Almost-Famous Popcorn Shrimp

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Kosher salt

1 pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons lager beer

8 jarred pepperoncini, drained and halved lengthwise

2 jarred roasted red peppers, drained and cut into bite-size pieces

Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Lemon wedges, cocktail sauce and/or tartar sauce, for serving


  1. Mix 3 cups ice water, the granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add the shrimp and set aside 15 minutes, then drain well and pat dry. Dry the bowl; return the shrimp to the bowl and toss with 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning.
  2. Whisk the flour, cornstarch, confectioners' sugar, the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning and the beer in a large bowl to make a smooth batter. Add the shrimp, pepperoncini and roasted peppers and stir until evenly coated.
  3. Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Working in batches, remove the shrimp, pepperoncini and roasted peppers from the batter with a slotted spoon, transfer to the hot oil and fry until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels; season with salt. Serve with lemon wedges, cocktail sauce and/or tartar sauce.