The first time I made these fried shrimp I was cooking them in the galley of a boat in the Caribbean. Many of these tiny islands lack fresh produce, so I served the shrimp in warm corn tortillas with smashed avocado, sour cream and a squeeze of lime. The Chinese Five-Spice is so flavorful, it didn’t need much more – though I would have added halved cherry tomatoes if I’d had them.
Once I got back from vacation I was craving salad, but I was also missing these shrimp so I added them to a hearty main course salad. Though I’m warning you, you’ll just want to eat them straight out of the pan!
Fried Five-Spice Shrimp Salad with Black Beans and Avocados
2 cups canola or vegetable oil
6 cups lettuce (your choice)
1 can (15 to 16 ounces) black beans, drained
1 avocado, cut into medium dice
1/2 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes, halved and lightly salted
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
Salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over low heat while preparing salad
Meanwhile, place lettuce in a large bowl. Add beans, avocado, onion, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro; set aside.
Turn heat under pan of oil to medium-high and heat to 350 degrees. Mix flour and five-spice powder in a shallow pan. Lightly season shrimp with salt and pepper. Working in 3 to 4 batches, dredge shrimp in flour to evenly coat. Working in 2 batches to not overcrowd pan, add shrimp to hot oil and fry until light golden brown, just a couple of minutes. Drain.
Add oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper to salad; toss to coat. Add lime juice; toss to coat again. Taste and adjust seasonings. Place a portion of salad in each of 4 pasta plates; top with shrimp and serve.