Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Crunchy Un-fried Shrimp
For years fried shrimp was my favorite food when we dined out, primarily because we never fry things at home. Today we still don’t fry foods but I’ve come up with a tasty and easy alternative to frying shrimp. I shallow fried the shrimp in a minimum amount of oil in a non-stick skillet with just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan without allowing the food to stick. I breaded the shrimp with Panko crumbs. Also called Japanese bread flakes, Panko crumbs are lighter and crunchier than ordinary bread crumbs. They also don’t contain the long list of ingredients that are in regular bread crumbs, such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and corn syrup.
I adapted this recipe from Leslie Pendleton’s Simply Shrimp, Salmon and (fish) Steaks. Her recipe used cornmeal in place of the Panko crumbs and she used a little more oil than I did. We like fried shrimp with lemon wedges so I’ve added those also. I also put several dashes of hot sauce in the eggs which I saw Paula Dean do and liked the results so much that I’ve added Tabasco to my egg coating mixture for any recipe calling for an egg wash. It gives a dish subtle flavor without being overwhelming. If you are looking for new ideas for fish and shrimp, Leslie’s book is terrific.
My husband Meakin makes a fresh red cocktail sauce that we serve alongside the shrimp with some lemon wedges. Making your own cocktail sauce is quick, easy and has a much fresher taste than the bottled variety.
Crunchy Un-fried Shrimp
Adapted from Simply Shrimp, Salmon and (fish) Steaks
1 lb. large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
Several dashes of hot sauce, such as Tabasco
¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup Panko bread crumbs
Canola or peanut oil
Red cocktail sauce if desired
Lightly salt and pepper the shrimp. In a shallow dish, beat the eggs lightly with a little bit of water and add several dashes of hot sauce. Put the cornstarch and Panko bread crumbs in separate dishes or on separate sheets of waxed paper. Dip each shrimp in cornstarch, then egg, and then bread crumbs.
In a large 12” non-stick skillet, heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil over moderately high heat until it is very hot, but not smoking. Add some of the shrimp to the skillet, leaving plenty of room between them, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, turning once, until they are crisp and cooked through. Transfer to brown paper to drain and sprinkle with salt. Cook the remaining shrimp. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and red cocktail sauce. Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as an entrée.
Meakin’s Red Cocktail Sauce
Be sure to zest the lemon before squeezing the juice
4 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons bottled chili sauce
Zest from ½ of a lemon or lime
Juice from ½ of a freshly squeezed lemon or lime
1 heavy teaspoon bottled horseradish
2 dashes hot sauce such as Tabasco or Thai Chili sauce
2 big dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons very finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
One small tomato, seeded and finely chopped
Mix ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or up to 6 hours before serving.