2 pounds raw shell-on shrimp 16-20 per pound
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup corn starch, divided
Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup mayonnaise
Zest of half a lime
Juice of half a lime (1 tablespoon)
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoon finely minced sweet onion
Few drops of your favorite hot sauce (we used Cholula)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon drained capers, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons of agave nectar (you can also use honey or sugar, just use less)
¼ teaspoon celery salt
Peel off shells including tail piece. If not already deveined, slice a small slit along the outer arc of the shrimp and pull out the vein. (Most supermarkets sell bags of frozen deveined shrimp with the shell split along the outer arc of the body).
Drain any excess water and toss in a bowl with ½ teaspoon of the kosher salt and all of the pepper.
Add half of the corn starch and toss with your hands. The shrimp will be sticky. Wash your hands and let the shrimp sit for two minutes.
Add the rest of the corn starch and toss again with your hands. This time, the outside coating will be dry with corn starch.
Lay the shrimp out on a platter or pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes and up to an hour.
While the shrimp sits, make the dipping sauce by whisking all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
In a pan suitable to heat oil such as a wok or cast-iron pan, heat a few inches of vegetable oil to exactly 370 degrees F. This temperature is perfect for nice and moist but crispy shrimp.
Have a pan standing by with paper towels and a medium bowl to place the cooked shrimp into.
Once the oil is at 370 degrees F, quickly add one third of the shrimp, one at a time, and fry for exactly 90 seconds. Remove to the pan with the paper towels with a spider or strainer.
Heat the oil back to 370 degrees F and repeat with another third then finally with the last third once the oil is back to 370 degrees F.
Add all of the cooked shrimp to the bowl and squeeze on about 2-3 teaspoons of fresh lime juice. Taste one shrimp and if needed, toss in some or all of the additional ½ teaspoon of kosher salt.
Serve with the dipping sauce and fresh lime wedges.
Keywords: Easy Fried Shrimp