You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to cook these restaurant-style crispy golden fried shrimps or prawns that look and taste so amazing without any fancy ingredients!
These crispy Panko fried shrimps can be eaten as an appetizer or just part of a weekend menu for a sumptuous family dinner. Pair them with a simple home-made yogurt dip (see recipe for simple fish cakes) and you get the perfect party appetizer.
This copy cat recipe has the looks of the fried prawns served as starters at restaurants, yet so quick and easy to cook. Fry the shrimps with tails removed, and you can turn this into a recipe for popcorn shrimp.
Are shrimps good for you?
Shrimps are a great source of protein, low in calories and saturated fat, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, vitamin B12, calcium and vitamin E. Hence, they promote heart health, brain function, growth and development and reduce inflammation, risk of illnesses like cancer, arthritis and dementia.
A word of caution, though: while prawns are low in saturated fats, they are rich in cholesterol and sodium. So eat prawns in moderation and be wary of added salt. Prawns are naturally flavorful and tasty, they need less salt and flavoring agents.
Despite the high cholesterol content, shrimps are still a healthy alternative protein source when compared to animal proteins like red meat.
What do you need for the fried shrimps?
I have used jumbo shrimps (a personal favorite) for this recipe, but any shrimp can be used. This recipe requires a very basic set of 7 ingredients – flour, egg, panko breadcrumbs, chili powder, pepper, salt and oil for frying.
I would recommend using Panko breadcrumbs for this recipe since they give you light, extra-crispy fried shrimps that stay crispy longer. Panko is a variety of flaky bread crumb used in Japanese cuisine as a crunchy coating for fried foods. It is made from bread without a crust, and then grinding the bread to create fine slivers of crumb. It has a crisper, airier texture than most types of breading and resists absorbing oil or grease when fried resulting in a lighter coating. (source)
How do you defrost frozen shrimps?
Fresh or frozen shrimps can be used for this recipe. To defrost frozen shrimps, thaw them by washing a few times with tap water or soaking in tap water for about 10 minutes, until they reach room temperature. Leaving frozen shrimps to thaw naturally (on the kitchen counter) will make the shrimps go limp and mushy.
How to make fried shrimps
Full printable recipe below!
Marinate the shrimps with chili powder and salt for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, get the other ingredients ready. Take 3 medium-sized shallow bowls. Place flour with chili powder and salt in the first bowl, eggs beaten with salt and pepper in the second, and bread crumbs mixed with chili powder in the third.
Roll the shrimps in the flour, dip in beaten eggs and coat with the bread crumbs.
Heat oil in a frying pan and shallow fry the shrimps in batches. Serve with homemade yogurt dip.
Tips to make the best fried shrimps
Follow these 4 simple tricks (which are usually overlooked)
- coat the prawns completely in flour before dipping into the egg.
- dip quickly in the egg so that the flour doesn’t dissolve in the egg.
- use panko breadcrumbs.
- The chili powder added to the flour and bread crumbs gives additional flavor and attractive golden color to the fried shrimps. Optionally, you can add paprika or “Kashmiri chili powder” if you want even more color and flavor. Adding flavor to the outer shell is the best way to making the most out of breaded and fried recipes, like the Italian potato croquettes.
What goes with fried shrimps
These shrimps taste good with
- a salad like the pasta salad, pomegranate salad with mango and coconut or beet orange salad.
- a simple side like the no-mayo coleslaw or easy French beans.
- as a kid-friendly snack that can also be adult-friendly! (they’re called popcorn shrimps for a reason)
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