Black Pepper Shrimp

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This very tasty and easy Chinese-American stir-fry was inspired by the Singaporean dish black pepper crab.  I served it last night with rice, a Smashed Cucumber and Scallion Salad , and an Albarino (a white wine from Galicia in NW Spain).  Carol thought the wine went exceptionally well with the shrimp.  This recipe makes 2 large or 3 more modest servings, and is adapted from a recipe at .  A tablespoon of black pepper does sound like a lot, but it is balanced by the oyster sauce and the bit of sweetness from the sugar.  (The recipe could be toned down with less pepper and fewer or milder chilies.)


3 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 Tbs. vegetable oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

½ cup shallots, finely chopped (about 1 large shallot)

2 Thai birds eye chilies

1 Tbs. freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbs. oyster sauce

2 Tbs. soy sauce

2 tsp. sugar

¼ cup chicken stock


1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

Scallions and cilantro as garnish.


Begin by getting everything in place, since this dish will be done within 10 minutes of starting to cook.  Put the garlic, shallots, chilies, and black pepper in one bowl, and the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and chicken stock in a second bowl.  Put the peeled and deveined shrimp in a third bowl.  Chop the scallions and cilantro which will be used as a garnish.

Heat a large frying pan and add the butter and oil.  When hot, saute the ingredients from the first bowl (garlic, etc.) for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure the garlic does not burn.  Then add the contents of the second bowl (oyster sauce, etc.) and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently as it reduces.  Add the shrimp, and for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until done.  Do not overcook the shrimp.

Serve on rice with the scallion and cilantro garnish.


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