Are you hesitant about frying shrimp in olive oil, unsure if it's the right match?
In the culinary realm, olive oil is often overlooked for frying, clouded by myths about its suitability. But imagine discovering that frying shrimp in olive oil is not just feasible, but perhaps one of the best choices for this beloved seafood.
This blog is set to reveal groundbreaking research from 2023, shedding light on the unmatched benefits of olive oil in frying. We'll explore why it's an excellent option for shrimp, share a delectable recipe, and provide tips for culinary success.
Prepare to be enlightened by the latest scientific insights in this exciting culinary journey!
- Choose olive oil for frying shrimp to effectively preserve their natural Omega-3s, even under high heat conditions.
- Discover the power of olive oil's antioxidants, such as hydroxytyrosol, α-tocopherol, and ascorbyl palmitate, in protecting fats from degradation during frying.
- Rely on olive oil for its superior heat stability, ensuring your shrimp is fried in a less degradable, more stable oil.
- Learn essential tips for selecting the best olive oil, preparing shrimp by proper cleaning, deveining, and seasoning, and techniques to determine when the oil is ready for frying.
- Get ready for easy-to-follow, delicious shrimp recipes at the conclusion!.
Choosing the Right Oil
For the health-savvy enthusiast keen on maximizing the nutritional benefits of seafood, olive oil emerges as a great choice over other cooking oils. Unlike many oils that may promote lipid peroxidation when used for deep-fat frying, olive oil is rich in natural antioxidants such as Hydroxytyrosol, α-tocopherol, and ascorbyl palmitate.1
These compounds are more than just complex, scientific names; they are the stalwarts in combating the degradation of fats, which often occurs during the frying process.
Specifically, Hydroxytyrosol, contained in olive oil, acts as a robust antioxidant, significantly diminishing the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids, commonly referred to as PUFAs, and curbing the production of toxic compounds when seafood is fried in deep fat.1
The presence of Hydroxytyrosol in the frying medium offers additional protection from the PUFAs within the seafood, slowing down lipid oxidation and preserving the quality of the seafood during frying.1
While seed oils, for example let us say canola or vegetable oil can break down under high heat, leading to the loss of beneficial omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, olive oil’s antioxidants actively work to inhibit these detrimental reactions.
This means that when you fry shrimp in olive oil, not only are you ensuring a more stable cooking process, but you are also preserving the heart-healthy omega-3s during cooking.1
FUN fact: A 3-ounce serving of shrimp contains over 500 mg of omega-3s, which is more than half the daily recommended minimum for optimal health.
In short, olive oil isn't just a cooking ingredient; it's a guardian of the natural Omega 3’s contained in your fried shrimp.To fry shrimp perfectly, high-quality oil is essential.
Building on our recent insights, it is crucial to highlight that olive oil has also been underestimated due to the belief that it has a low smoke point, but current research has shown that heat stability, rather than smoke point, is the key factor to consider. This new information is challenging many long held beliefs, but by reading this article, we will address all your main concerns and give you yet another reason to remember why olive oil is a great choice.
This new information is challenging many long held beliefs, but by reading this article, we will address all your main concerns and give you yet another reason to remember why olive oil is a great choice!
Now that we have addressed the doubt of using olive oil when frying shrimp, let's quickly look over some very useful tips when choosing the right olive oil for frying shrimp.
Tips for choosing the right olive oil for frying shrimp
I love frying shrimp in olive oil, and it's important to choose the right olive oil for the best results. Here are some tips:
- Opt for First Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Its rich in nutrients and possesses a high smoke point and heat stability perfect for frying.
- Check the acidity level: A lower acidity means superior quality, ideal for frying. Look for FFA < 0.3.
- Know your brands: Go for reputable brands which prove their commitment to purity and quality.
- Watch out for the harvest date: Olive oil doesn't age like wine. Fresher oils offer better taste and higher nutritional value.
- Choose oils stored in dark, glass bottles: Glass is non porous eliminating chemical reactions between EVOO and the container overall prolonging its shelf life. Light can degrade olive oil, reducing its beneficial properties.
