Monday, December 12, 2005

The Skillet, the Shrimp, and the Panko

Can you tell that this title was inspired by a certain C.S. Lewis flick that Margy and I saw a few hours ago?

Anyway, I hadn't fried shrimp in a while, so it was time. I don't love the lingering "fry" smell, but it's a small price to pay for such crispy magic.

The method is simple: Before frying, dip shrimp in flour, then beaten egg, then panko bread crumbs. Panko, that Japanese wonder, is a course crumb that's almost white in color and is very low in moisture so it browns up beautifully and develops a nice crunch. I will never, ever use anything else for frying. Try it -- you'll see what I mean.

I've also discovered the delights of frying in peanut oil. It's more expensive than other vegetable oils, but it makes a big difference. It has a higher smoke point than corn or canola oil, which allows you to use more heat and therefore cook the food faster, without it absorbing too much oil. And I'm not talking about deep-frying here -- just a coating of oil on the bottom of the pan. Someday I will try deep-frying at home, but I'm not ready yet.

Margy asked for Turkish delight for dessert, but who am I, the White Witch?

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