If you love seafood, especially shrimp, then you must try fried shrimp. It’s crispy on the outside and flavorful on the inside. But, cooking them perfectly can be a challenge, which is why we’re here to help. With our simple steps, you’ll be able to cook fried shrimp like a pro. So, let’s get started!
Why Fried Shrimp is a Popular Dish
Shrimp is one of the most popular seafood in the world, and fried shrimp is a favorite dish for many seafood lovers. Here are some of the reasons why fried shrimp has become so popular:
Easy to Prepare
Fried shrimp is one of the easiest seafood dishes to prepare. It’s quick, it’s simple, and it requires few ingredients. All you need is some shrimp, flour, eggs, breadcrumbs, and oil for frying. With just a little bit of effort, you can have a delicious meal in no time.
One of the best things about fried shrimp is the texture. When fried correctly, the shrimp is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The golden-brown color and crunch of the fried coating make it a delight to eat. You can also add a variety of seasonings to the coating to make it even more flavorful.
Adaptable to Different Flavors
Fried shrimp is a versatile dish that you can prepare with different flavors. You can add garlic, cayenne pepper, lemon zest, or other seasonings to the coating to match your taste preference. Additionally, you can serve it with various dipping sauces such as tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, or aioli.
Healthy and Nutritious
Shrimp is low in calories and high in protein, making it a healthy option for your meal. When fried, the shrimp only absorbs a small amount of oil, so it’s not as unhealthy as other fried dishes. Also, shrimp contains vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12, phosphorus, and selenium, which are beneficial for your body.
Types of Shrimp to Use for Frying
If you’re a seafood lover, then you know that frying shrimp is one of the most mouth-watering ways to eat them. However, not all shrimp are the same. The type of shrimp you use for frying is essential if you want to achieve that perfect crunchy texture. Choosing the right shrimp can make all the difference.
Fresh vs. Frozen Shrimp
When it comes to shrimp, the first decision you need to make is whether to use fresh or frozen shrimp. Fresh shrimp can be expensive and hard to find, depending on your location. Frozen shrimp, on the other hand, is readily available and often less expensive.
While fresh shrimp have a bolder taste, frozen shrimp can still taste good if defrosted the right way. For the best flavor, try to find flash-frozen shrimp that retain their high quality and taste.
Large Shrimp vs. Small Shrimp
The size of the shrimp you use is also important. As a rule of thumb, large shrimp are better for frying because they have a meatier texture and are less likely to fall apart while cooking. On the other hand, small shrimp are good for dishes like salads and soups, but not as ideal for frying.
Shell-On Shrimp vs. Peeled Shrimp
Another consideration to make when choosing shrimp for frying is whether to go for shell-on shrimp or peeled shrimp. If you use shell-on shrimp, you’ll get more flavor, and the shrimp will retain more of its natural juices while cooking, resulting in a juicier finished product. However, if you don’t want to deal with removing the shells from each shrimp, peeled shrimp can save you time and effort.
What are the Best Breading Techniques for Fried Shrimp
Learning how to cook fried shrimp is something every seafood lover should master. It’s a dish that can be prepared in many different ways, but one of the most popular is with a crispy breading. Here, we’ll dive into the best breading techniques for fried shrimp and how to make sure your shrimp stays crispy and flavorful.
1. The Three-Step Breading Method
The three-step breading method is a classic way to bread fried shrimp. Start by coating the shrimp in flour, then dip it into beaten eggs and finally, coat the shrimp in breadcrumbs. The flour helps the egg stick to the shrimp and the breadcrumbs give it a crispy texture. Make sure to properly season the flour and breadcrumbs with salt, pepper, and additional herbs or spices if desired.
2. Panko Breadcrumbs
Panko breadcrumbs are Japanese-style breadcrumbs that are airy and light, giving fried shrimp a crispier texture. Simply coat the shrimp in flour, dip it in beaten eggs, and coat it in panko breadcrumbs. You can also mix in some shredded coconut or chopped nuts with the panko breadcrumbs for added flavor and texture.
3. Cornmeal Coating
For a Southern twist on fried shrimp, try a coating of cornmeal. Mix together cornmeal, flour, and seasoning and coat the shrimp in the mixture before frying. The cornmeal gives it a bit of a crunch, and the flour helps to hold the coating in place.
- Make sure your shrimp is properly thawed beforehand to prevent excess moisture in the coating.
- Do not overcrowd the pan during frying, it causes lower oil temperature and resulting in soggy shrimp.
- After frying, remove shrimp and place them on a wire rack or a paper towel to help drain excess oil.
What are the Best Oils to Use for Fried Shrimp
Fried shrimp is a seafood delight that has a crispy, crunchy texture and a juicy, flavorful taste. However, the type of oil used in frying shrimp can greatly affect its taste, texture, and appearance. Here are some of the best oils to use for fried shrimp:
1. Peanut Oil
Peanut oil is an excellent choice for frying shrimp because it has a high smoke point, meaning it can be heated to high temperatures without burning. This oil also has a neutral flavor that won’t overpower the natural taste of the shrimp. Additionally, peanut oil has a long shelf life, which makes it an economical choice for frying shrimp.
