Okay, so these aren’t technically ‘popcorn’ shrimp, they’re bigger. Yet still labeled ‘small’. Someone please come over and explain shrimp labeling guidelines.
Years ago I used to buy the frozen pre-cooked popcorn shrimp once in awhile. It was a rare purchase because 1.) not healthy, and 2.) really not healthy, and 3.) relatively expensive.
Because I’m a tightwad (and because I wanted to eat them more often without the accompanying side dish of guilt) I figured out how to make popcorn shrimp at home, healthier.
One 12 ounce bag of small shrimp will feed 2 people with plenty leftover for another meal. Unless you really like shrimp and eat a buttload of them.
The shrimp are coated in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. I like to buy plain breadcrumbs and season them myself, because pre-seasoned breadcrumbs have a weird aftertaste to me. Don’t ask, there’s a 99% probability it’s all in my head.
By seasoning the breadcrumbs at home, I can add delicious things like garlic powder and Old Bay seasoning. The shrimp go into a hot oven for under 10 minutes and come out browned and crisp instead of rubbery and greasy. Homecooking for the win!
Oven-Fried Popcorn Shrimp
1 (12 ounce) bag frozen peeled, deveined shrimp, thawed
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning (I prefer the low sodium variety)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or other dried herb of choice
2/3 cup flour
Cocktail sauce, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the breadcrumbs, Old Bay, garlic powder, and oregano on a plate, mix well. Season mixture with salt and pepper, mix again.
Place flour on another plate.
Crack eggs into a bowl, beat well with a fork.
Drizzle a large baking sheet with 3-4 tablespoons olive oil. This may seem like a lot, but the shrimp need a bit of extra oil to get brown and crisp.
Dredge the shrimp in the flour, then dip into the egg, letting all the excess egg drip off. Coat with the breadcrumbs. Place on the baking sheet.
Bake for about 6-7 minutes, then flip them over and bake another 2 minutes or until cooked through. Serve immediately with cocktail sauce.