This Keto Salt and Pepper Shrimp recipe is totally easy to make and gluten-free as well as low-carb! Skip the takeout and make this classic Chinese dish at home in no time!
Salt and pepper shrimp used to be one of our absolute favorite things to eat when we'd frequent the local Chinese / Japanese buffet. The crispy shrimp were our absolute FAVORITE, especially when dunking them into shrimp sauce, ha! I've always loved eating shrimp shells but whenever I would, I would get comments from others ranging from "you're weird" to "you're going to get very sick". Heads up, shrimp shells are super nutritious and totally fine to eat! This must be a Western culture thing to shun shrimp shells as other cultures eat them in a variety of ways. I'm not picky, I like them however they're cooked but in this Keto Salt and Pepper Shrimp recipe they are definitely the star of the show.
Let's get to the common questions and how-to!
Is Salt and Pepper Shrimp Keto Friendly?
Typically, no, as recipes use a lot of cornstarch and unhealthy vegetable/seed oils. We're switching things up those and using Whey Protein Isolate or tapioca starch. If you use tapioca, the carbs will obviously be a bit higher but definitely still workable within Keto macros.
How to make Keto Salt and Pepper Shrimp
- First, be sure to purchase shell-on large shrimp.
- Next, you'll want to devein the shrimp by using kitchen shears to cut down the back of the shrimp and remove the vein. The shell will still be attached to the shrimp so be sure not to cut into the tail sections.
- Then, you'll toss the shrimp with the seasonings and either the whey protein isolate or tapioca starch.
- Next, you'll heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering you'll work in batches frying the shrimp in a single layer (none of the shrimp should touch each other), for about 1 ½ - 2 minutes per side until golden brown and very crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain off the excess oil, this helps to keep the shrimp crispy.
- To serve, toss the shrimp with green onions, cilantro, Thai chiles, peppercorns, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
PRO-TIP: serve these Keto Salt and Pepper Shrimp with Hop Water, it's a freaking DELICIOUS combo!
Keto Salt and Pepper Shrimp
- 1 pound large shell-on shrimp
- 2 tablespoons whey protein isolate OR tapioca starch
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup avocado oil ⅔ cup left after frying
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns or mixed peppercorns
- 4 Thai chiles thinly sliced
- 2 green onions chopped
- ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
- Flaky sea salt for serving
- Devein the shrimp by cutting along the back of the shell and removing the vein. In a large bowl combine the tapioca starch, black pepper, and salt. Add the shrimp to the bowl and toss to coat.
- Heat the avocado oil in a 10” or larger cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches so as not to overcrowd the skillet, fry the shrimp for 2 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy.
- Transfer the cooked shrimp to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. Repeat with remaining shrimp.
- After cooking all of the shrimp, add them to a large bowl with the Sichuan peppercorns, chili peppers, green onion, and cilantro. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and serve.
- 306 calories
- 2g total carbs
- 29g protein
- 20g fat
- 1g fiber
Rachel King says
Pam Sturgess says
This is my favorite food in the world! I was so happy to find your recipe and it came out great. I made it with cornstarch instead of tapioca starch because I had it and I think the cornstarch has fewer carbs. Anyway ... This is super easy and delicious and I'll be making it every week for years to come. Thank you.
My new favorite way to eat shrimp!
There are many good recipes out there, and this is one. I followed your recipe exactly with the whey protein isolate. I love the flavor and texture and will be making this on a regular basis.
Thank you castironketo!