Dynamite Rock Shrimp

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It seems like almost every restaurant has their own version of a spicy, sweet Asian-inspired shrimp appetizer.  I don’t think anyone will deny that it is delicious!  A good customer and friend of ours shared the recipe with me for the sauce from the restaurant that (in my mind) put these shrimp on the map!  I was so excited to try it.  It was pretty hard to decide on a name for this recipe, but everyone at the house agreed that they were dynamite… so we will go with that.

If you have young children in your house, you know that sometimes you have extra kitchen “helpers” milling around while you are trying to get dinner together.  I always try to find ways to get them involved in the process.  This dinner was pretty simple, but it involved frying.  I don’t like them in the kitchen with oil on the stove.  It seemed like the perfect time to give them a project… making butter!!  I have them do this from time to time when we have some heavy cream leftover from a recipe.  We used their homemade butter on the rice we had with this meal.  See the Homemade Butter post to learn how!

I started by making the sauce.  I combined the mayonnaise and the chili sauce in a bowl and added Sriracha to taste.  The recipe called for a few drops of Srircaha.  I added almost a teaspoon.  This is really going to depend on your taste.  After it’s combined, set it aside while you prepare the shrimp.

Dynamite Shrimp Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Chili Sauce
  • Srircaha to taste

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For the shrimp, I wanted to use rock shrimp because they are bite-sized.  You could use any shrimp you like!  Any time you are going to fry something and THEN coat it in sauce, you have to have a really crispy breading or you will end up with a soggy mess.  One trick that can be used to get really crispy breading is to add a little cornstarch to it.

I used one pound of rock shrimp.  I rinsed them and bathed them in an egg/milk mixture.  This will help the coating stick to them.

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I just breaded them with flour and cornstarch seasoned with pepper, paprika, and salt.  (I think I ended up with a ratio of 3:1 flour to cornstarch.)

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Toss the shrimp to really coat them well in the flour mixture.

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Heat some oil on the stove.  You’re going to want it very hot.  I have a gas stove and had it turned almost all the way up.  The shrimp cook very fast so you have to make sure they are going to get very crispy without overcooking them.  When they are golden brown, firm, and crispy they can be removed from the oil and drained on a paper plate.  While they are still very hot, GENTLY toss them with the sauce.

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You can serve these any way you’d like.  We enjoyed them over Jasmine rice topped with our Homemade Butter.

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I topped them with a few red pepper flakes and wasabi sesame seeds.  Absolutely amazing!!

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Healthier Honey Shrimp

So many of my favorite shrimp recipes contain butter.  I’m not talking about a little bit of butter… I’m talking about a LOT of butter.  Scampi, Beurre Blanc, and etc.  I am a firm believer in “all things in moderation” and I love cooking with butter, but sometimes we all need to scale it back a little and find healthy alternatives that can be our daily go-to recipes.

For this recipe, I used Extra Large Key West Pink Shrimp.  There are approximately 21 – 25 shrimp per pound.  I peeled and deveined them, but left the tails on.  You could remove them if you prefer.

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Healthy Honey Shrimp:

This serves 2 to 3 adults (or 2 adults and 2 kids, in our case).

  • 1 pound cleaned shrimp (tails on or off)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons local raw honey
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • the juice of 1 small lime
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha (optional)

Gather the ingredients for the marinade.  Combine the ingredients in a small bowl.  The coconut oil will separate from the rest of the ingredients, but you can easily whisk it all together with a fork or a small wire whisk.

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Pour the marinade over the cleaned shrimp.  Cover and allow this to rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  You could leave this for up to four hours, but if you leave it too long the citrus will start to break down the shrimp.  I think an hour or two is plenty.

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While that is resting, let’s chat about honey.  If you are going to have honey in your house, it should always be local and ALWAYS be raw.  In this recipe, the honey will be cooked so it isn’t as imperative to use raw honey.  I still prefer to use it just because I know it has not been heated, pasteurized, or processed at all.  Consuming local honey can even help with seasonal allergies!  (Remember… never give honey to babies and very young children!)  Because we live in Florida, we are lucky enough to have access to local Orange Blossom honey.  It is my favorite!

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Back to the shrimp.  There are two ways to do this.  You can either skewer them and put them on the grill (I suppose you could also use a grill basket, if you have one) OR you can cook them in a large pan on the stove.

I was going for the quickest method here, so we cooked ours inside.  Get the largest pan you have VERY hot.  The shrimp are going to cook in no time and you want the sauce to bubble and thicken like a glaze.  This is going to require high heat.  Over high heat, put the shrimp directly into the pan.  You don’t need any oil or cooking spray because there is coconut oil in the marinade already (by the way, the coconut oil has solidified in the fridge – that’s okay).  I used a slotted spoon to put the shrimp in the pan.  After all the shrimp were transferred, I added several additional spoonfuls of the marinade to the pan with them.

You will immediately note the sauce bubbling and thickening.  Keep those shrimp moving in the pan with a wooden spoon.  Make sure they get cooked on both sides.

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As soon as they are all curled and opaque (no longer translucent), remove the pan from the heat.

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These are best served over brown or black rice, since we are going with the “healthy” theme.  If you aren’t concerned about starches and carbohydrates, Jasmine rice would be great.  I served them over black rice.  Black rice (also called Forbidden Rice) is extremely high in nutritional value.  It has a nutty taste and texture that is similar to brown rice.  It becomes a deep purple color when it is cooked and is said to have the same antioxidants as blueberries and blackberries.

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This is delicious, easy, fast, and guilt-free.  I had all the ingredients on-hand (this is a big one for me when I am searching for recipes).

And if you are wondering if your kids will eat it…

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