Royito’s Light and Crispy Fried Shrimp

I know, I know…fried food is bad for you…frying at home is a mess and a hassle, yada yada yada. Well, get over it people because I am about to blow your minds with small bites of fried shrimp heaven. These guys pack a ton of flavor and have a light, crispy coating that won’t make you feel like you just ate dinner at the State Fair. And truly, this recipe is simple enough that you won’t have a big mess to clean up if you follow my instructions.

NOTE: These can also be made GLUTEN-FREE for all you gluten haters out there by simply substituting in brown rice flour for self-rising/all purpose flour. My sister can’t eat gluten so I made a small batch for her last night doing this and they turned out just lovely.

1 1/2 lb small or medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 cups of Royito’s
2 eggs
1 cup of self-rising flour (if you don’t have this on hand, all-purpose flour works just fine; brown rice flour for gluten-free option)
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
½ teaspoon of cayenne (optional- I like that little extra poke of spice)
1 quart Canola oil

1) In a plastic bag, mix together shrimp and 1 cup of Royito’s and let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

2) In a wide pan or pot, pre-heat canola oil to 375 degrees. (If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test it by throwing a small bit of flour in. If you get a good sizzle, it’s ready.)

3) In a bowl, whisk together eggs and ½ cup of Royito’s

4) In a separate dish, mix together flour, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne.

5) Dip each shrimp in the egg mixture followed by the flour mixture and then directly into the hot oil (make sure not to crowd the pot with too many shrimp at once or they will stick together)

NOTE: You should ideally use 3 different tongs for this- one for the egg, one for the flour, and one for the frying oil. This will minimize mess!
6) Cook for about 1 minute, flipping halfway through until they are golden brown on each side.

7) Once cooked through, place the shrimp on a plate lined with paper towel to collect the excess cooking oil.

8) Continue working in batches until you have cooked all the shrimp. You may want to keep already cooked shrimp in a warming drawer or very low temperature oven to stay warm.

There are a lot of different ways you can serve these bad boys so get creative! The New Orleans in me wants to put them on a bed of creamy grits or dress up some French bread and throw a po’ boy together. When I made this last night I went the more Italian route, however, and served it with some cheesy polenta (a new favorite of mine- where have you been all my life, polenta?). Of course, you can also just serve up a platter garnished with parsley and lemon wedges for an appetizer. Whatever you do with it, it will be dynamite. Good luck out there folks and don’t do mild.

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