- Check the origin: it should come from one country, even better from one single county or farm.
- Check for the presence of Vitamin E and K in the Nutritional Panel: their presence is a strong indication that the oils were truly obtained using First Cold Pressing technology able to retain vitamins. The higher the level of vitamins, the higher the levels of polyphenols, the higher the quality of the EVOO.
The best way to heat the olive oil and know when it is hot enough
To get the olive oil ready for frying your shrimp, I recommend using a medium-high heat setting on your stove.
Place a large skillet or frying pan over the heat and let it warm up for a few minutes. Then, add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan in a thin layer. Let the oil heat up until you start to see little wisps of smoke rising from it.
This is a sign that the oil is hot enough and ready for frying.
Keep in mind, medium heat stove top temperatures rarely exceed 365 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore do not concern yourself with the smoke point. And if you truly want to be on the safe side, you can use an infrared thermometer to measure the oil perfectly.
Once the oil is hot, carefully add your seasoned shrimp to the pan.
Preparing the shrimp
How to clean and devein shrimp
Cleaning and deveining shrimp is an important step before frying them. Here's how to do it:
- Start by rinsing the shrimp under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. Hold the shrimp with one hand and use your other hand to gently peel off the shell. Start from the head end and work your way down.
- Once the shell is removed, use a small knife or kitchen shears to make a shallow cut along the back of each shrimp.
- Look for a thin black line, known as the vein, running along the back of the shrimp. This is the digestive tract and can be gritty or unpleasant if left intact.
- Use the tip of your knife or your fingers to lift out the vein and discard it.
- Rinse the cleaned shrimp again to remove any remaining bits.
How to season shrimp
To season the shrimp, I like to keep it simple yet flavorful and as always follow the Mediterranean way, Here's how I do it:
- Start by patting the shrimp dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
- In a bowl, combine the shrimp with some salt and pepper to taste. Be generous with the seasoning as it will enhance the flavor of the shrimp.
- Add some minced garlic and onion for a delicious aromatic twist. You can also sprinkle in some dried or fresh herbs like oregano or thyme if you prefer.
- Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon to give the shrimp a subtle tanginess.
- Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the seasoned shrimp and toss everything together until all the ingredients are well mixed.
Frying the shrimp until golden brown crispy
- To fry the shrimp, start by heating your olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and use the tips mentioned above for knowing when the oil is hot enough. Remember, you can use that infrared thermometer if you are worried about the smoke point.
- Once the oil is ready, carefully place the seasoned shrimp into the skillet, making sure not to overcrowd them. Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side until they are golden brown and cooked through on each side. NOTE: The cooking time may vary depending on the size of your shrimp.
- To prevent sticking, use tongs or a spatula to gently flip the shrimp and move them around in the pan as they cook. This will help ensure that all sides get crispy and evenly cooked.
- When done, remove the fried shrimp from the pan and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Serve them immediately while they're still hot and crispy for maximum flavor.
Cooking shrimp in olive oil can be a tasty alternative to other oils, giving your dish a unique twist with its light and rich flavor, plus we cannot forget about all those health benefits!Go ahead and give it a try – you won't be disappointed!
Tips for preventing shrimp from sticking to the pan
- Coat the shrimp in flour or breadcrumbs before frying. This creates a protective barrier between the shrimp and the pan, preventing sticking.
- Make sure the oil is hot enough before adding the shrimp. If the oil is not hot enough, the shrimp may stick to the pan.
- Use a non-stick pan or well-seasoned cast iron skillet. These types of pans have a smoother surface, which reduces the chances of sticking.
- Avoid overcrowding the pan. Give each shrimp enough space to cook evenly without touching each other.
- Flip the shrimp gently with tongs or a spatula halfway through cooking. This helps to prevent them from sticking and ensures even browning on both sides.
- Add a small amount of olive oil to the pan if needed during cooking. This can help loosen any stuck bits and prevent further sticking.
- Cook over medium - high heat instead of high heat to avoid burning and sticking.
That's it! With these tips, you can enjoy perfectly fried shrimp that doesn't stick to the pan. Happy cooking!
