Salt and Pepper Shrimp

These salt and pepper shrimp are crazy easy to make. They’re simply tossed in freshly ground mixed peppercorns and sea salt and seared in a wok or skillet. They’re served with a few slices of lemon. A great appetizer or topping for a salad or pasta.

Salt and Pepper Shrimp

Salt and pepper shrimp. The recipe sorta says it all. All you gotta do is toss some shrimp, salt, pepper, and garlic in a hot skillet and keep watch until the shrimp are plump and juicy and perfect. Then all that’s left is to sit back and accept accolades. Originally posted September 9, 2016.Renee Schettler Rossi

Salt and Pepper Shrimp

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 25 M
  • Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer
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  • 1 teaspoon multicolored or black peppercorns
  • 2 pounds large shrimp in the shell, preferably heads on, deveined* if desired
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  • 1. Place the peppercorns in a spice grinder (or a clean coffee grinder reserved only for grinding spices) and pulse several times until they’re finely crushed.
  • 2. Pat the shrimp dry. In a bowl, combine the shrimp, half the crushed peppercorns, and 1 teaspoon salt and toss to coat the shrimp.
  • 3. Warm a wok or a large frying pan over medium-high heat, then swirl in the oil. Add the garlic, remaining peppercorns, and 1 teaspoon salt and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the shrimp and stir-fry until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes. The shrimp cook really fast so be careful not to overcook them.
  • 4. Serve the shrimp right away with the lemon wedges for squeezing. Place a small bowl or dish on the table for discarded shells. Don’t forget to put out plenty of napkins!

*How to Devein Shrimp

  • Know that dark vein that runs down the back of shrimp? It’s the vein, and it’s how waste matter gets escorted out of these little crustaceans. It’s completely edible but if you’re the squeamish sort you’re going to want to remove it before cooking.

    If you’re cooking shrimp that have the shells removed, it’s super easy—just run the tip of a knife along the vein, prod it out, and, if it rips, just grab a paper towel and clean up the mess.

    If you’re cooking shrimp that have the shells intact, as in this recipe, things get a touch trickier but are still completely doable. Grab some kitchen shears or scissors and, starting at the wide end of the shrimp, carefully snip along the center of the shell about halfway to the opposite tip. Use the tip of a knife to prod the vein out of place and remove it, leaving the shell intact.

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