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Poached Shrimp with Spicy Mayo and Garlic Breadcrumbs

Scott Phillips

Servings: 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

Nutritional Information

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


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.


Rate or Review

Reviews (12 reviews)

  • Krispie | 01/06/2020

    This was inhaled by everyone. The consistent comment was that it was so unusual and unexpected, it was almost addicting. Based on that, I don’t think I would make it often but definately when I wanted to change things up a bit.

  • User avater
    Radish | 05/11/2013

    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.

  • mojo_g | 05/09/2012

    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!

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