Help needed with thick coating for shrimp

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Joined Jul 15, 2006
a while back I was in New Orleans and I had a delicious shrimp that was thickly coated with a type of corn meal batter. I'd guess the coating was about 3/8 inch thick, but it was light and fluffy. It was deep-fried. I have been playing around with various prep methods but it does not come up to what I ate in New Orleans. Current recipe: 1 cup corn meal, 1/2 cup A.P. flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp blk pepper, (mix dry ingredients well). 1 whole egg, 1/4 cup milk, 3/4 cup water. Chop up 2 green onions and mix with wet ingredients. Peel and butterfly the shrimp. Make up a cocktail sauce to suit your tastes. heat dep frying oil to 350 F. Combine dry and wet ingredients and mix well. Dip all shrimp in batter and then lift one shrimp at a time out of the batter and deep fry for 2 minutes. This recipe is NOT light and fluffy as I remember.
Any suggestions on how to get a lighter batter (but still thick) would be most welcome
 
2,989
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Joined May 5, 2010
From what I see of the recipe, experience tells me that deleting the milk and replacing it with another egg, then separating those eggs and beating the whites into stiff peaks then folding them into the mixture would help lighten things.
 
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
3/8 inch on all sides? Was the product like a hush puppy with a shrimp stuffed inside? I'm having a hard time picturing this. As far as making a lighter batter you could try adding some rice flour and seltzer water for a kinda hybrid tempura. But I don't know if it will have the texture you are looking for.
 
52
11
Joined Jul 15, 2006
3/8 inch on all sides? Was the product like a hush puppy with a shrimp stuffed inside? I'm having a hard time picturing this. As far as making a lighter batter you could try adding some rice flour and seltzer water for a kinda hybrid tempura. But I don't know if it will have the texture you are looking for.
Yes, it was quite similar to a shrimp dipped in a hush puppy batter. The only thing I know from talking to the waitress is that the product was purchased pre-made and frozen. One thought I had this morning was using a corn flour instead of corn meal.
 
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Joined Oct 9, 2008
You could try substituting seltzer for some or all of the water, as someone suggested. Another thing is to be absolutely certain that the liquids are ice-cold before mixing the batter. Above all, don't work the batter: you don't want to activate any gluten.

On a technical note, you could try mixing the batter the way tempura chefs do, which feels very strange but works. You mix the dry ingredients, pour in the ice-cold liquid (including a few ice cubes!), and then just kind of slop it together with chopsticks. The batter will be lumpy, and you have to resist the temptation to stir it smooth. The lumps actually help!
 
52
11
Joined Jul 15, 2006
You could try substituting seltzer for some or all of the water, as someone suggested. Another thing is to be absolutely certain that the liquids are ice-cold before mixing the batter. Above all, don't work the batter: you don't want to activate any gluten.

On a technical note, you could try mixing the batter the way tempura chefs do, which feels very strange but works. You mix the dry ingredients, pour in the ice-cold liquid (including a few ice cubes!), and then just kind of slop it together with chopsticks. The batter will be lumpy, and you have to resist the temptation to stir it smooth. The lumps actually help!
 
52
11
Joined Jul 15, 2006
I had not thought about using ice cold liquid. good idea ! and I like your thought that I should not over mix and thus developing the gluten.:cool:
 
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Joined Feb 8, 2009
I agree that it looks like a Southern cornmeal hushpuppy batter that's thinned down. Hushpuppies are just spooned into the fryer. The insides are light with a crispy crust. Just thin the batter way down. I would try it so the batter sticks with it almost dripping off the shrimp.......ChefBillyB
 
52
11
Joined Jul 15, 2006
I agree that it looks like a Southern cornmeal hushpuppy batter that's thinned down. Hushpuppies are just spooned into the fryer. The insides are light with a crispy crust. Just thin the batter way down. I would try it so the batter sticks with it almost dripping off the shrimp.......ChefBillyB
Yes, I agree. thank you. I have tried that, but it does not yield what I had in New Orleans. Since the product was produced, and then frozen, during the mfg process it's quite difficult to tell exactly how they did it.
 

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