- 800 gm small uncooked prawns, peeled and cleaned
- 300 ml buttermilk
- 150 gm mayonnaise
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges, to serve
- 2 tbsp each thyme leaves and oregano leaves
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 2 tsp each ground chilli and sweet paprika
- 300 gm plain flour (2 cups)
- 2 tsp each onion powder and garlic powder
- 2 eggs
- 50 ml Mexican-style hot sauce
- For deep-frying: vegetable oil
- 1 soft white square loaf of bread, thickly sliced into 4 slices
- For spreading: softened butter
- To serve: shredded baby cos
- 1Stir prawns and buttermilk in a non-reactive bowl to coat prawns well and refrigerate to marinate (1 hour).
- 2Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise, garlic, lemon rind and juice in a bowl, season to taste and refrigerate for flavours to develop (30 minutes).
- 3Combine 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.
- 4Combine 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.
- 5Heat 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.
- 6To 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.
Drink Suggestion: A tall, cold can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Drink suggestion by Max Allen