We've made large sandwiches, but you could also stuff the filling into soft, fluffy white bread rolls.
800 gmsmall uncooked prawns, peeled and cleaned300 mlbuttermilk150 gmmayonnaise1garlic clove, finely choppedFinelygrated rind and juice of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges, to serve2 tbsp eachthyme leaves and oregano leaves1fresh bay leaf2 tsp eachground chilli and sweet paprika300 gm (2 cups)plain flour2 tsp eachonion powder and garlic powder2eggs50 mlMexican-style hot sauceFor deep-frying:vegetable oil1soft white square loaf of bread, thickly sliced into 4 slicesFor spreading:softened butterTo serve:shredded baby cos
Stir prawns and buttermilk in a non-reactive bowl to coat prawns well and refrigerate to marinate (1 hour).
Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise, garlic, lemon rind and juice in a bowl, season to taste and refrigerate for flavours to develop (30 minutes).
Combine herbs in a frying pan and stir occasionally over low-medium heat until dried (4-5 minutes). Add spices and dry-roast until fragrant (1 minute). Tip into a mortar and pestle, pound to a fine powder, then stir in 2 tsp salt and 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
Combine flour, onion powder, garlic powder and half the spice mix in a large bowl and set aside. Whisk eggs and hot sauce in a separate bowl to combine and set aside.
Heat oil in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan to 180C. Drain prawns from buttermilk, add to egg mixture and mix well to coat. Working in batches, drain prawns from egg mixture, toss in seasoned flour to coat well, then shake off excess and deep-fry, stirring occasionally, until golden (1-2 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper and season with a little of the remaining spice mixture.
To serve, spread bread slices with butter, top half the slices with popcorn shrimp and season to taste with remaining spice mix. Drizzle with spiced mayonnaise, squeeze a little lemon over and top with a little shredded lettuce. Sandwich with remaining bread slices, cut into portions and serve.
Note Oysters would make a handsome - and
classic - alternative filling for these beauties.