The following recipe comes for Be a Wok Star, a great blog for Chinese wok cooking:


  • 1 1/2 lb. shrimp

Aromatics :

  • 6-8 cloves garlic, diced
  • 6 slices ginger, shredded
  • 3-5 shallots (substituted with half red onion)
  • 3-4 scallions, chopped in small rounds
  • 1 medium sized serrano pepper, optional (wash hands immediately, do NOT touch face, eyes)
  • handful cilantro, chopped or any other herb you like: basil, parsley
  • Rock salt to taste
  • Canola oil for frying

Finger Dip:

Make hot tea and put into bowl with wide opening, one bowl per person.  Cut a lime or lemon into wedges and add to bowl of tea.  You can use this ‘natural astringent’ dip to rinse your fingers after shelling your shrimp.

Dip (optional):

  • Tamari and lime or lemon juice


1.  Defrost shrimp under running cold water. Dry VERY WELL with paper towels.

2.  Chop all aromatics and leave on your chopping board.

3.  Very important – fry shrimp in TWO batches.

You need to move FAST in this first few steps to prevent burning…

Heat your cast iron wok or skillet on high (see notes below.) Add 3 swirls of oil. Immediately add a third of the garlic and ginger. Immediately add in half of the shrimp and spread them out so they all get some heat and not overlap each other.  This is what will give your shrimp a crispy exterior and succulent interior.

To test the shrimp for doneness, check the one at the base of your wok (the hottest area.) Once the shrimp turns pink on one side, you can stir fry the whole batch by constantly flipping them over.  It doesn’t take long for all the shrimp to turn pink. Don’t overcook shrimp or seafood esp. calamari because it becomes chewy and tough instead of tender.

Add a few tsp. of rock salt to shrimp. Remove the shrimp to a platter. Do NOT cover because it makes the shrimp stew in its shell and go soft.

Cook second batch the same way.

4.  Add a little oil into wok to cook your aromatics.  Add garlic and ginger first, then rest of aromatics and serrano chilies last because they are so pungent, they make you gag.  Add all the shrimp back in with the aromatics and fry to coat.  Give a shrimp a taste and add more salt if you need to and you’re done!

Put another dish out for the shells.

How to eat…

Lick the shells first before peeling them, then lick your fingers before washing them. YUMMY.  I stir fried a simple bok choy with red bell pepper as a side dish.  It’s all you need for this finger lickin’ crispy salt shrimp, enjoy!  I hope you’ll try this easy and delicious way to make shrimp…

Crispy Salt Shrimp
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