The distinctive saltiness of fermented black beans and black pepper stir-fries is given a twist here with the addition of chewy, sweet pineapple. Dried in the oven until the sweetness is intensified and the texture like that of candy, the pineapple is an amazing addition here. Don’t skip it.–Jean-Georges Vongerichten
LC Sweetly Salty Note
If you’re the sorta person who goes wobbly in the knees over a salted caramel tart, you’re going to want to try this similarly sweetly salty recipe that’s just more on the savory side. Same underlying sensibility, though.
Black Pepper Shrimp
- Quick Glance
- 40 M
- 2 H, 40 M
- Serves 4
- 1/2 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
- 3 scallions, trimmed and sliced
- 1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 3/4 teaspoons black peppercorns, crushed
- 1 3/4 teaspoons fermented black beans, rinsed, squeezed dry, and chopped
- 3 tablespoons kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup diced jicama
- 1/2 cup baby pea shoots
- 1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet and line the rack with a Silpat.
- 2. Place the pineapple pieces on the mat in a single, even layer. Bake until the pineapple is dried, shriveled, and chewy, about 2 hours. Remove the pineapple from the Silpat, place them on the rack, and cool completely.
- 3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the scallions, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and golden. Add the crushed peppercorns and cook until fragrant, then add the black beans, soy sauces, lime juice, sugar, and salt and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- 4. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and purée until coarsely blended.
- 5. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is almost but not quite smoking, add the shrimp and cook, turning once, until crisp and browned. Carefully pour off and discard the oil from the wok, then add the black pepper sauce and 2 tablespoons water to the shrimp in the wok. Cook, still over medium-high heat, stirring, until the shrimp is well coated, then stir in the dried pineapple.
- 6. Arrange the stir-fry on a serving plate, garnish with the jicama and pea shoots, and serve.
Recipe Testers Reviews
This recipe has been dog-eared in my Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges for about 3 years. This is my kind of recipe—something a bit unique. Not sure why I hadn't made it before, but I sure am glad I finally did! The "sun-dried" pineapple is definitely the star and adds a wonderful sweetness to the otherwise savory—and, actually, a touch salty—dish. As an aside, I'd like to sun-dry pineapple for a snack. The technique would be tasty to use with "sun-dried" papaya or mango, too. Pea shoots were unavailable, but this was very good without. Another thing I appreciated was the lime juice. The crushed black peppercorns were lovely. As I was crushing them in my mortar and pestle, it seemed to be quite a lot, but it didn't overwhelm the dish in the slightest. Next time, I wouldn't add the salt, as there would have been enough with the soy sauce and kecap manis. Otherwise, this is a dramatic, striking, delicious dish. Don't be tempted to make it without the pineapple "candy"!