Puffed Butterfly Shrimp


prep 1:00       total 1:00


4 servings



Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup catsup
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
2 tbsp. cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tbsp. water
1/2 green pepper cut into 1/2 inch chunks

Ginger Juice Mixture

1/4 tsp. fresh ginger-root juice (use garlic press)
1 tsp. very finely minced garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pale dry sherry


1 lb. md. shrimp
1 cup flour, unsifted
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
5 tbsp. oil
2/3 cup cold water
1-2/3 tbsp. sesame seeds
3 tbsp. minced scallions including green part
4 cups oil for deep frying


Dipping Sauce:
Place catsup, sugar, vinegar and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil and thicken with dissolved cornstarch. Add green pepper and bring to a boil again. Remove from heat and set aside. This may be done ahead and reheated.

Ginger Juice Mixture:
Mix ginger root, garlic, salt and sherry ingredients in bowl and set aside.

Shell, devein, and butterfly shrimp. (Remove shell, leaving tail portion intact. Split shrimp down back without cutting through. Remove vein and spread open.) Wash in cold water 1 minute, drain, and pat dry.

Using pastry brush, spread Ginger Juice Mixture on split side of shrimp.

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl. Add oil gradually while stirring. Mix well. The dough should look like pie dough.

Stir in water a little at a time, until mixture becomes thick batter. Add sesame seeds and scallions and mix well. (The big trick to puffy batter is addition of oil before cold water.) To test whether consistency of batter is right, hold a shrimp by tail, dip it into batter, then hold it over bowl. Batter should drip down slowly from shrimp.

Heat oil in wok to deep-fry temperature (375°F.) Take each shrimp by tail and dip into batter, then put directly into hot oil. Shrimp should puff up and swim to top immediately. (If it stays on bottom, oil is not hot enough.) Deep-fry a few at a time; too many cool down oil. Turn shrimp with tongs when batter is set. Fry until light gold. Drain on paper towels. Serve with hot sauce on the side. They should be served immediately, but warm oven will keep them pretty crisp for 1/2 hour or so.

Author's Comments

Oh, this is pretty and tasty and not tricky if you remember one thing: be sure to add the oil first. The Japanese do this beautifully. In the same batter, dip the vegetables cut in large round or long slender chunks (sweet potatoes or yams, zucchini and parsnips) and serve them along with the shrimp and dipping sauce.

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1 Recipe Reviews


cgates reviewed Puffed Butterfly Shrimp on September 12, 2011

I used this recipe to make puffed butterfly shrimp, and it was magnificent! Please take heed though, only fry a few at a time and the shrimp will not only taste great but they will look great as well. Thanks once again.