Crispy Roasted Shrimp with Panko Crust
This shrimp recipe is absolutely delicious. Actually, it is based on two different recipes I found and tried. One used egg white to coat the shrimp, and added some dried spices to panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) for a crust. The other marinated the shrimp in olive oil and garlic for a short time, then added Parmesan cheese to regular dried breadcrumbs for the crust. I liked the flavor of the second dish, but the first was much crunchier. So, I decided to add the fresh garlic without the oil, use egg whites, and season panko with thyme and pepper. It has great flavor and is very crispy. If you are not a garlic lover, just omit it. You will still have a delicious, healthy alternative to fried shrimp that is quick, easy and special enough for entertaining. This recipe can be made in any amount.
- 1-1/2 pounds large shrimp (20/24 count), peeled and deveined
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 3/4 cup panko crumbs, toasted and slightly crushed (see notes below)
- 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
- Cooking oil spray
In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp and garlic until well combined. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes. Preheat oven to 450° F. For easy cleanup, line a sheet pan, large enough to hold the shrimp in one layer, with foil. Place in the oven to preheat for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix together the panko, thyme salt and pepper. Dip the shrimp into the egg whites, then roll into the crumbs to coat lightly. Lightly spray the hot baking sheet with cooking oil spray. Place the shrimp on the baking sheet and roast until the shrimp are done, about 8 minutes, depending on size. These are good hot or room temperature.
Notes: Because the shrimp roast in very little time, it is best to toast the panko before using to give a browner crust. Place the crumbs on a small sheet pan and toast in a 400° F oven until golden, tossing at least once, about 7 minutes. Be careful not to brown them too much. I prefer to use whole wheat panko, but they do not work as well in this recipe, perhaps because they are not as flaky as the white. You can use other herbs or spices in the crumbs, but do not use too much or you will mask the flavor of the shrimp. If desired, these can be served with your favorite cocktail or dipping sauce. They also make an excellent appetizer or special treat on a finger food buffet.