This is a super-easy and flavorful dish from America’s Test Kitchen. What’s below pretty much matches their ingredients and instructions.
This does cook up nicely, though I strongly recommend using a nonstick frypan for this recipe. A cast-iron frypan will not work.
Note that salting the shrimp for a few minutes helps them stay plump and hydrated when cooking. I suspect you could do this for any type of shrimp dish you’re going to cook. As with all shrimp recipes, be careful not to overcook the shrimp—otherwise they get rubbery.
What you’ll need
- 1.5 lbs. large or extra-large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
- 1t kosher salt, divided
- 2t coriander seeds
- 1t black peppercorns
- 1t paprika
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1t and 0.125t (⅛t) sugar, divided
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1T and 1t neutral oil, divided
- 0.5 cups cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1T lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
- 3T tablespoons dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
What to do
Toss the shrimp and 0.5t salt in a bowl and set aside for 15 to 30 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
Grind the coriander seeds and peppercorns in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle until coarsely ground. Transfer to small bowl, then add the paprika, garlic, 1t sugar, pepper flakes, and remaining 0.5t salt. Stir until combined, then set aside.
Remove the shrimp from the bowl, pat them dry with paper towels, and dry the inside of the bowl. Return the shrimp to the bowl and add 1T oil and remaining the 0.125t sugar. Toss the shrimp to coat, then add them in a single layer to a cold 12-inch nonstick or well-seasoned carbon-steel frypan. A cast-iron pan does not work for this recipe because it takes too long to heat up. Turn the heat to high and cook until the pan-side of the shrimp are spotted and pink—about 3-4 minutes. Remove the frypan from the heat, and using tongs, quickly turn over each shrimp. Keep them like that until second side of each shrimp is opaque—about 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a serving plate or platter.
Add the remaining 1t of oil to the now-empty skillet, then add the spice mixture and cook it over medium heat until just fragrant—30 seconds or so. Remove the pan from the heat again and return the shrimp to it. Add the cilantro and lime juice, then toss to combine.
Transfer the shrimp back to the serving plate or platter, and sprinkle with peanuts.
Serve immediately with a lime wedge for each diner.