Well I think I’m ready for summer. This recipe just screams the beach to me. When fried, the batter releases that freshly fried, slightly sweet aroma and takes me back to memories on the boardwalk.
Funnily enough, my inspiration for this recipe actually started with shrimp scampi. After some research, I quickly realized that my vision of shrimp scampi as a kid wasn’t shrimp scampi at all. It was more akin to popcorn shrimp. Upon this somewhat embarrassing realization, I immediately knew what I really wanted: a dish reminiscent of that slightly greasy, perfectly crunchy shrimp I remembered so fondly. I immediately referred to my onion ring recipe because it so acutely brings out that “fried flavor”, and adapted it to these shrimp.
Batter Fried Shrimp
- 1/3 cup flaxseeds, ground or whole
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (juice of 1 large lemon)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 pounds shrimp
- grapeseed or canola oil, for frying
- flour, for dredging (I used oat flour. You can definitely use AP flour, and for a grain-free option, opt for almond or coconut flour)
Preheat oven to 350.
Place flax and sunflower seeds in a food processor or spice grinder and process until finely ground. Place ground seeds in a medium bowl and add sea salt, garlic powder, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and water.
Heat an oven-proof skillet over medium to high heat. Add enough grapeseed or canola oil to lightly coat the entire pan. Lightly dredge shrimp in flour (and shake to remove excess flour) and then dip in batter. Once the pan is quite hot, add shrimp to the pan- it should immediately sizzle. High heat is key to successful pan-frying; if the oil is not hot enough, the food will absorb too much oil, adding a lot of unwanted calories and making the food soggy.
The Importance of Oil in Frying
From both a health and taste standpoint, it is critical to use the proper oil when pan or deep frying. Because frying involves very high heat, only oils with a high smoking point should be used. An oil’s smoke point indicates when it begin to break down and release smoke, at which point its flavor is tainted and it may even release carcinogenic chemicals.
So before you fry, check out the smoking point of whatever oil you’re planning on using. My personal favorite is grapeseed oil, but you can also use coconut oil, canola oil, sesame oil, or peanut oil (just make sure they are refined).
Let shrimp sit on pan for about two minutes, until the bottom has just turned golden brown. Flip and pan-fry for an additional minute. Then put the entire dish in the oven until shrimp is pink and fully cooked, about 3 minutes.
Prepare a plate coated with a few paper towels (to blot the shrimp). Remove shrimp from pan and place on paper towels and lightly blot to remove excess oil. Serve immediately.