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Chinese Salt & Pepper Shrimp

Chinese salt pepper shrimp is one of the famous Chinese take out dishes. A very tasty & easy shrimp recipe; served over rice or by itself.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Resting time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 1 lb


For S&P Shrimps

  • 1 lb shrimps about 20 counts, peeled, deveined, tail-on
  • 1 small green bell pepper cut into bite size
  • 1 small red bell pepper cut into bite size
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper cut into bite size
  • ½ small white onion cut into bite size
  • 2 small jalapeno sliced
  • vegetable oil as needed

For beer batter

  • 1 ½ c AP flour
  • ½ c cornstarch
  • 1.5 + ¼ c cold beer
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt

Lime dipping sauce

  • ¼ tsp ground white pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder


Make beer batter

  • Whisk together beer batter ingredients (include AP flourcorn starch, cold beer, baking powder and Kosher salt) and let it sit for at least 1 hour under refrigeration. Make sure the batter is lump free.
  • This beer batter can be kept in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to 2 days. So you can make it ahead of time.

Deep fry shrimps

  • In a large round cooking pan, fill it half way with vegetable oil and heat over high heat. Make sure the oil temperature reaches 350F before frying.
  • Holding the tail, lightly dredge peeled shrimp in AP flour first, then carefully dip it into beer batter. (This extra dredging step is to make sure the batter to stick on the shrimps and provides such crispiness to the fullest.)
  • Carefully lower the shrimp into hot oil. It is important to not throw the shrimp in the oil or you will get burnt.
  • Add few more shrimps to the pan. Don’t overcrowd or shrimps will become soggy as the temperature of the oil drops. (I separate 1lb of shrimps into 3 batches to fry).
  • Shrimps are done when their outer layers turn deep golden brown and become crispy. Approximately 7-9 minutes. Use slotted spoon to transfer cooked shrimps to a large plate lined with oil-absorbing papers or paper towels.
  • Continue the process for the rest of the shrimps.

Sauté shrimps & vegetables

  • In a sautéed pan, heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add bell peppers, jalapeno and white onion and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add deep fried shrimps and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Followed by seasoning mixture, give the pan a few shakes to coat everything evenly, approximately 5 to 10 seconds. You should be able to smell strong pepper fragrance at this point.
  • Turn off the heat. Serve immediately with lime dipping sauce as a snack or with steamed rice

For lime dipping sauce

  • In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. It can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.


  • It's better to use shell-on, frozen shrimps instead of pre-peeled shrimps. Pre-peeled shrimps tend to be overhandled and mangled. Making them too mushy and soft to work for most recipes.
  • If the batter is too thin, add 1 tbsp of flour, whisk, then check the consistency before adding more flour.
  • If the batter is too thick, add 1 tbsp of cold beer, whisk, then check the consistency before adding more beer.
  • Always add 1 tbsp of flour or cold beer at a time to prevent unfixable batter.