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LIGHT AND CRUNCHY FRIED SHRIMP (with a bonus sauce recipe)

LIGHT AND CRUNCHY FRIED SHRIMP (with a bonus sauce recipe)

Forget about those greasy, overcooked, rubbery shrimp that you remember from bad restaurants in your past. These Light And Crunchy Fried Shrimp are moist, tender, delectable, and crunchy without being heavy and greasy.  The key to light and crunchy shrimp is keeping the oil at a steady temperature.

A plate of light and crunchy fried shrimp with a dish of special shrimp sauce. Battered shrimp are rolled in panko bread crumbs and fried to golden perfection, then served with a sweet, tangy, and spicy dipping sauce.

I like to serve the shrimp with a side of Southern-Fried Okra, and some Southern-Style Coleslaw to cut through all of the fat.  Then finish the meal with a slice of Brown Sugar Pound Cake for a decadent Southern meal.

Whenever I see fried shrimp on the menu of a restaurant, I have to order it.  When it’s good, with tender, perfectly seasoned shrimp, it is sublime.  But when it isn’t what it should be – mushy, greasy, or rubbery and chewy, I am disappointed beyond belief. 

And even when the shrimp is great, it still has to have a great dipping sauce.  I like a sauce that hits all the flavor profiles – sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami. My Special Shrimp Sauce is a great compliment to these perfectly crunchy shrimp.

These light and crunchy shrimp is my solution to disappointing fried shrimp.  Coated in seasoned batter and panko, these shrimp are flavorful, tender, and not heavy or greasy.  They are succulent, delicious, and something that I crave quite often. Dip them in spicy cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, remoulade sauce, or try my Special Shrimp Sauce recipe, which is listed below.  

TIPS FOR MAKING THIS RECIPE

  • 16/20 or 21/25 shrimp work best for frying.  This size is large enough to not overcook while frying before the coating has a chance to get crispy and golden. Peel all but the tail and devein them before breading the shrimp.
  • Frozen shrimp works great in this recipe – just thaw the shrimp fully.
  • Take the time to pat your shrimp dry before you start the breading process.  Dry shrimp will allow the batter to adhere better.
  • Chilling the breaded shrimp before frying helps to ensure that they don’t overcook.
  • Use a candy/deep-fry thermometer to keep the oil at a consistent 350 degrees. This will keep your shrimp from absorbing too much oil or becoming overcooked and gummy.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pot when frying.  5-8 shrimp per batch works well depending on the size of your pot.
  • Keep the shrimp warm by placing them on a wire rack and keeping them warm in a 200-degree oven.  Keep the shrimp in a single layer to keep them crisp.
  • You can bake the shrimp instead of frying them for a healthier option.  After breading, spray the shrimp with cooking spray and bake on a baking sheet at 425 degrees until golden and crisp – about 15 minutes.

A plate of light and crunchy fried shrimp with a dish of special shrimp sauce. Battered shrimp are rolled in panko bread crumbs and fried to golden perfection, then served with a sweet, tangy, and spicy dipping sauce.

More Seafood recipes to try:

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A plate of light and crunchy fried shrimp with a dish of special shrimp sauce. Battered shrimp are rolled in panko bread crumbs and fried to golden perfection, then served with a sweet, tangy, and spicy dipping sauce.

LIGHT AND CRUNCHY FRIED SHRIMP (with a bonus sauce recipe)


  • Author: Millie Brinkley
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 1x

Description

These light and crunchy fried shrimp are battered and then rolled in seasoned panko crumbs for a crispy, flavorful treat that is perfect served with the spicy-sweet cocktail sauce.


Ingredients

Scale

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ cup buttermilk

2 large eggs

2 cups Panko breadcrumbs

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

1 ½ pounds extra-large, peeled and deveined with tail left on

46 cups peanut oil or vegetable oil for frying


Instructions

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, Old Bay, pepper, buttermilk, and eggs until there are no lumps and the mixture is smooth. Set aside.

In another shallow bowl, stir together the panko breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and onion powder.

Dry the shrimp on paper towels.

Working with one shrimp at a time, hold the shrimp by the tail and coat in the batter, allowing any excess to drip back into the bowl.

Next, dredge each shrimp in the panko mixture, pressing to adhere.

Arrange the breaded shrimp on a baking sheet.  Repeat until all shrimp are breaded.

Place the baking pan in the refrigerator while you heat the oil.  The breaded shrimp will hold in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours.

Place a wire rack over a baking sheet and set it aside.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Pour the oil into the Dutch oven until it is at least 1-inch deep.  

Heat the oil over medium-high heat and heat to 350 degrees on a candy/deep-fry thermometer.

Add about ⅓ of the shrimp, dropping them into the hot oil one at a time.

Fry until golden brown – about 2 minutes after adding the last shrimp. Stir gently to keep the shrimp from sticking together. 

Use a slotted spoon or a spider to transfer the shrimp to the wire rack.  Place the cooked shrimp, on the wire rack over the baking sheet,  in the preheated oven while you cook the remaining shrimp.

Be sure to check the oil temperature and adjust the heat to keep the oil at 350 degrees.

Fry the remaining shrimp, in 2 batches, until golden.

Serve the shrimp warm with cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, or my ‘Special Shrimp Sauce’ (recipe is below).

To make the Special Shrimp Sauce:

½ cup Heinz Ketchup

1 cup Heinz chili sauce

⅓ cup prepared horseradish, drained 

2 teaspoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon very finely grated lemon zest

½ teaspoon hot sauce

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

¼ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl.  Serve beside the shrimp.

  • Category: Main Dish - Seafood
  • Method: Fry
  • Cuisine: Southern

Keywords: light and crunchy fried shrimp, seafood recipes, fried shrimp, shrimp, cocktail sauce, spicy sauce, dinner recipes, fried food

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