Crispy Shrimp with Lemony Mayonnaise

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These crispy shrimp are a snap to make. Double or triple the recipe as an appetizer for a crowd. For spicy shrimp, add cayenne, to taste, to the bread crumbs.


For the lemony mayonnaise:  

  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard 
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar 
  • 1/2 cup canola oil 
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour  
  • 3 egg whites, lightly beaten 
  • 1 1/2 cups fine dried bread crumbs 
  • 3 tsp. kosher salt 
  • 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails intact 


To make the mayonnaise, in a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and lemon juice. Set the bowl over but not touching boiling water in a saucepan and whisk until the yolk is fluffy and hot, about 20 seconds. Do not allow the yolk to scramble. Remove from the heat and continue to whisk to cool it down. Whisk in the mustard, salt and sugar. Combine the canola oil and olive oil in a liquid measuring cup. Place the bowl with the egg mixture on a damp towel to keep it from moving around. Slowly drizzle the oil mixture into the yolk mixture while whisking vigorously. Continue to whisk the mayonnaise until shiny and thick. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, then cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. You should have about 1/2 cup.

Preheat an oven to 425°F. Pour the olive oil into a rimmed baking sheet. Put the flour, egg whites and bread crumbs into 3 separate shallow bowls and line up in that order. Season each with 1 tsp. salt.

One at a time, dip the shrimp into the flour and tap off the excess, and then dip into the egg whites and allow the excess to drip off. Finally, roll in the bread crumbs and place on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them apart. (At this point, the shrimp can be refrigerated, uncovered, for a few hours. The coating will dry out a bit, and crisp better.)

Bake for 5 minutes. Turn the shrimp over and continue to bake until golden and curled, 5 to 6 minutes more. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately with the lemony mayonnaise for dipping. Serves 4; makes about 1/2 cup mayonnaise.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Family Meals, by Maria Helm Sinskey (Oxmoor House, 2008).

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