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.

Panko Crusted Shrimp - Crunchy Un-fried Shrimp
Printable Recipe

Adapted from Leslie Pendelton's Simply Shrimp, Salmon and  (fish) Steaks

1 lb. large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt
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 
Lemon wedges
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
Printable Recipe

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.


  1. Sam, These shrimp sound wonderful. I am going to the grocery store today and I think you just settled the question of what to have for dinner. David will love making Meakin's cocktail sauce too. Don't you love our summer weather?

  2. Your shrimp look and sound fantastic. I love panko crumbs. Your method is certainly way more figure friendly. Your cocktail sauce certainly compliments the shrimp!

  3. The shrimp are beautiful to look at, but the crunch is what pulled me in. It's what makes panko so special. I love the way your cocktail sauce looks.

  4. I so love fried shrimp, but these look better than anything I have ever had. Sadly, in Nantes I can only get pre-cooked or fresh frozen, but could I do this with scallops? Worth a try. They look too fabulous NOT to make. And Meakin's sauce sounds just divine! One question : bottled chili sauce, is that the stuff I buy in the Asian store?

  5. Wow...these look absolutely perfect, Sam! They are so inviting and I definitely want to give them a try...with the favulous cocktail sauce!

  6. The shrimp looks excellent! I actually use a very similar method and panko crumbs to make my fish and chips. So much healthier!

  7. These look amazing! And I love that you don't have to fry them, since I don't fry at home!

  8. This makes me so hungry. I could just eat the skrimp off the computer screen if possible. Thanks, Sam, for this great post.

  9. As a rule we also try and stay away from frying food, but sometimes we crave something crunchy...this is so perfect!!! I love that chunky tomato dipping sauce....

  10. they are soo crunchy that they look deep fried..good job!!

  11. Your shrimp looks delicious. I fancy some of it right now. I shall certainly try it soon.
    Blessings, Star

  12. Those shrimps look so yummy and crunchy! I love the ingredients of the cocktail sauce especially because of the Thai chicli sauce and lime juice... yummmmm.....

  13. I love being able to indulge in fried foods without the deep-fried guilt! This is a fantastic recipe that we'll be enjoying soon.

    I also wanted to let you know that I finally posted a proper, albeit belated, 'thank you' on my blog for the 'Adorable Blog' award which you shared with me and Joie de Vivre. I truly appreciated it!

  14. I have yet to add a deep fryer to my kitchen appliances so I enjoy your method of cooking the shrimp Sam. Iam headed over to read about living on a tropical island:D

  15. MMMMMMM....Sam! This looks really appetizing & a great & lovely tasty appetizer! I love it! I love the red cocktail sauce! Beautiful pictures too!
    Recently, my husband made cocktail sauce too!

  16. Love the tabasco sauce idea! I will definately try that.

  17. I appreciate the un-fried part! And what a very cool name your husband has!!

  18. What a great way to make them. I do like to fry food either.

  19. I'm not big on frying either, but I have a fewrecipes like this that use minimal oil. I love Panko breadcrumbs, they are so crunchy andnice.

  20. Great that you've come up with a way to reduce the oil and keep the crunch - I love panko breadcrumbs. I am now craving shrimp, although it's quite early in the morning!

  21. I love, love, love this recipe and can't wait to make it. Nicely done.

  22. I keep hearing about Panko... I wonder if anyone delivers.....
    Great looking shrimp - I too love fried shrimp... with both tarter sauce and hot sauce - alternating, of course!@

  23. I wish I could try your shrimps, they are so fantastic.

  24. Oh this looks delicious!!! Fried shrimp is always my favourite thing to eat when dining out too! yummy I will have to try these!

  25. I don't suppose there is a way to make your own panko crumbs?

  26. Glad I found this...love the idea of Tabasco in the egg wash....will give that a try.


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