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Best First Coast fried shrimp?

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Okay, you Florida folks -- I'm looking for a recipe for fried shrimp like they make in St Augustine -- you know the restaurant -- the converted gas station next to the antique shop -- yep, that's the one. The one with Minorcan clam chowder and Datil-do-it sauce on the table next to the bird peppers in jars of vinegar.

The butterflied fried shrimp there (and at that other restaurant in the same town) are haunting my dreams....but HOW do I make them?

I've googled til I was crosseyed, and I got nothin. I've even given serious thought to calling and begging them to even just point me in the right direction (launching a guilt trip about how I live overseas and can't get home to have shrimp, boohooo...but with several military bases close by, I figure I'm not the first to try that tactic and am guessing it's not going to work).

What say you -- can you help me?

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  1. Sunshine, is it the breading that's throwing you? If it is, try a substitution of half cornstarch for at least half the flour called for - light, crispy crust, everytime. I don't know the restaurant you're speaking of, but in my experience if it's a breading or coating issue, cornstarch is usually the answer. Oh, and I'm guessing that if you call the restaurant no fibs will be necessary if they have even an inkling of giving you the recipe at all. It's a compliment to them! Maybe you won't get proportions, but I bet you'll get ingredients, and that's easy to play around with. Think of all the shrimp you can eat while you're perfecting your recipe!

    2 Replies
    1. re: mamachef

      yep -- it's so light it's almost like tempura. This restaurant (and the other one I mentioned) are famous, and have been for generations, in the St Augustine area...so SOMEBODY knows how to do this...I just haven't found them yet.

      1. re: sunshine842

        Definitely cornstarch then; and icy, icy cold water to mix.
        Or you could post an ad on local Craigslist and offer a reward. : )

    2. I'm not a Floridian, but it is Osteen's? I Googled st augustine fried shrimp and got a few hits. Their shrimp look like you described.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Gail

        yep - that's the one -- I didn't want to name it lest it get this topic moved to Restaurants.