Easy & Yummy Recipe
Lemon & caper with fresh garlic
Ingredients: large shrimp, olive oil, capers, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
Method: Begin by frying the shrimp in olive oil with garlic. Once nearly cooked, add capers and lemon zest, then deglaze the pan with lemon juice. Season to taste.
Spicy Mediterranean Shrimp
Ingredients: Large shrimp, Olive oil, garlic, red chili flakes, paprika lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Method: Heat Olive oil in a skillet, add minced garlic and red pepper chili flakes, and for a minute. Add shrimp, season with paprika, salt, and pepper. Fry until done and finish with a splash of lemon juice.
Different ways to serve fried shrimp
- I love to serve fried shrimp as a main course with a side of creamy coleslaw and fresh lemon wedges.
- For a lighter meal, you can top a bed of mixed greens with the fried shrimp, cherry tomatoes, and a tangy vinaigrette dressing.
- If you're feeling adventurous, try creating your own shrimp po' boy sandwich with crispy fried shrimp, lettuce, tomato, and a zesty remoulade sauce on a soft French roll.
- Fried shrimp also pairs well with other seafood dishes like crab cakes or sautéed scallops for a seafood feast.
- For a taste of the tropics, serve the fried shrimp alongside some coconut rice and grilled pineapple skewers.
And there you have it! Some delicious ways to serve up your perfectly fried shrimp. Enjoy experimenting with different flavors and pairings to create your own unique dishes that are sure to impress your family and friends.
Tips for storing and reheating fried shrimp
To keep your leftover fried shrimp fresh and tasty, follow these easy tips:
- Store it properly: Place the fried shrimp in an airtight container or resealable bag. Make sure to remove any excess oil before storing.
- Refrigerate promptly: Put the container in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking to prevent bacterial growth.
- Use within 3 days: Consume the stored fried shrimp within three days for optimal freshness and flavor.
- Reheat carefully: If you prefer, you can also briefly re-fry the shrimp in hot oil to restore its crispy texture. Just be careful not to overcook them!
As we reach the end of our culinary journey, it's clear that olive oil is much more than just another ingredient in the kitchen.
Through a blend of scientific insight and culinary expertise, we've uncovered its remarkable qualities, especially when it comes to frying seafood like shrimp.
Olive oil stands out not only for its ability to enhance flavor but also for its health benefits, backed by science.
Its rich content of natural antioxidants such as hydroxytyrosol, α-tocopherol, and ascorbyl palmitate, positions it as a healthier alternative to other oils, actively preserving the nutritional value of fried foods.
This exploration into olive oil’s merits reiterates its status as a versatile, health-conscious choice for those aspiring to make better dietary decisions without sacrificing your taste buds.
So, the next time you reach for a bottle of oil for your fryer, remember the overlooked hero on your shelf — olive oil, a true kitchen MVP that deserves a prime spot in your healthy cooking repertoire.
1. Can I fry shrimp in olive oil?
Yes, you can safely fry shrimp in olive oil, as we learned that olive oil, in fact, does have a high smoking point and health benefits.
2. What kind of recipes use fried shrimp and olive oil?
Many recipes, for the past 5000 years, people have fried shrimp with olive oil. These dishes include: pasta dishes, salads, and even soups.
3. Is frying shrimp in olive oil healthy?
Yes, Hydroxytyrosol, an antioxidant contained in olive oil, protects the natural Omega 3’s in your shrimp!
4. How will my fried shrimp taste if I cook it in olive oil?
Cooking your shrimp in olive oil adds a rich flavor that many people love, but if you believe it is strong, there are of course other alternatives.
Nutrition Table for Shrimp
Amount per 3-ounce (85-gram) serving
Daily Value (%DV)
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-6 fatty acids
Disclaimer: The content in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.
"The Inhibitory Effects of Hydroxytyrosol, a-Tocopherol and Ascorbyl Palmitate on Lipid Peroxidation in Deep-Fat Fried Seafood." Antioxidants & Redox Signaling 2023.
Date Accessed: 10/25/2023