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Spicy Beer Batter Shrimp

Spicy Beer Batter Shrimp

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Serves 4 to 6.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from an Internet recipe.

I think of shrimp as the rich man’s chicken. It is almost as versatile, but pound-for-pound it costs ten times as much. Shrimp works well in many recipes. This beer-batter shrimp benefits from a little extra spice in the coating. A tartar sauce completes the dish.


1 cup (5 ounces/142g) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon paprika
¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne (more if you like it really spicy)
½ teaspoon salt
12 ounces (355ml) beer, such as lager
1 teaspoon brown (Dijon) mustard
About 2 quarts (1.9 liter) oil for frying, such as corn oil or peanut oil
2 pounds (907g) large shrimp
Additional flour for dredging
For the Tartar Sauce:
2 cups (400g) mayonnaise
4 tablespoons pickle relish, either sweet or dill, or a combination of both
2 tablespoons lemon juice (or vinegar, optional)
The zest from the lemon
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
Salt to taste


Combine the 1 cup (142g) flour with the paprika, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in the beer and mustard. Combine well. Cover and let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour. Note: This will make a thin batter for coating. If you prefer a thick batter for a thicker coating, you can add ¼ cup (36g) additional flour with ½ teaspoon of baking powder. For the photographs of the finished shrimp below, I used a thicker batter.

While you are waiting, combine the tartar sauce ingredients. Mix well. Cover and refrigerated until needed.

If you have shrimp with the shell on, remove nearly all the shell, leaving the tail and the last segment near the tail in place. If the shrimp are not deveined, cut a slit along the center back of each shrimp and remove the long vein (it is actually the intestine). The vein is usually visible by its dark (muddy) color.

Heat the oil to 375°F (191°C) in a large, deep pot. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and dredge each shrimp in the additional flour. Shake off the excess and dip in the batter to cover.

Fry the battered shrimp, a few at a time, until golden, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or strainer to transfer the cooked shrimp to a plate lined with paper towels. Allow to drain a few minutes.

Divide the tartar sauce among small dipping bowls, such as ramekins, enough for your guests. Divide the shrimp among your guests and serve.