Friday night dinners were a weekly tradition when I was growing up. I’m lucky to live just 5 minutes away from my Japanese grandparents and cousins, so every Friday I would wait eagerly by the door to go to Obachan’s house and eat some authentic asian food and then run to the backyard with my cousins to play with dirt and climb trees. My Obachan makes a delicious shrimp tempura and I would load up as many as I could on my plate, squirt a bit of this tasty brown sauce on the side, then dig in.
Youuu GUYS. SO GOOD.
Everything you could want. The crunch. The juicy inside. Mhmm her tempura is comfort food at its finest.
So what do you do when you a) don’t trust yourself with hot oil and b) are looking for a healthier alternative? You come up with a dish that has all the flavor and taste but is healthier and made in the safety of the oven! Even better? Only 5 ingredients and the recipe comes together in a flash. PARTY. You bring the drinks and I’ll bring a few of my tasty crustacean friends. OMG decapods.
What am I even saying?
I don’t know. It’s hard to concentrate when you have this picture all up in yo’ face.
The thing that makes this taste as good as the fried version is the crispiness of the panko. Also the perfect lemon flavor. Oh, and the parsley adds a great accent as well. Basically I like all of it, okay?
If you’ve never worked with panko before, you’re in for a treat. Normal breadcrumbs just can’t compare to the crunch factor you get from panko after it’s been all nice and toasted in the oven! I was out grocery shopping with my sister before making my 5-Ingredient Lemon Panko Shrimp and she insisted that we had a big stash of panko in our family’s pantry. Guess what?
SHE’S A BIG FAT LIAR.
Apparently we have 3 containers of the Italian version, but there was not a single panko crumb to be seen. I threw a short hissy fit at having to go back and make a second trip, but it just so happens that there’s a Starbucks at the entrance of the grocery store and I was able to cool down the fiery temper within me with a caramel frappuccino (it took me 7 tries to spell that right) and everything was okay in the world.
The moral of this story is never trust your sister with important things, like your supply of panko breadcrumbs. Got it?
One last word before we part to stuff shrimp in our mouths. This is best eaten straight out of the oven when the crispiness is at it’s maximum. They’re delicious either way, but if you’re looking for the AHHHH YUM experience, eat em’ when they’re hot and fresh.
- 1 lb raw shrimp
- 2½ tbsp olive oil, separated
- 2 tbsp italian parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp lemon juice, separated
- ⅔ cup panko bread crumbs
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Peel and devein shrimp. Place the shrimp evenly in a baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle on 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the italian parsley, one tbsp lemon juice, the panko, the remaining 1½ tbsp olive oil, and ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper.
- Layer the panko mixture evenly on top of the shrimp.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through and the panko is golden brown.