Whenever I hear of someone planning a trip to Venice, I always recommend a side trip over to the island of Burano, where my mom was born. This unique island can be easily reached by water taxi or water bus and is famous for its lacework and brightly colored buildings. On a recent trip I ordered a plate of fried shrimp for lunch, which might sound pretty ordinary, but which was anything but. The shrimp I had were sweet and tender, and encased in a light crispy batter and fried just until golden brown. Being a food fanatic, I had to see if I could replicate this dish at home. I did some research on seafood batter, and ended up choosing one I thought most resembled the batter used at the restaurant. Because fried shrimp is a pretty basic dish, I decided to sprinkle my completed plate with a gremolata type of blend that included fresh parsley, sea salt, a chili pepper, and some lemon zest. This really enhance the flavor of the shrimps and you really do not need anything else although some lemon wedges can be included on the plate when serving. So, here’s my fried shrimp with spicy gremolata recipe.
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
Zest from 1 medium lemon
1 small chili pepper, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Place the topping ingredients on a cutting board, and using a sharp knife chop everything together until fine. Place in a small bowl and set aside until needed. Place the oil in a large heavy bottomed pot or deep fryer, filling at least 3 inches deep. Heat the oil to 365 to 375°F. In a shallow bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly pour in the water, whisking until smooth.
Working in small batches, dip the shrimp into the batter and then drop into the hot oil. Fry for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, then remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined tray to drain. Continue to fry the remaining shrimps. Place the shrimps on a decorative plater, sprinkle with the topping and serve fried shrimp with spicy gremolata immediately with lemon wedges, if desired.