Sichuan-Style Crispy Shrimp with Garden Salad
- 2 eggs
- 3 heaping tablespoons cornstarch
- Peanut oil, for frying
- 1 pound large shrimp (16/20), peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns, toasted and ground
- Sea salt
- Crushed red dried chile flakes
- 2 jalapenos, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 4 sprigs fresh basil, leaves separated
- 2 lemons, sliced into wedges, for garnish
- Garden Salad with Lemon Ginger Vinaigrette, recipe follows
- 1 heaping tablespoon store-bought fried garlic pieces, optional
- 1 heaping tablespoon store-bought fried shallot pieces, optional
- Garden Salad with Lemon Ginger Vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon peeled and freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 clove garlic, peeled and finely grated
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups baby arugula leaves
- 1 cup shredded Napa cabbage
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
- 1 large handful fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- 2 medium heirloom tomatoes, each cut into 4 slices
Cook's Note: Fried garlic and fried shallots can be found at most Asian specialty markets.
In a large bowl, mix the eggs and cornstarch to make a batter. Set aside.
Heat a wok over high heat and add enough peanut oil to fill a third of the way up the sides of the wok. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F, or until a cube of bread turns golden brown in 15 seconds and floats to the surface.
Dip the shrimp in the batter and fry in batches until they turn golden brown and are cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle the shrimp liberally with the ground Sichuan peppercorns, sea salt and chili flakes. Dip the jalapeno slices in the batter and fry until golden. Drain on paper towels. Fry the basil leaves until crispy, about 15 seconds. Drain on paper towels. Be careful, as the basil leaves may spatter slightly while frying.
For serving, divide the Garden Salad with Lemon Ginger Vinaigrette among four plates. Top the salad with the shrimp and garnish with the lemon wedges, fried jalapeno slices and fried basil leaves. Sprinkle with the fried garlic and shallot pieces, if using.
In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil and set aside.
Add the arugula, cabbage, red onions and basil into the bowl with the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Add the tomato slices.