The answer to the question “how long to deep fry shrimp,” regardless of size, is two to three minutes only. That’s if you want to retain its sweet juiciness. If you will leave it longer than that you risk losing the crunchy, restaurant-quality textures that deep-fried shrimps have.
Cooking shrimp can be quite intimidating. If you didn’t grow up in a shrimp cocktail family, you’d think that only chefs can cook the perfect deep-fried shrimp. No one can blame you for that. After all, shrimp is not an everyday dish like chicken or pork.
But after reading everything that I have written here, you will immediately realize that a deep-fried shrimp can be an everyday thing in your life; and your life is going to change, that’s a guarantee.
There are more than 1,000 ways to cook shrimp. But this article will focus only on deep frying it. I will help you understand the nature of shrimp so that you’ll finally learn the reason why it only takes a minute or two to cook its meat.
Shrimp is a healthy and tasty dish. Three ounces of medium sized shrimp only has 85 calories, as opposed to beefsteak, which has 214 calories, or chicken breast, which has 157 calories, and bacon, which has 287 calories. Shrimp can be a centerpiece of a flavorful and satisfying meal. But it’s very easy to overcook.
Shrimp is supposedly sweet, juicy, succulent, and tender. If you overcook shrimp, it will be chewy and bland. If you plan to deep fry it, there are easy tips to remember regardless if you want to keep its skin or not, or if you want to follow a breaded or battered recipe.
Like all kinds of meat, shrimps taste best when the center is cooked through. Don’t cook shrimp that came straight from the freezer. Don’t thaw with hot water and don’t defrost on the kitchen counter as it will become a playing field for bacteria. Let it cool down to room temperature.
Deveining is the process of removing the vein from the shrimp. Most cooks find it a necessity; others do not. For those who do not devein shrimp, they believe that the veins add up to the sweet taste of this sea creature.
Devein A Whole Shell-Less Shrimp
For those who deveining shrimp, they believe that deveining is a clean-up process; it’s removing the shrimp’s intestinal track. If you don’t remove it, you will be eating and serving deep-fried shrimp slathered in its poop.
Devein A Whole Shell-On Shrimp
You can quickly devein the shrimp when the shells are off. If you want to keep the shells on as chefs do to retain its juiciness, you must cut through the shells with a small, sharp knife.
Cut a small part of the shell from the opening so you can lift the dark vein up and out. Not only does this method keep the shrimp juicy, but it also makes it easier to peel when cooked. Moreover, if you’re working on a marinated recipe, the marinade will penetrate the shrimp meat.
The brine will make your shrimps tender. But avoid anything acidic because your shrimp will become lumpy.
To make brine for your shrimp, you have to dissolve a quarter of salt and a quarter of sugar on two cups of water. Soak your shrimp in the brine for 30 minutes, and then deep-fry for two to three minutes.
Another quick brine method you can try is the salt and baking soda combo. Mix one teaspoon of kosher salt with a ¼ teaspoon of baking soda. Just toss your shrimp in the brine and store in the fridge 15 minutes before cooking. The result? Sweet, moist, crisp and firm textured deep friend shrimp.
Most Important Tip
When you’re deep-frying shrimps, don’t walk away. Shrimps are very easy to deep fry, and that’s the reason why deep frying it can go wrong.
When shrimps are in the heat, don’t do anything else. Give two to three minutes of your unrivaled attention. The moment you walk away while it’s in the frying pan is the minute you can kiss the juiciness and tenderness of shrimp goodbye.
It only takes a moment for the shrimps to change color and another minute to curl up into a C-shape. When those two changes happen, your shrimp is ready. It will be in its juiciest and most tender version.
Another Important Tip
If you deep fry your shrimp with its shells on and you see that the color already changed and has taken the C-shape form, turn the heat off and remove from the pan. Do not cover the shrimp while it’s hot. That’s because you will also be sealing the heat moisture in and it will affect the texture of the shrimp.
If you seal the heat moisture in with the newly cooked shrimp, the shell will stick to the meat. What you’re after is a crunchy texture, and you won’t have that if you do this big no-no.
How Long To Deep Fry Breaded Or Buttered Shrimp
There’s an exact process you have to follow regardless of the ingredients you used for your breaded shrimp or buttered shrimp.
Use a deep fryer and pour your oil. The heat should be at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 195 degree Celsius. Make sure the temperature does not rise too high or too low.
If the temperature gets too high, your shrimp will overcook. If it gets too low, the breading will not stick to the shrimp.
2.Fry The shrimp For Two To Three Minutes Only
If your shrimp is medium sized, this is the exact length of time it needs to cook. If it’s large, add another 30 seconds or take off from the pan when the breading becomes golden brown.
3.Do Not Overcrowd The Frying Pan
Overcrowding is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when deep frying shrimp. If you fill the pan, the shrimps will become soggy, and the breading will not turn golden brown.
The science behind that is food releases moisture as it cooks. You must leave space for the steam to escape. If you’re in a hurry and you need to cook for a party of twenty, use two deep pan fryers instead.
4.Remove Extra Oil
Use paper towels to absorb the oil. The oil affects the juicy, sweet taste of the shrimp. As much as possible, always serve your deep-fried shrimp without the excess oil.
My 30-Second Wrap-Up
Deep-fried shrimp is a delicacy that you’ll want to eat over and again, and you can. Start cooking it yourself, and you’ll soon find out how easy it is to deep fry shrimps in the comforts of your kitchen.
Deep-frying shrimp is easy; in fact too easy that you can do it every day. Did I answer your question how long to deep-fry shrimp? Let me know in the comments below.