Beachside seafood shacks churn out these crisp fried shrimp by the bucketful. But how do you make them at home without a Frialator and unlimited access to tiny shrimp?
Why This Recipe Works
A basic batter of flour and water fried up soft and bready on initials batches of our Popcorn Shrimp. To create a more solid crunch, we replaced some of the flour with cornstarch. A little baking powder increased browning and added a bit of lift to the batter. To impart a brininess that complemented the shrimp, we replaced the water in our batter with clam juice. We also reduced the amount of liquid to help the batter cling to the shrimp.
Most recipes recommend using super-small shrimp, but we found that shrimp too small overcooked easily and got lost in the batter. After testing every size we could find, we settled on 31/40 count (medium-large) as the optimal size.