Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Jan 18, 2008 11:54 AM

Taiwanese style skin-on fried shrimp?

I'm trying to help a friend out--she's searching for this wonderful dish that she had in Taiwan. As she explains:

salt and pepper shrimp is a staple at most chinese places -- but the
ones i had in taiwan had the skins on them, but not the heads and
tentacles, and they were salt and peppered, and deep fried, but not
battered (or at least not heavily battered), it was the skins that
made them crunchy. the salt and pepper was really coarse. somehow
the skins were not tough like normal shrimp skins, magically either
the frying or the kind of shrimp made them soft enough to eat. i
wouldn't mind taking off the heads, if they could be found with the
heads on.

Surely this can be found in Manhattan, right 'hounds?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. American East Fuzhou Restaurant
    54 East Broadway

    Was there last week and ordered pretty close to what you are talking about I think. It was off their Chinese menu and I think it was called "Yu Xiang Nan Gua Xia" if I have it right. They took a pound of live shrimp from the aquarium tank in front and brought back into the kitchen. 5 minutes later out came crispy whole shrimp and scallions - quickly deep fried. My SO did not like the heads or legs on but I didn't mind at all. $18

    7 Replies
    1. re: scoopG

      Thanks ScoopG. Anything else you recommend if we go to American East Fuzhou Restaurant?

      Also, any other hounds know of other places that might have this dish?

      1. re: Produce Addict

        This is actually a pretty common dish in any Chinese Restaurant. It is pan-fried/stir-fried in a wok with salt, pepper and chilies. it works best with medium to large shrimp, as the shells tend to be softer than jumbo or larger sizes. If you do not see it on the menu.....simply ask them to prepare it for you in your favorite place.......... was at Golden Unicorn for dim sum last weekend, and they offered it there.

        BTW........the tails are edible as well.......try them next time you have Tempura or similar.....It's not restricted to Chinese Cooking methods.

        1. re: fourunder

          Any idea if they would have it at Grand Sichuan?

          1. re: Produce Addict

            PA, I just viewed their site and they have a dish called:

            Crispy Shrimp with Sichuan SC

            the picture is small, but this may be the dish.....translation and interpretation to English is always difficult on Chinese menus.

            What I do whenever I eat in a Chinese Restaurant is to specifically specify the size shrimp I am ordering or desire. If you describe the dish and tell them you want to eat the crispy shells with or without heads on.....the captains will know how to accommodate your request.

            Check the site for the picture to see if this is the dish yourself. I viewed the site after a Google search.

        2. re: Produce Addict

          Produce Addict - this dish was on their Chinese menu. The lower left-hand side of the menu had perhaps a dozen dishes that were all in Chinese. Look for the "SP" (Seasonal Price) notation! The staff are friendly and speak English - just don't let them steer you towards what they think you might like! Also you might consider the Li Zhi Rou (Lychee Pork) under their Foochow Style (Pork) specialties. This is the Fuzhou version of Sweet and Sour Pork. The cut pork is supposed to resemble lychees. In addition to pork, there is also cauliflower, green peppers, tomato and onions. Will easily feed two. I've had better i.e. less sweet, more vinegar and garlic and chili peppers at some of the other Fujianese places but this is not bad. Perhaps a soup (Fujian is famous for it's soups and stews) and vegie dish and you will be stuffed!

          fourrunder - you are talking about a different dish all together! The live shrimp in this dish were quickly deep fried with scallions.

          1. re: scoopG


            I would defer to your expertise naturally, but with the exception of the live sea food tanks....... it sound similar to dishes of Salt & Pepper Shrimp minus the chilies. The only variations I have encountered is a light coating of cornstarch.

            My only question for you is this. You make mention the shrimp was gathered from the tanks and appeared five minutes later. Were the shrimp shells sliced and cleaned, or where they untouched? My version, whether heads are on or off, the shrimp is sliced and cleaned if that is a difference.

            1. re: fourunder

              Hi fourunder - the shrimp in this particular dish at American East Fuzhou were served whole! Head, tail, legs et all. No batter, no coating. Salt and scallions and that was it. I devoured them as is but my SO did not, which of course meant more shrimp for me!