This is a really great appetizer to serve when company comes over. It feels and tastes impressive but it's actually so easy to prepare. Guests will love how the creamy lemon aioli perfectly complements the crispy fried shrimp.
Technique tip: Aioli can be made one day in advance and refrigerated.
- 3/4 cup good quality mayonnaise
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste with the back of a chef's knife and
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup semolina flour
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- canola or vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup parsley leaves
- Lemon Aioli (recipe above)
For the aioli:
Whisk together the mayonnaise, crushed garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl until combined. Fold in the herbs. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
For the fried shrimp:
1. Pour the milk into a large bowl. Add the shrimp and let sit for 10 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Heat a deep-fryer or a deep pot filled halfway with oil to 365 F.
3. Whisk together the semolina, flour, cornstarch, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
4. Working in batches, remove the shrimp from the milk, letting the excess milk drip off, and add to the semolina-flour mixture. Dredge the shrimp so that they are evenly coated. Using a fine mesh sieve, remove the shrimp and let the excess flour shake off.
5. Carefully lower the shrimp into the oil and fry until they are golden-brown and just cooked through, about 3 minutes.
6. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Season with salt. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve. Continue with the remaining shrimp.
7. While the shrimp cooks, heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan over high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the parsley and reduce the heat to medium. Let the herbs fry until they begin to crisp (do not burn). Carefully remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and season with salt.
Transfer the fried shrimp to a platter, garnish with freshly fried parsley leaves and serve with aioli. Enjoy immediately.