 19g
  • Fat: 29g
  • Saturated fat: 3.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 6.8g
  • Fiber: 0.3g
  • Sodium: 1021mg
  • Cholesterol: 140mg


  • 1 pound (21 to 25 per lb.) shrimp in shells
  • 2 tablespoons sake or dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • About 1 1/2 cups salad oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or other coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup slivered fresh basil leaves


  1. 1. Devein shrimp in shells by pushing a toothpick perpendicular to each shrimp through a joint on the back shell and about 1/8 inch under the vein; pull up to lift out dark vein. If it breaks, repeat at another shell joint. If using shelled shrimp, slit shrimp backs and pull out vein. Rinse shrimp, put in a bowl, and add sake and cornstarch; stir to mix well.
  2. 2. In another small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, and ginger.
  3. 3. Pour about 1 inch oil into a 14-inch wok or deep, narrow 3- to 4-quart pan over high heat. When oil reaches 375°, add half the shrimp; stir often until they turn pink and shells are crisp, about 2 minutes (about 1 minute for shelled shrimp). With a slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to towels to drain. Repeat to cook remaining shrimp.
  4. 4. Drain oil from wok; discard or save for other uses. Set wok over medium heat, add garlic and salt, and stir until pan is hot. Add shrimp; stir until shrimp are coated with garlic mixture and hot, 1/2 to 1 minute.
  5. 5. Pour shrimp onto a platter, sprinkle with basil, and serve with ginger dipping sauce. Eat shells, if desired, or peel shrimp.
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