2. Canola Oil
Canola oil is another great option for frying shrimp. It has a high smoke point and a mild, neutral flavor that won’t mask the taste of the shrimp. Plus, it’s low in saturated fat and high in healthy unsaturated fats, making it a healthier choice than many other frying oils.
3. Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil is a popular choice for frying shrimp because it’s affordable and widely available. However, it has a lower smoke point than peanut oil or canola oil, which can cause the oil to break down at high temperatures. Therefore, it’s important to monitor the temperature of the oil when frying shrimp with vegetable oil to prevent burning or a greasy texture.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a unique option for frying shrimp that can give it a tropical, exotic flavor. It has a medium smoke point and a sweet, nutty taste that can complement the taste of the shrimp. Additionally, coconut oil contains lauric acid, which has been shown to have antimicrobial properties and may have health benefits.
When cooking fried shrimp, it’s important to choose an oil that has a high smoke point, a neutral or complementary flavor, and the right level of saturation for your health needs. Experiment with different oils to find the perfect match for your taste buds!
Tips for Achieving Perfectly Cooked Fried Shrimp
Learn some highly effective tips for achieving perfectly cooked fried shrimp that will melt in your mouth.
Choosing the Right Shrimp
The secret to perfectly fried shrimp starts with the right shrimp. Choose large, deveined and cleaned shrimp for the best results. Make sure the shrimp is fresh and not frozen.
Preparing the Shrimp
Before you start frying, make sure to prepare the shrimp properly. Dry the shrimp off with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. This will help the coating stick to the shrimp better.
Coating the Shrimp
The coating is what makes the shrimp crispy and delicious. Create a mixture of flour, cornmeal, and your favorite seasonings. Dip each shrimp in the mixture, making sure to fully coat it. Then, dip the coated shrimp in beaten eggs, and back in the flour mixture for a second coating.
Frying the Shrimp
The key to perfectly cooked shrimp is to fry them at the right temperature. Heat up oil in a deep pot or fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid overcrowding the pot; this will prevent the shrimp from cooking evenly. Cook the shrimp for about 2-3 minutes, turning occasionally until they are golden brown.
Serving the Shrimp
Once the shrimp is done, remove them from the oil and place them on a paper towel to drain the excess oil. Serve the shrimp hot with your favorite dipping sauce.
How to Serve Your Fried Shrimp
Now that you have learned how to cook fried shrimp perfectly, it’s time to serve it in the most delicious way possible. You can pair your crispy and flavorful shrimp with some exciting sides that will elevate the taste and make for a mouthwatering meal.
Sides to Serve with Fried Shrimp
Here are some suggested sides that you can serve with your fried shrimp:
- Fries: French fries always make a great pairing with fried shrimp. You can try curly fries or sweet potato fries for a twist.
- Sweet and sour sauce: A sweet and sour sauce complements the shrimp’s saltiness perfectly and adds an extra zing to the flavor.
- Coleslaw: A creamy coleslaw with some tangy flavors is a good side to partner with fried shrimp.
- Corn on the cob: Grilled corn on the cob with some butter and seasoning is an easy side to whip up and goes well with shrimp.
- Hushpuppies: This Southern-style side dish complements fried shrimp perfectly. Hushpuppies are soft, savory, and have a texture similar to fried shrimp.
- Mashed potato: Fluffy and creamy mashed potatoes are an ideal side for fried shrimp. You can add some cheese or herbs to mashed potato to enhance the flavor.
Each of these side options is a great way to round out your meal and enhance the taste of your fried shrimp dish.
Thanks for Reading. Don’t Forget to Come Back for More Delicious Recipes!
Hopefully, this guide has helped you master the art of frying shrimp. Remember the key to getting crispy, flavorful shrimp is all about the preparation, temperature, and timing. With a little patience and practice, you’ll be frying up delicious shrimp in no time. So, gather your family and friends and serve them a plate of perfectly cooked, crispy fried shrimp! Thank you for reading and happy cooking!
Crispy and Flavorful: Learn How to Cook Fried Shrimp Perfectly
- 1 lb. large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. paprika
- 2 eggs
- vegetable oil for frying
- Pat the shrimp dry and season with salt and paprika. In a bowl, beat two eggs and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and salt.
- Dip the shrimp into the egg mixture and then coat them in the flour mixture, making sure to shake off any excess. Place the coated shrimp on a plate, and repeat the process until every piece of shrimp is coated.
- Fill a large skillet with about a ½ inch of oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat to 350°F. To check if the oil is hot enough, drop a piece of breadcrumb in the skillet, and if it sizzles immediately, the oil is ready.
- Add the coated shrimp to the skillet, making sure to not overcrowd the pan. Fry the shrimp for about 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the shrimp from the skillet and place them on a paper towel to drain off any excess oil. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce.