Crispy Shrimp with Pepper Jelly and Herbs

East meets Deep South in this tempting hors d'oeuvre. A tempura-inspired batter makes these shrimp incredibly crisp and light, while the sweet and spicy vinaigrette pairs Southern pepper jelly with Thai chili paste and fish sauce.
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  • Yield: Serves 6
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Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette:

1½ cup grape seed oil

½ cup pepper jelly

¼ cup rice vinegar

½ Tbs. sriracha sauce

1 tsp. good quality fish sauce

Juice of one lime (zest it first and reserve the zest)

Salt to taste

Herb Salad:

1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes cut in quarters

1 small red onion, julienned

½ cup small diced seedless cucumber

¼ cup roughly chopped toasted peanuts

Leaves from 1 bunch fresh mint

Leaves from 1 bunch fresh cilantro

1 bunch chives, snipped

Aerated Batter:

1½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup rice flour

½ tsp. baking soda

1 cup Coors Light beer

½ cup vodka


Peanut oil, for frying

12 large Louisiana shrimp, deveined


  1. Make the vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients in a mason jar. Place lid on jar and shake with vigor. Make the salad: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and the zest of the juiced lime. Make the batter: Combine all ingredients with a whisk until smooth. Finish the dish: Add the peanut oil to a large pot to reach a depth of 3-4 inches, and heat the oil to 375°F. Dip each shrimp into batter. Add to the oil and fry for 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 minutes until golden and cooked through. Remove the shrimp from the oil and drain on a plate lined with a paper towel. Serve the shrimp with the vinaigrette and herb salad.