Shrimp seems to be one of those dishes you either hate or love. To those who hate shrimp, there’s nothing that can be done to these little creatures to make them more appetizing. But for those who love shrimp, there are some incredibly popular shrimp dishes appearing at restaurants all around the country.
We’ll endeavor to talk about some of those dishes in this space. But don’t be afraid to experiment with shrimp in your own kitchen. The tasty crustaceans can be prepared using everything from coconut to hot buffalo sauce to a delicious beer batter. You can even eat them raw if you so desire.
1. Shrimp Wrapped in Bacon
It’s been suggested by more than one cook that the most attractive thing about shrimp is the fact that it has a very neutral flavor. That neutrality makes it a great vehicle for other flavors that a chef might be willing to try. Flavors like good, old-fashioned bacon.
That’s right, bacon-wrapped shrimp is increasingly popular among local and national restaurants catering to customers who otherwise prefer meat. For example, where your husband or brother might never consider seafood as a dining option, combining bacon and shrimp offers a dish they may be willing to try.
What’s Cooking America offers a great recipe for a bacon shrimp appetizer they claim will be the first thing you run out of during your next party. It is a combination of two pounds of shrimp, some bacon strips, and a bit of hot sauce. Best of all, it’s low-carb and very easy to prepare.
2. Traditional Shrimp Scampi
A great shrimp recipe doesn’t need to be new and revolutionary in order to be delicious. As a case in point, we offer you traditional Shrimp Scampi served by just about every major seafood restaurant in America. Even smaller, regional seafood joints typically offer at least one Shrimp Scampi recipe to delight diners.
The Food.com website provides a knockout recipe they claim is pretty close to what you’ll find at your local Red Lobster restaurant. It combines medium shrimp with olive oil, butter, garlic, fresh lemon, white wine, and a number of spices. This delicious recipe can be added to pasta for an Italian flair.
3. Coconut Shrimp
One of the best restaurant shrimp recipes has to be Coconut Shrimp. Restaurants like Joe’s Crab Shack, Outback Steakhouse, and Olivia’s Café at Walt Disney World have all knocked Coconut Shrimp right out of the park. It is a full-flavored dish with just the right amount of sweetness, a little bit of salt, and a flaky texture.
CopyKat Recipes offers a recipe intended to duplicate the coconut shrimp served by Joe’s Crab Shack. You might want to try it at home if you’re a big fan of Joe’s. If not, take a look around the Internet for other copycat recipes. You’ll find copycats for just about every restaurant from Outback to Bonefish Grill.
The best part is that all of these recipes are quick and easy to make. If you can mix a couple of ingredients, roll the shrimp in cornstarch and an egg wash, and cook the shrimp in hot oil, you’re all set. In about 10 minutes you could have the best Coconut Shrimp you’ve ever tasted.
4. Shrimp Po’ Boy Sandwich
It’s impossible to talk about the most popular restaurant shrimp dishes without mentioning the classic Shrimp Po’ Boy Sandwich. The Po’ Boy is a Louisiana classic that combines one of the most popular American seafoods with a traditional submarine sandwich. And despite its simplicity, it is incredibly tasty.
A typical Shrimp Po’ Boy starts with a loaf of French bread cut into six or 12-inch pieces and sliced down the middle. To that bread the chef adds fried shrimp, soft shell crab, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and some sort of dressing (usually mayonnaise). Some restaurants even like to top the entire thing off with either French fries or coleslaw.
The best Shrimp Po’ Boy sandwiches are undoubtedly found in New Orleans restaurants. The Wall Street Journal highlighted a number of French Quarter joints in a 2011 piece, including two of the city’s most famous: Parasol’s and Tracey’s. Outside of New Orleans they recommended the Gumbo Pot in Los Angeles, New York’s Great Jones Café, Ethel and Ramone’s in Baltimore, and Chicago’s Heaven on Seven restaurants.
Just bear in mind that when you order shrimp from a Cajun-style restaurant, it’s likely going to be a bit spicy. Diners looking for something a little more gentile should probably stick to dishes like coconut shrimp and shrimp scampi.
Regardless of where you live, there is at least one restaurant serving a delicious shrimp recipe. Next time you go out on the town, make sure you look for one to try. Even if you’ve never been a shrimp person before, we suspect you’ll find any of the more popular recipes to be a lot better than you expected. You might even become one of those people who ends up loving shrimp.