My marinated Camarones Empanizados recipe is incredibly delicious and uber crunchy. It comes with a quick homemade spicy tartar sauce that gives it even more flavor!
And arguably the best part about this dish is that you can make it in advance! These crunchy shrimp make an easy dinner and delicious snack. Today, I’ll show you exactly how you can make them at home.
What Do You Need To Make Camarones Empanizados?
Camarones Empanizados directly translates to “breaded shrimp”, which is exactly what this dish is. It’s a Mexican dish that consists of crumbed and deep-fried shrimp served with a variety of dipping sauces.
There isn’t one specific dipping sauce that is served with these breaded Mexican shrimp. But, anything spicy does make more sense than regular ketchup. I will be making a spicy tartar sauce today. The recipe is incredibly easy and very flexible.
Now, the next question you’ll probably be asking me is what exactly makes these shrimp unique. Why are they called “Camarones Empanizados” and not just breaded shrimp?
It all comes down to the batter and how you coat these shrimp. Despite the name (which translates to “breaded shrimp”), these shrimp are coated with batter and flour. You don’t need any breadcrumbs for this process to make them crispy. The shrimp is also often marinated to help give it more flavor.
Once the shrimp is prepared, marinated, and coated with batter and flour, it gets deep-fried until it’s golden brown and crispy.
What Type Of Shrimp Should You Buy?
Now, before we look at how to make this Camarones Empanizados recipe, you first need to decide what type of shrimp you are getting.
Fresh shrimp will always have a better flavor and texture. However, they aren’t always available and can be expensive.
So, the next best option is cooked shrimp. You can either buy flash-frozen shrimp or cooked and frozen shrimp.
Flash-frozen shrimp will have a better texture and flavor but is more expensive than cooked frozen shrimp.
All of these options will work fine for this recipe. Buy what’s available to you and that is the best quality you can afford.
Tips And Tricks For Making Camarones Empanizados
- To save yourself a ton of time, buy prepared shrimp. You should peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp.
- If you buy fresh shrimp, make sure they don’t smell like ammonia. Their flesh and shell should also be uniform in color and completely free of blemishes. They shouldn’t be slimy or soft. Fresh shrimp is firm and dry.
- If you buy any type of frozen shrimp product, make sure that the shrimp hasn’t expired. And, make sure the package isn’t damaged or opened.
- If you cannot find any shrimp, you can also buy prawns. They are not the same and their flavor differs slightly. But I barely notice the difference.
What to serve with Camarones Empanizados?
There are a ton of side dishes that work well with Camarones Empanizados. My favorite one is white rice and avocado salad.
How do you keep the batter from falling off of the shrimp?
You have to ensure that you allow the excess marinade to drip off before coating it with batter. Because the marinade is oil-based, it could act as a barrier and prevent the batter from sticking. You could also chill the batter shrimps (without the flour coating) for a couple of minutes.
Can I make Camarones Empanizados ahead of time?
You can easily coat these shrimp and freeze them without cooking them first. It is a fantastic way to prepare a delicious meal in advance. And, when you are ready to make them, you can cook them directly from frozen. Just fry them for longer and at a slightly lower heat.
More Delicious Recipes
Camarones Empanizados (Battered Fried Shrimp)
- 1.5 pounds jumbo shrimp
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ Tbsp paprika
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp fine salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
For thespicy tartar sauce
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 1-2 habanero chilies, deseeded and minced
- 1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Sea salt, to taste
- 3 cups cake flour
- ¼ fine salt
- ½ 1 cup water, room temperature
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- Vegetable oil, for frying
Prepare the shrimp
- If you bought fresh shrimp, start cleaning them up before making any of the other elements. If you bought frozen prepared shrimp, defrost them in room temperature water or inside the fridge overnight.
- To prepare the shrimp, you will need to remove their heads, legs, and shells. Then, you need to remove the vein from their backs.
- Once your shrimp is prepared, butterfly each shrimp. Cut through the center, but not all the way through. Place the cleaned shrimp in a bowl of ice water until needed.
Marinate your shrimp
- Next, you can make the marinade. Simply whisk all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Drain the shrimp from the water and pat them dry. Add them to the marinade and give them a toss. They should all be coated well.
- Then, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Make your spicy tartar sauce and batter
- While your shrimp is marinating, make your tartar sauce and batter. Start with the tartar sauce. Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients until you have a uniform mixture. Place it inside the fridge.
- About 5 minutes before you are ready to coat your shrimp, start making the batter.
- Whisk together 1 cup cake flour, salt, 1/2 cup water, and egg in a medium bowl. Whisk until the mixture is smooth.
- If you need to make the batter runnier, add a bit more water. Always start with less water so you don't make the batter too runny.
Coat the shrimp
- Set up the coating station. Have the batter-filled bowl next to another bowl. Fill the empty bowl with the remaining 2 cups of cake flour. Then, place an empty plateor tray next to these bowls.
- Remove the shrimp from the marinade. Take one shrimp out of the marinade and allow any excess liquid to drip off.
- Then, dip one shrimp into the batter mixture. Lift it out and give it a few gentle shakes to allow excess batter to dip off.
- Dip the batter-coated shrimp into the bowl of flour. Remove it from the flour and again, give it a few gentle shakes to remove excessive clumps of cake flour.
- Place the coated shrimp on the empty plate. Repeat the process until all your shrimp are coated.
Fry the Camarones Empanizados
- Add about 1/2 an inch of vegetable oil to a frying pan or pot. Then, heat it over medium-high heat.
- Once heated, add a few coated shrimps into the oil and allow them to fry. Once they become golden brown, flip them over and allow them to cook on the other side. Shrimp cooks fast, so don't leave them in too long.
- Once they are fully golden brown on both sides, remove them from the oil. Drain the shrimp on pieces of paper towel. Season them with some salt if you'd like.
- Serve your Camarones Empanizados immediately with your homemade spicy tartar sauce.