Easy and Delicious Fried Shrimp
Full disclosure, this is really a cooking 101 post. The super simple technique used here also works perfectly for chicken nuggets or strips!
I’m a pretty huge fan of almost anything fried. I love sprinkling salt on freshly fried chicken, potatoes, tempura veggies, you get the idea, and dipping it in the nearest savory sauce. Last weekend I found myself with a little girl asking for one of her all time favorites… buffalo chicken wings. I’m going to just come out and say it, I didn’t feel like going to the store to get chicken wings because I was feeling lazy and also I was in my yoga pants with no makeup which surely would have meant I would have ran into at least a dozen people I knew. Thankfully, I did have some frozen shrimp and I just knew that they would do the trick.
There are so many ways you can make shrimp delicious. From a simple cornstarch to a heavy beer batter, shrimp hold a batter well and because they don’t take long to cook, are super easy to fry. My favorite way to fry shrimp is inspired by a Japanese restaurant I was a server at during a summer while I was on break from college. I would probably rate myself as a solid “B-” as a server. I couldn’t remember an order if my life depended on it so I had to write everything down, unlike those show-off servers that go around huge tables taking everyone’s order from memory. I also never charged people for extra ginger with their sushi, which was supposed to be $.25, because I thought the idea of charging a quarter was ridiculous. As you can see, I’m one to really live on the edge.
But back to the shrimp. At the restaurant, we prepared this shrimp similarly to my below recipe to insert into a sushi roll. For that, you don’t want curled up shrimp, you want it as straight as possible so that the roll is even. The shrimp can also be prepared this way for most anything, on a rice bowl, in a shrimp taco, or as buffalo shrimp. You can easily leave the shrimp in their natural curl as well, but I like to lightly pound out the bottoms to allow for more surface area for the delicious panko.
For this shrimp, I do a simple 3 step process using bowls of flour, egg and panko. I season each of the three bowls separately, depending on what kind dish I’ll be serving them in. For the buffalo shrimp I just used salt and pepper, since the sauce is so flavorful. If I was putting the shrimp in shrimp tacos I might add some cumin or chili powder. If I’m making a fried shrimp rice bowl, I might add five-spice powder. For inserting into a sushi roll, I like to just keep it simple with salt and pepper.
If you’d like to make a simple buffalo sauce for your shrimp, just combine a scoop of mayo with some franks and a bit of lemon juice or rice vinegar. Keep adding franks until it’s as spicy as you’d like. Or in our case, until you’re at the point where you are sweating profusely while eating.