After just one bite of Popeye’s popcorn shrimp many years ago I knew I had to find my own version of making this delicious snack. I needed something where I would control the ingredients used and as a son of the Caribbean soil, I knew it had to reflect our love for seafood and passion for rich flavors. But don’t take my word for it, give the recipe a test drive!
3 cups vegetable oil for frying
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1 cup dry bread crumbs (see note below)
1 tablespoon Caribbean green seasoning
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper (chopped finely)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
pinch teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Note: I like using crushed salted crackers instead of the bread crumbs.
Peel, devein and wash the shrimp (Video demo how to peel and devein shrimp). Then season with the Caribbean Green Seasoning, salt, crushed garlic, black pepper and finely chopped scotch bonnet pepper. Allow this to marinate for 10 minutes.
As the shrimp marinates, prepare the breading station. In a bowl place the bread crumbs (I like using crushed salted crackers as I find the texture and airiness is much better) , in another bowl you’ll have the flour and the final bowl you’ll whisk together the milk and egg.
Since these popcorn shrimp cooks very fast I suggest you bread all of them before you start frying. Each shrimp – dust in the flour, then the egg mixture, then roll in the bread crumbs (you may need to press them down into the bread crumbs a bit) and set aside.
Basically all you have to do now is deep or shallow fry these until they are golden brown. With my flame on medium/high (oil hot) I gently placed each shrimp (do in 2 batches to not over-crowd the pan) and cooked them for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Fish them out and place on paper towels to try and absorb some of the excess oil.
Serve warm with some Caribbean pepper sauce or any sort of dip you like using. (top with some chopped parsley and lemon wedges to make the dish look even more appetizing)
There’s enough popcorn shrimp here for 5 people as a snack and the recipe can easily be doubled if needs be. One bite and you’ll never go back to Popeye’s or anywhere else that serves popcorn shrimp.