I grew up as the oldest of three children. There's me (Ursie), my sister Vicky, and my brother Manny. We were all close in age, so growing up we did almost everything together. We did a lot of the traditional kid stuff growing up like going to the beach, the zoo, and watching every Disney movie known to man kind. We also played in our backyard a lot. However our favorite activity was going to Wegmans with our mom.
What is Wegmans you ask? Its a north eastern grocery store chain. They have a hot buffet section and seating upstairs (at least this is the layout of the one we went to as kids) so you can eat there. They also have tons of awesome pre made food options that you could take home and heat up in the oven, which was for some reason a fun and novel concept to me and my siblings. Don't we sound like every other typical sibling trio? Clearly we were just always foodies at heart. Just look at our foodie faces in these pics!
See how cute we were growing up together! In 2017 we all graduated (Manny from high school, Vicky from college, and me from graduate school) and took super cute sibling photos to surprise our family with. The cap and gown photo is my favorite Ursie, Vicky, and Manny sibling picture of all time.
Well anyway, back to Wegmans. So at the hot buffet there were lots of different options. Vicky was able to get super spicy chicken, Manny was able to get some sort of pasta, and I always got the salt and pepper shrimp. Yum, it was pure heaven. Tiny delicious shrimp bites coated in a crunchy salt and pepper crust. I was obsessed. Like teenage girl obsessed with a boy band obsessed but about shrimp. As the years went on, my love for this shrimp only grew but, slowly it started becoming less and less frequent at the hot buffet. It then disappeared all together and I haven't seen it in at least 7 years.
My craving for this shrimp has never gone away. I scoured the internet for a recipe that was similar to the Wegmans dish. But I had no luck in this search. So now that I've started this blog, an idea popped into my mind, just recreate it at home and share it with the world, which is exactly what I am doing here. It took me a few tries but I finally got it right.
This salt and pepper shrimp is crispy and full of salty and peppery goodness. It is exactly how I remember it from my childhood Wegmans trips. I promise you it is good, even if it sounds kind of plain and boring, it is actually the opposite. The flavor of the pepper comes through in a way I have only ever tasted in this dish. I have worked tirelessly and through many bad batches so you don't have to and can just enjoy this dish in all its glory. The sibling trips to Wegmans may have come to an end due to all of our busy grown up schedules, but when I eat salt and pepper fried shrimp I feel like I am 12 again, eating with my siblings in a grocery store again. If you can read this recipe, you can make your own Salt and Pepper Fried Shrimp at home!
1 lb of large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut into 1inch pieces
3/4 cup cornstarch
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp pepper (this adds a nice kick to the dish, but if you would like less of a kick, I suggest 1/2 tbsp of pepper)
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
5 tbsp olive oil
1. Pat shrimp dry and cut shrimp into 1 inch pieces.
2. In a medium sized bowl mix cornstarch, salt, and pepper together.
3. Put shrimp pieces into the bowl and toss to coat the shrimp generously in the cornstarch mixture.
4. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a skillet or wok over a medium heat.
5. Add green onions and peppers to the skillet and sauté until peppers are soft, about 5 minutes. Remove the peppers and onions from the pan and set aside.
6. Add more oil to the pan if needed. Add shrimp pieces to oil in small batches (about half a cup at a time) and fry on each side until golden brown, about 2 minutes a side.
7. Repeat the process until all shrimp bites are cooked! Make sure you add oil to the pan if necessary for each batch of shrimp.
8. Add all shrimp pieces back to the pan along with the peppers and onions. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and enjoy!
This recipe makes approximately 3-4 servings!
- I serve the shrimp over steamed white rice.
- This shrimp would also taste great served over a bed of lettuce or in a salad.