Cook your Catch: Fried Shrimp and Shrimp Spiders

   12.12.22

Cook your Catch: Fried Shrimp and Shrimp Spiders

I had a buddy of mine bring up a bunch of fresh caught whole shrimp that he had netted up down in the Gulf this week. So besides doing a shrimp boil, I decided to make something that is pretty simple and straightforward to make but still very unique. Along with frying up the tails of the shrimp I wanted to make a Cajun delicacy I recently learned about. Fried Shrimp Spiders. This utilizes the legs and body of the shrimp which usually doesn’t get eaten when people clean their shrimp. This gives you better use of the whole shrimp, though if you are cleaning whole shrimp keep their heads and make shrimp/seafood stock using the heads. The shrimp stock is amazing for seafood gumbos and other seafood soups.

shrimp spiders

Instead of taking off the whole head of the shrimp while you are prepping and peeling them, you only take the top shell of the head of the shrimp. Then once you take the top shell off you pinch the body and legs off the tail and put drop them into some cold water while you finish prepping the shrimp. All you need for this week’s dish is just the following. Super simple to make especially if you use a store bought fry mix.

Fried Shrimp and Shrimp Spiders Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of fresh whole shrimp
  • Shrimp Fry Mix
  • Oil for Frying
  • Lemons to serve with

When prepping and cleaning the shrimp I recommend wearing some gloves as you do it, the fat in the shrimp in their heads will stain your fingers a bit orange if you’re cleaning a lot of shrimp. If you don’t care about that no gloves are needed. Prepare two containers of ice water to drop your peeled shrimp tails and shrimp spiders into.

shrimp spiders

Starting off with your whole shrimp, you want to peel the carapace or top shell off the shrimp head will leaving the legs and body still attached to the tail. You can stick your finger right where the head meets the body and pull the shell forward. This is the easiest way to do it, no tools are needed.

shrimp spiders

Once the head top shell has been taken off, you can either toss the heads or pack them into a Ziploc bag and save them for shrimp stock. Even with just the shells, they can work well for shrimp stock. Then to remove the shrimp spider from the tail, pinch the shrimp right where the body and tail meet. Again easy to do no knives are needed.

shrimp spiders

Now that the body has been removed dropped them into a container of ice water. Besides a rinse right before cooking, that is all you have to do for prepping and cleaning the shrimp spiders. Now you got to peel and devein the shrimp tails.

shrimp spiders

You can use a thin fillet knife as I did, or a purpose-made shrimp deveining tool clean the tails. With a knife, poke the knife through the tail as I did in these pictures. Then slice through the shrimp up towards the shell, cutting the shell as well.

shrimp spiders

Peel the split shell off the meat of the shrimp tail, and also take out the vein center of the shrimp tail. They call it a vein but in reality, it is the shrimp’s digestive tract. Using a dry paper towel helps pick the veins out.

shrimp spiders

Same as the shrimp spiders before, put the peeled and deveined tails into another container of ice water. Give both the shrimp tails and shrimp spiders a good rinse till the water runs relatively clean. Leave them soaking in the ice water till you are about fry them.

shrimp spiders

For the shrimp fry, I just used some store-bought Louisiana brand shrimp fry and followed the instructions on the back. You can make your own easily own mix using corn flour, all-purpose flour, corn starch, and seasonings.

shrimp spiders

For your breading station, you want to have a wet dredge and a dry dredge. Dip the shrimp tails and spiders into the wet mix first, and shake off the excess wet dredge. Then drop them into the dry dredge, coat the shrimp evenly, shake off the excess, and then put them to the side while you finish breading everything.

shrimp spiders

For frying it’s also very easy, heat your oil up to 375f then put in the shrimp spiders first. You want these to be very well cooked so the legs crisp up nicely. Once those are all well done pull them out and place them on a rack to drain any excess oil. For the shrimp tails, fry them till they are just cooked. You don’t want to overcook the shrimp, so once they just start to float up and are golden brown you can pull them from the oil. Put them on a tray as well, and then serve. The fry seasoning has plenty of salt so you don’t really need a sauce, so just put a few lemon wedges on the side and enjoy.

shrimp spiders

Avatar Author ID 322 - 1236609650

Fishing Writer for AllOutdoor.com An avid angler since I was little, based out of the South East United States.

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