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Poached Shrimp with Spicy Mayo and Garlic Breadcrumbs


Serves eight.

A twist on shrimp cocktail that makes the perfect party starter. To eat, guests dip each shrimp in the spicy mayo and then in the breadcrumbs.

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2-1/2 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 slices home-style white sandwich bread (such as Arnold or Pepperidge Farm)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil or melted butter
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped scallion
  • 1 Tbs. minced jalapeño; more to taste
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 2 lb. jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per lb.), shelled, with tail segment left intact, and deveined
Make the breadcrumbs:

Heat the vegetable oil in a small wok or saucepan over high heat until shimmering hot. In a small bowl, mix the garlic with the cornstarch and a pinch of salt. Put the garlic mixture in a fine sieve and shake to remove the excess cornstarch. Fry the garlic in the oil, stirring gently, until the garlic is light golden, about 1 minute. Immediately strain the garlic and oil through the sieve set over a bowl. Transfer the garlic to a paper-towel-lined plate, dab gently with paper towels to absorb excess oil, and let cool to room temperature. Reserve the garlic-flavored oil in the refrigerator for another use (such as vinaigrettes or grilled bread).

Heat the oven to 275°F. Pulse the bread in a food processor until the crumbs are uniform in size, 5 or 6 pulses. In a large bowl, mix the crumbs with the olive oil or butter until evenly coated. Transfer the crumbs to a rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring once or twice, until golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Let the crumbs cool to room temperature. Transfer the crumbs to a medium, shallow serving bowl and stir in 1-1/2 tsp. of the reserved fried garlic. Save the remaining garlic for the mayo.

Make the spicy mayo:

In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, cilantro, scallion, jalapeño, lime juice, 1 tsp. salt, and the remaining 2 Tbs. fried garlic. Add more jalapeño and salt to taste. Transfer to a small serving bowl.

Cook the shrimp:

Bring 7 cups of very well salted water to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan over high heat. Add the shrimp, stir once or twice, and poach until just cooked through, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes (the water will not return to a boil). Drain the shrimp and let them cool for 10 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a platter and serve them slightly warm or at room temperature with the mayo and breadcrumbs.

Make Ahead Tips

The breadcrumbs and mayo may be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Store separately in airtight containers; refrigerate the mayo.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 360, Fat (kcal): 25, Fat Calories (g): 230, Saturated Fat (g): 4, Protein (g): 21, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7, Carbohydrates (mg): 13, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 12, Sodium (g): 870, Cholesterol (g): 180, Fiber (g): 1,

Photo: Scott Phillips

I expected to love this recipe, but the only thing I liked were the garlic breadcrumbs. They were truly excellent, and I'll be making them again. Unfortunately, the mayo/aioli just did not turn my crank at all. We usually use any leftover aioli on sandwiches, but since we didn't like the herb combo or the texture, I finally scooped into the food waste recycling bin. It's a great idea...but that particular mayo didn't work for us.

Such a great and creative recipe...really has the wow factor for guests! I must admit I did cheat on the breadcrumbs and fried them with some oil and garlic. Can't wait to make it again!

I loved this. Just gourmet enough to show off your skills. The key on the garlic is to not to overcook. Take off heat when it gets just light brown. Enjoy!

The reviews made this sound irresistable and we were not disappointed. I substituted gluten free bread and non-dairy mayo. and left everything else the same, just doubling the recipe. We had 10 guests and not a bit of leftover. I had to print the recipe for 4 of my guests, with lots of "you can make this for me anytime!" It was a great party!

This is very tasty- the breadcrumbs add a wonderful crunch to the shrimp and mayo. Guests love it. Very filling also.

I love this recipe. Very tasty.

I've made this appetizer twice for a bunch that are pretty creative in the kitchen so I'm always on the hunt for something different. This is IT! The comments were very complimentary and everyone loved it. I grilled the shrimp on the BBQ instead of boiled, marinating them in olive oil and fresh garlic for about a half hour. Serve them hot or prep in advance and chill, they are great both ways. I expanded on the dry dips just for fun, but the breadcrumbs are a must, so good. I served the spicy mayo as is. Added a number of different dry dips for variety. Crushed Maui Onion potato chips, toasted sesame seeds, toasted coconut in separate dip dishes and wow you've got something for everyone. This will forever be a favorite and so easy to do everything in advance.

Nice idea! It was quite the crowd pleaser

I made this recipe to serve as an appetizer for our family Christmas dinner. Since I wasn't sure how it would go over, I also made the usual cocktail sauce. Well, this recipe was such a hit, no one touched the cocktail sauce. Everyone raved about it. Nice to find a different way to serve the usual boiled shrimp. Definitely a crowd pleaser! I'll be making this again!

This recipe is incredible. Very interactive to have with company, and also tastes delish. It is quite rich though, so if you are serving another appetizer, I would make it a light one. I adore shrimp and I could only eat about 5-6.

Fantastic! I didn't bother corn-starching the garlic (I was out of corn starch) but it was just fine. I also blanched some green beans so that the vegetarians in the crowd could enjoy it as well.

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