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Old 10-02-2006, 05:44 AM   #1
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Shrimp Popcorn

I'm guessing that most are familiar with KFC chicken popcorn so I've been thinking of making Shrimp popcorn for our Fish Bar. Use large green [raw] shrimp and cut them in to app. 1/2" pieces. I'm looking at making about 500 pieces at a time then freezing them down and cook to order. It's easy enough to crumb them but I was wondering if someone could come up with an alternative coating that would make them just that little bit special. Any thoughts would be most welcome.


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Old 10-02-2006, 07:00 AM   #2
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I would add some Old Bay seasoning to the coating.

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Old 10-02-2006, 08:41 AM   #3
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Oh Attie, years ago we had a little inn/restaurant on the Russian River that served "Shrimp Scatter" - very much like what you are describing. Oh my, were they great and if I remember correctly, there was a tad of hot sauce in the batter. It was like eating candy...could not stop! ;)
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Old 10-02-2006, 09:00 AM   #4
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I use flour and then I add emerils seasoning to the flour.
youwould have to try it out to get the desired taste you like
I use 3 tbl of seasoning to 1 cup flour. great on fish, pork chops and chicken/

here is the seasoning link to make your own
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Old 10-02-2006, 09:38 AM   #5
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Wayne, I'd just use very small shrimp. that would cut down on the labor of chopping the larger ones into pieces. We had some Popcorn shrimp not too long ago, and used the tiny shrimp that are no larger than the top of your thumb. That's what they use at Popeye's... and what I've always seen out, and they work great.

Do you have a species that tiny down your way?
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Old 10-02-2006, 10:33 AM   #6
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I used to work in a cajun restaurant that made their own popcorn shrimp to order as an appetizer. It was, I believe, 21/25 count shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail on. We used a beer batter, with a little blackened seasoning mixed in. We would just pour some beer batter into a small container, add the shrimp, stir with a spoon to coat them, then use the spoon to scatter the shrimp into the hot oil of the fryer. Let them cook until they float, a minute or two, and they're done.

You might be able to achieve the same results by using FROZEN peeled and deveined shrimp, batter them, then scatter the battered shrimp onto a sheet pan lined with parchment, then into a deep freezer or blast freezer (if you're that lucky). Store them in an airtight bag until you're ready to cook. I'd cook a few as a trail, to make sure it's going to work, before going into full production.
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Old 10-02-2006, 01:06 PM   #7
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Hi attie. Welcome to the forum. How about some coconut or pine nuts to the breading mixture.
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Old 10-02-2006, 01:38 PM   #8
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I agree that to make authentic "Popcorn Shrimp", you really need to use very small shrimp rather than just cut large ones into pieces. The reason they were named "Popcorn Shrimp", was because the tiny breaded/battered shrimp would curl up & actually look like popcorn after they were fried. It would really be a waste of time & $$ to buy large shrimp & cut them up, & the pieces wouldn't resemble popcorn - just cut up pieces of shrimp.
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Old 10-02-2006, 02:15 PM   #9
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Attie - As far as you making "Popcorn Shrimp" I believe it would be better if you use the smaller shrimp instead of the larger shrimp. They are easier to cut up and if you have ever had this at KFC you will see that they are all small and fried.

Good luck.

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Old 10-02-2006, 04:50 PM   #10
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Very good ideas from all and thanks for that. I'm not fussed on using small shrimp because if I buy the peeled ones they're farmed in China or somewhere and don't have any flavour, unlike our wild caught shrimp but then, they are much cheaper. I was thinking of the large ones because I use what we call "soft and broken" which they are, second grade but 1/2 the normal price.
I pre-crumb my oysters and sea scallops then freeze them but find that I have to do it again prior to cooking because the frozen crumb darkens very quickly. I then thought about panko but felt that the item was to small for that. Another thought I had was that, because the shrimp are peeled the crumb could pull the moister out of them and that's why I was heading for a batter.
On the upside of using small shrimp is that I don't have to peel them and I could always use some seasoning in the batter so I guess I should try both.
I have absolutely no idea how to go about making the batter, do I make it thick or do I make it thin and how would it behave after it's been frozen. Adding coconut would bulk it and that's a good idea I think.
I guess I'm just a fussy old bugger and should do some trial runs, not this week, next week when all my staff are back on deck. If I get it to work I'll share with you, if it doesn't there will be deafening silence LOL

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