Let’s consider Buffalo Wings vs Buffalo Shrimp. Buffalo Wings are without question one of the most popular “bar foods” in American restaurants. The unique aroma awakes your taste buds and I personally find it hard to resist. I bet that if wings are on a menu, someone at your table is ordering them. And if someone else doesn’t, you probably will. Despite the messy fingers, the inconsistencies in sauces and crispiness, and even size, they are simply hard to resist.
For me, it’s not about the chicken wing itself, its about the Buffalo sauce. I simply crave it. With Buffalo sauce being so popular, now we see a wide variety of “wings” on menus including Boneless Buffalo wings, Buffalo Cauliflower bites, Buffalo Tofu and my all time favorite, Buffalo Shrimp.
When I travel down south to visit family and friends I find Buffalo shrimp on many pub menus. But where I live in NY, I can’t seem to find them anywhere! So, what was a girl to do when the craving struck? Get cooking! I am sure glad I started making my own because they are in a a league of their own.
After trying a few approaches, I finally came up with what I think is the best Buffalo Shrimp recipe. They are spicy, bold & briny. They are coated in a batter that is made with seasoned flour and the result is a crispy shell, similar to classic fried chicken. Tossed with your favorite wing sauce and served with blue cheese dip, these Buffalo Shrimp are better than any restaurant. You won’t even want to share.
The sauce you choose is going to have a major impact on the end result so make sure you choose a sauce you really like. I’m partial to Franks Red Hot Wing Sauce and a Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing.
Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing is SO easy and one thousand times better than anything from a store. Simply toss a few ingredients into a food processor and you are done. It’s as easy as that and makes a substantial difference.
How to buy Shrimp
If you know me, you know I am an advocate of fresh, well sourced seafood. Shrimp is no exception. The market is polluted with farm raised, frozen shrimp that are loaded with antibiotics and preservatives. Frozen or Fresh, from a standard grocery store, your shrimp is likely it is to have been treated with chemicals, particularly sodium tripolyphosphate and sodium bisulfite. Sometimes we have no choice. But when you can source and afford fresh, wild caught, from a reliable seafood market, you should.
Learning about how to buy fresh seafood is important. if you are interested in learning more, check out this article from Serious Eats – A Comprehensive Guide to Buying Better Shrimp.
Shrimp come in an abundance of sizes. Many seafood counters will sell them by “medium, large and jumbo” but those terms can change from store to store. The best way to purchase them is by their “U” count. This represents the “approximate” number of pieces per pound. So you may see shrimp sold as “26/30” which typically refers to XL size and means there are about 26-30 per pound. Medium Shrimp are often called “41/50” meaning they are smaller and contain between 41-50 per pound. For this recipe, you can use any size you like, but I prefer a meaty bite so I go for the 16/20 size.
- Make a double batch because everyone loves them!