Crispy Fried Shrimp
I love fried shrimp but, so often, they are loaded with a heavy batter or crumb coating, and the shrimp are way overcooked. That is why I prefer to make my own. If you have not tried Japanese panko crumbs, you really should. You can find them in the baking or oriental section of the grocery store in either white or whole wheat. They are a little more expensive than regular dry breadcrumbs, but well worth it for those times when you want something fried with a light crunch. The resulting crust is crispier than any other coating I have used. That being said, I used to make fried fish with dry breadcrumbs, then cracker crumbs and either is very good so feel free to substitute.
I prefer to peel my own shrimp, which only takes a few minutes but, if time is an issue, purchase them already peeled for a very quick and easy main dish. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, such as cocktail or tartar sauce, both of which are in the similar and related recipes links. This recipe can be made in any amount needed.
- 1-1/2 pounds medium or large shrimp
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg, beaten with 2 teaspoons water
- 1-1/2 cups panko, bread or cracker crumbs
- Canola or other vegetable oil
Peel the shrimp and, if necessary, devein. Pat dry with paper towels. Place the flour on a flat plate and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the panko crumbs on another flat plate. If the crumbs are large, crush them slightly with your fingers. Place a cooling rack over a foil-lined baking sheet. Lightly coat the shrimp with the flour, shaking off the excess. Then dip in the egg wash, allowing excess to drip off. Finally, coat them with the panko crumbs. Place in one layer on the cooling rack and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. (If time is an issue, refrigerating is not necessary, but it helps the coating to adhere to the shrimp when they are fried.)
Meanwhile, heat about 1-inch of oil, no more than half full, in a high-sided 12-inch skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Test the tip of one shrimp to see if the oil is the right temperature. It should bubble as soon as the shrimp goes in. Add the shrimp, in two batches if necessary, and fry until golden brown and done, about 3 minutes per side. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean cooling rack. If desired, sprinkle with additional salt.