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Fried Shrimp With Dipping Sauce

Fried Shrimp With Dipping Sauce
Jessica Strelitz for NPR

These fried shrimp must be served right out of the pot, after being drained for a minute on paper towels or napkins. You can crack peppercorns in a bag with a rolling pin if you don't have a pepper mill with settings that allow you to keep much of the peppercorn intact. You can also turn the dipping sauce into a dressing and toss it with mixed greens and some leftover stock vegetables.

Makes 2 appetizer servings

15 Maine shrimp, head on and with shells

Cooking oil, preferably canola (enough to fill a medium, heavy-bottom pot with 2 inches of liquid)

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon roughly cracked black pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Fresh lime juice from 2 limes

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

Wash shrimp. Use scissors or kitchen shears to cut off long whiskers and the sharp point on the shrimps' head. Dry with paper towels.

Heat cooking oil until a flick of water bubbles on the surface. Season cornstarch with salt and pepper. Dredge shrimp in cornstarch, shaking off excess. Deep fry shrimp in small batches, turning once, about 3 to 4 minutes. Shells should be pink.

Combine sugar, lime juice, vinegar and dash of salt and pepper in a small bowl for a dipping sauce.

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