If you haven’t noticed, I try to find ways to lighten up typically heavy (yet comforting) dishes, without doing something weird or making an obscure swap (cauliflower does NOT belong in a cookie). Sometimes, the results are good. Like, really good. Popcorn shrimp rocks. I bet 99% of us would eat a pound without blinking right now. Crunchy. Salty. Shrimp-y. And, deep fried. So how can you achieve those flavors? You make my super simple panko popcorn shrimp recipe below, with all of the flavor and texture, no added oil, and 80%!! fewer calories…
2 pounds raw shrimp, 21-30 ct*
8 oz panko bread crumbs**
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoons black pepper
Peel and devein your shrimp if required. Roll in paper towels to ensure as dry as possible.
Preheat oven to 400 deg F.
Place flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper into wide bowl, pie pan, etc. Mix to combine.
Crack eggs and ½ cup water into wide bowl, pie pan, etc. Mix to combine.
Pour panko onto plate. Mix to combine?
Line two cookie sheets with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray.
Batter the shrimp: place dry shrimp into flour, shake off excess, then into egg wash, shake off excess, then into panko, gently pressing crumbs into the shrimp. Lay breaded shrimp onto sheet tray, being sure not to crowd. Let shrimp rest on tray for 10 minutes to ensure the panko has set. ***
Spray shrimp gently with cooking spray, then bake in over for ~20 minutes, flipping halfway. Remove and serve immediately (say with a chimichurri sauce to dip in).
*Be careful of some raw frozen shrimp. Some brands are brined in a salt water solution to enhance flavor and shelf life. They are usually overly watery and salt bombs. The meat counter may not be better, as often they simply just defrost frozen shrimp.
** Don’t do wheat? Crushed corn flakes work wonderfully here.
*** This resting period is important. The egg wash will start to dry out and get soaked into the panko, allowing the heat of the oven to better reach the egg wash, browning the shrimp. Most recipes skip this step, which is why they call for oil drizzles or additional egg washes.