A while back there was a Dairy Queen commercial where a Dad shrimp is snacking on popcorn when his wife comes home and informs him that he’s eating popcorn shrimp, not popcorn. A couple of seconds later, the shrimp couple look at each other in horror and scream, “Where are the children?”
That commercial always cracked me up. I know it’s morbid, but anthropomorphic food is so deliciously attractive. When I see cute bentos of food smiling at me, it makes me want to eat it so much more. If it wasn’t so time consuming, I would have put cute smiley faces on all the popcorn shrimp I made and giggled while I popped them in my mouth.
As it was, I did giggle while I was eating these popcorn shrimp; they were giggles of sheer joy. A crunchy, spicy, panko crust encasing tiny, sweet, fresh shrimp. It takes a little time, but when all those little shrimp are fried up, you’ll have a giant bowl of popcorn shrimp deliciousness.
Spicy Popcorn Shrimp Recipe
1/2 lb of fresh baby shrimp, peeled
1 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups of panko
1 tbs kochukaru
1 egg, lightly beaten
oil for deep-frying
1. Mix the kochukaru into the panko crumbs. Set up a breading station with your shrimp, the flour, the lightly beaten egg, and the kochukaru panko.
2. Working in batches, take a handful of shrimp and dip them in the flour, shake off the excess, dip them in the eggs, and then in the kochukaru panko. Make sure each shrimp is coated. Set the coated shrimp aside on a plate while you continue to coat all your shrimp.
3. While you’re coating your shrimp, heat up at least 2 inches of oil to 375˚F in a deep pot.
4. Fry the shrimp in batches to keep the oil a consistent heat. Using a Chinese strainer, gently lower some shrimp into the hot oil. Deep fry the shrimp until golden brown and crunchy, about 3-5 minutes. Be sure to agitate the shrimp so they don’t stick to each other or the pot. When golden-brown, drain the shrimp on a cooling rack with paper towels underneath. Continue to fry in batches until all the shrimp are cooked. Serve hot with kimchi mayonnaise.
Kimchi Mayonnaise Recipe
2 tablespoons of kimchi, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of kewpie mayonnaise
Mix the kewpie mayonnaise and kimchi together.