salt & pepper shrimp

i made a little [basmati] rice to go with this. we ended up pouring a little bit of the dipping sauce over the shrimp and rice. another big hit with the husband!!
ingredients (serves 4):

-1/4 tsp sugar
-1/4 tsp chinese five-spice powder
-salt and freshly ground pepper
-4 Tbs corn or peanut oil
-1/4 cup cornstarch (cornflour)
-1 1/2 lb shrimp, peeling and deveined
-2 Tbs ginger, minced
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 red or green jalapeño chile, seeded and minced--- (i didn't have one, so i just use a few green onions!)
2 Tbs mirin (rice wine)

make the spice mixture
in a small bowl, stir together the sugar, five-spice powder, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.

sear the shrimp
heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat until very hot and add 2 Tbs of the oil. meanwhile, spread the cornstarch on a plate. quickly pat the shrimp dry and dip each shrimp into the cornstarch, coating both sides and shaking off excess. add the shrimp to the pan in a single layer and sear, turning once, just until opaque throughout, about 1 minute on each side. using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a bowl.

finish the dish
return the pan to high heat and add the remaining 2 Tbs oil. add the ginger, garlic and chile (or onions) and stir-fry for about 5 seconds until fragrant. add the spice mixture and mirin, quickly return the shrimp to the pan, and stir-fry until the shrimp are coated with the spice mixture and are heated through, 15-20 seconds. serve with the dipping sauce.

ingredients for dipping sauce:
3 Tbs fresh lemon or lime juice
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs water
1/2 tsp minced cilantro (i went w/out and it was still great!)
1/4 tsp sugar
1 clove garlic, minced

stir all together. (may be made a day in advance, covered and refrigerated; bring to room temp before serving.)

*courtesy of williams-sonoma "food made fast: asian"

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