Crispy Fried Shrimp

Every summer when I was a kid we went “down shore,” to the beaches of New Jersey. Other than the great Italian water ices, this stretch of seashore was a little bleak culinarily. The New England coast, which I don’t refer to as “down shore,” but do occasionally visit, may not be a culinary mecca but it’s got one very important thing going for it—the seafood shack.

Recently, in Brewster, Mass., I dragged my husband to Cobie’s shack to savor one last dose of fried seafood before heading back to Vermont. The shrimp that day inspired this lighter, healthy “fried” recipe of New England Fried Shrimp.

Here are the 3 simple changes we made to improve the nutrition:

* We use a basic batter made with whole-wheat pastry flour and pale ale (which gives a delicious nuance to the flavor).

* We avoid the deep fryer and instead use our healthy fried foods technique—pan-fry the shrimp in two batches, using just 1 tablespoon of heart-healthy canola oil per batch.

* We use salt sparingly so that these nuggets don’t turn into little sodium bombs.

We compared a serving of our lightened version with the same serving size of fried shrimp from a big chain restaurant (I didn’t check the actual numbers at that fry shack in Brewster) and here’s what you save with ours:
207 calories
15 grams fat
5 grams saturated fat
549 mg sodium

With all those savings you have plenty of room to add a side of onion rings along with tartar sauce or cocktail sauce for dipping.

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