Deep-fried shrimp is a delectable dish equally loved by restaurants and their customers. Hungry customers are drawn to the flavor of deep-fried shrimps. Restaurant chefs admire the impressive culinary presentation of the shrimp encased in golden fried cloud puffs.
Just like the familiar fried foods of KFC or McDonald’s burgers, and the warm comfort food of pre-packaged instant noodles, everyone knows deep-fried shrimp is a guilty pleasure cuisine. But hunger is a creature of habit that has us running to the cash register for our favorites again and again.
Today, I would like to share my secrets on how to makes golden battered, deep-fried shrimp complete with a crispy crunch.
First a note about selecting the shrimp:
As home cooks, we are not always granted the open seafood market selections that restaurant chefs enjoy. The best rule to follow in choosing your shrimp is to obtain the product as fresh as possible.
The quality of fresh shrimp is higher than the frozen shrimp, but if you can’t find fresh shrimp, frozen shrimp is also a good choice. The shrimp boats typically process their catch directly on the boat.
If there is no problem in the transport of the frozen shrimp, the freshness of frozen shrimp is comparable to fresh shrimp. Frozen shrimp retains its same-day caught shrimp taste until it is thawed.
If you opt for fresh from the market, selecting the best shrimp from the seafood counter at the grocery store is not an easy task.
Avoid shrimp that smells like ammonia or if the shell is soft and slimy. Ultimately, selecting fresh or frozen for your cooking comes down to personal preference.
- Shrimp,300 grams or 1/2 lb.
(The number of shrimp will depend on the size of shrimp in the ½ lb.)
- Cooking wine,mild flavor such as White Wine, Rice Wine or Cooking Sherry
- White pepper,to taste
- Ginger,one medium size root, sliced thin
- Green Onions,to taste, cut diagonally into pieces
- Coarse Salt,to taste
- Sichuan pepper,to taste
- Peanut oil to fry
Many of the above seasoning ingredients are not given in specific measurements as this section of the recipe is written to accommodate personal taste.
Each of these seasonings will more, or less, impact the flavor of the finished product depending on the amounts used on the raw shrimp.
The batter encasing the shrimp however is the exact opposite. Like baking a cake, any slight difference in the mixture of the batter ingredients will lead to very different results. The batter ingredients are as follows:
- Whole Eggs, 2
- Water, 75gor 2/3 cup
- Self-rising flour,85 g or ¾ cup.
Many recipes use a mixture of flour and baking powder. Self-rising flour already has the baking soda added. Using self-rising flour specifically eliminates the measuring of extra ingredients and is more stable for the batter. After this flour is mixed with a liquid, carbon dioxide is produced. This chemical reaction produces a batter that will lightly wrap each shrimp and become nice and crispy when fried.
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
Ingredient photographs are as follows:
How to Deep Fried Shrimp
1)Prep the shrimp for cooking. If using frozen shrimp, wash ice from the surface then spread on a plate to thaw at room temperature. Rinse with tepid water every 10 minutes. Average thaw time is an hour.
2)Place the shrimp in a large bowl and add appropriate amount of cooking wine, white pepper, sliced ginger and green onions.
3)Stir and let stand for 15 minutes to eliminate the smell of shrimp.
4)In the meantime, crack the two eggs into a large bowl, then add the 75 grams of water and the 85 grams of self-rising flour.
5) Whisk together the eggs, water and flour. Add the ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon white pepper to the mixture.
6)Prep the salt and pepper condiment to serve with the finished deep-fried shrimp. Place the Sichuan pepper and coarse salt in a small pan. Roast on low heat until the Sichuan pepper becomes fragrant. Pour the salt and pepper mixture into a mortar and grind for serving with completed dish.
7)Using chopsticks, place the shrimp, one by one, into the batter bowl. Coat each shrimp in the egg yolk only. Take care that no ginger or green onion pieces are transferred into the batter.
Mix the shrimp in the batter gently, like this:
8)A small sauce pot is suggested for use to fry the shrimp to keep the oil amount conservative. The depth of the oil should be at least 3 cm. Peanut oil is used here.
9)Heat the oil on medium heat until a uniform layer of air bubbles coats the bottom surface of the pot. Put two to three battered shrimp into the pot at a time. Limiting the number of shrimp frying at once keeps the shrimp from sticking together. The shrimp are fried completely when they float to the surface. Use a utensil to flip them over to make sure both sides are evenly colored and fried.
10) Once the whole body of the shrimp becomes a deep gold, remove it and place it on a plate covered with kitchen paper to filter out any excess oil.
11)Serve the deep-fried shrimp once all excess oil has been absorbed from the batter. Garnish the fried shrimp with the roasted salt and pepper prepared in advance.
Notice the perfect balance of shrimp and batter coating on the deep-fried shrimp shown below:
First, the most important element to deep-fried shrimp is the thickness of the batter. If the batter is too thick, the shrimp taste will be lost to too much fried batter. If the batter is too thin, the batter will fall off the shrimp in the frying process. The formula given here is my not only my favorite but the most balanced. But of course, everyone can also make fine adjustments in the recipe according to their preferences.
Second, the use of self-rising flour instead of a flour + baking powder mixture can make batters fluffy and provide a crispy fried crunch.
Last, shrimp is extremely nutritious, containing a significant amount more protein than fish, eggs, and milk. It is also rich in minerals such as potassium, iodine, magnesium, and phosphorus, as well as containing Vitamin A and aminophylline. Besides tasting good and being good for you, it is also easy to eat as the soft shrimp flesh is easily digestible.