So. When you get salt & pepper shrimp at a restaurant, they serve it on vegetables. I have successfully made the shrimp, and I’ve made dry-fried beans, so when I realized I had onions and green pepper to stretch the few green beans I had into enough for two people, I applied my collected experience into making the vegetables they serve under salt & pepper shrimp.
It was easy. And it was glorious.
The procedure for dry-fried vegetables is:
- Get a couple tablespoons of oil hot in a pan over medium heat, then char a pound of vegetables (450g) so they dry out a bit and have dark bits but are still crunchy in places. Green beans take 8 minutes; other vegetables vary.
- Remove vegetables to a plate.
- Bring the heat to high, and with a bit more oil, briefly sauté minced garlic, minced ginger, and a bunch of chopped scallion. Optionally also add sliced red chili. (When you prep these, you can have them ready in one bowl.)
- Mix in a dollop of sambal oelek or similar.
- Add back the vegetables, along with a splash of soy sauce, and a generous pinch of white sugar. Toss to coat with the sauce.
- Remove from the heat. Season generously with salt.
To turn dry-fried vegetables into salt & pepper vegetables:
7. Include a stalk of celery. Slice it thin, and fry it separately as part of step 1.
8. Also season with fresh ground black pepper and, if you have it, crushed Sichuan peppercorns.
Note: If you do a mix of vegetables, slice them into bean-sized strips, and fry each kind separately to ensure optimal cooking times. I enjoyed the mix we had: green beans, green bell pepper, and yellow onion, along with the celery.