This is the classic Cantonese shrimp dish with the heads and peels left on. The shrimp are usually eaten whole, but I know this is scary for some. The recipe is traditional, but you can peel and clean the shrimp if you prefer. I think that when fried, the skins and heads taste like tempura and hold the seasonings perfectly. You can choose your own adventure here, but I do hope you try this dish as it was meant to be eaten.
In a small bowl, combine the salt, bouillon powder, sugar and white pepper and reserve.
Rinse the shrimp under cold water, then drain them quickly in a colander. Leave them moist to absorb the cornstarch to make a crust.
Heat the oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven or pot until the oil reaches about 375 degrees F. Add the cornstarch to a large bowl, dredge the shrimp in cornstarch and then shake off the excess. Deep fry the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes in three small batches. Drain on a sheet pan as you are heating your skillet or wok.
While the shrimp are cooking, heat a large skillet or wok to high and spoon in 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of oil. When the first wisp of white smoke appears, stir in the garlic, ginger and jalapeno and cook for about 30 seconds until light brown.
Toss in the fried shrimp, reserved sugar-and-salt mixture and scallions. Continually toss the shrimp to coat well, 1 to 2 minutes. Once the shrimp are heated through, plate the shrimp and top with crispy bits from the pan.
Reprinted with permission from 101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die by Jet Tila, Page Street Publishing Co. 2017.