Rosie Hawthorne’s recipes: Got shrimp? Here’s what to do

By on March 24, 2019

Living where we do, we always have shrimp on hand — usually at least 20 pounds frozen at any time, so a shrimp meal is only a thaw away.

Today, I have three shrimp dishes for you with distinct flavor profiles: one, Asian-inspired sweet and sour, another, homemade barbecue, and the third, coconut fried.

The first is a one-dish shrimp stir fry has assorted vegetables dressed in a hot and sour sauce. It’s terrific just on its own, but you’re welcome to serve it on a bed of rice or noodles. And those assorted vegetables can be anything you want. I happen to like multi-colored bell peppers and snow peas. The toasted peanuts make for a nice crunchy touch.

Hot and Sour Sauce
3 TB sugar
3 TB distilled white vinegar
1 TB white wine
1 TB Asian chili garlic sauce
1 TB ketchup
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp soy sauce
In small saucepan, whisk all ingredients. Heat to simmer.

Shrimp marinade:
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and de-tracted
(Yes, I say de-tracted, not de-veined. That’s the digestive tract that runs down the back, not a vein.)
1 TB vegetable oil
1 TB grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Combine all ingredients and let sit for 30 minutes.

Stir fry:
1 TB vegetable oil
8 oz. snow peas, trimmed, strings removed
1 cup diced bell pepper, red, orange, and yellow for the pretty
1/2 cup sliced celery
handful or so of peanuts, toasted

Heat oil in large skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add snow peas, peppers, celery, and peanuts, stirring for about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl.
1 TB vegetable oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced

Heat oil over medium high heat until just smoking. Add garlic and shallot, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add shrimp mixture and reduce heat to medium low, stirring, about 1 minute.

Add hot and sour sauce to skillet and cook until sauce is thickened, about 1 minute. Return vegetables to skillet, stir until heated through, and serve.

As always when cooking shrimp, please do not overcook. You want them just curled and opaque.

My second dish is lightly fried shrimp with vegetables napped with a homemade barbecue sauce, all served on a bed of rice. Frying shrimp, done correctly, really brings out the shrimp flavor. And my barbecue sauce is light enough to perfectly complement the shrimp.

Fried Shrimp
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and de-tracted
1cup diagonally sliced celery
1 cup chopped onion

For the breading:
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients.
Add shrimp and toss to coat evenly and lightly.

For the BBQ sauce:
1/2 cup ketchup
2 TB brown sugar
2 TB cider vinegar
2 TB Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Mr. Stubbs hickory smoke
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat to simmer.

In large skillet, pour in a tablespoon or so of peanut oil to film the surface. Heat over medium high. Add breaded shrimp and cook about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Swipe out pan with paper towels to clean and add in another tablespoon of peanut oil. Over medium-high heat, add in celery and onion. Cook for a minute, then return shrimp, stirring to combine. Serve on a bed of rice. Pour a little barbecue sauce over top and sprinkle on some fresh parsley.

This coconut fried shrimp just might be my favorite shrimp preparation of all. Save your biggest and best shrimp for this.

If frying scares you, here are a few helpful tips:

  • I always use peanut oil for frying. It has a higher smoke point than other oils and it has a neutral taste. Oils begin to decompose at their smoke points, creating unpleasant smelling compounds.
  • Keep your oil temperature high (370°-375°) and consistent. High temperatures cook the outside quickly. Low temperatures allow the oil to seep into the food, making it greasy.
  • Never crowd the pan. Crowding lowers the oil temperature.
  • Don’t skimp on the oil. I use about 3 inches of oil in an 8-inch diameter heavy duty deep pan.
  • Buy an instant read laser thermometer and take the worry out of frying. They’re fairly inexpensive and worth every penny.

Coconut Fried Shrimp
Peel and de-tract shrimp, leaving the tails on for easier handling. Butterfly the shrimp if desired.

Wet batter
½ cup flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp Togarashi seasoning (optional)
¾ + cup beer
Mix dry ingredients, then stir in enough beer until batter is well-combined, smooth, and the consistency of pancake batter.

FYI, togarashi seasoning is a spice blend of red chili powder, black and white sesame seeds, nori (seaweed), poppy seeds, and orange and lemon zest. It’s available from Amazon, but you could substitute with your own blend.

Hold shrimp by tails and dip each shrimp in batter, letting excess drip off..

Coconut mixture
2 parts sweetened coconut flakes
1 part panko bread crumbs

Combine flakes and crumbs. Place mixture in a covered container, add a few battered shrimp at a time, and shake well to coat.

Deep fry shrimp in peanut oil (370° – 375°) about 1 minute, until golden brown. Drain on a rack and serve with assorted dipping sauces.

Orange Marmalade Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup orange marmalade
juice of 1 lime
1 TB soy sauce
1 TB rice vinegar
1 TB brown sugar
2 tsp coarse stone ground mustard
2 tsp horseradish
1 TB Thai chili sauce
1 tsp cayenne flakes
2 TB chopped red onion
1 TB chopped fresh cilantro (parsley if you’re not a cilantro fan)
Mix all together.

Dipping Sauce
Mayonnaise
Sriracha sauce
Start with ¼ cup mayo and mix in sriracha sauce by teaspoons, taste-testing until you find the balance you like.

Soy Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp Asian sweet chili sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1-inch cube ginger, juiced with some minced pulp
1 TB rice vinegar
1 TB brown sugar
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
Mix all ingredients together, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and sprinkle chopped parsley or cilantro and sliced scallions over top.

Enjoy!

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