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Copycat Hooters Buffalo Shrimp

We were gifted 7 pounds of fresh-off-the-boat Georgia shrimp a month or two back (thanks to my mom & dad in-law).  I froze them in one pound packs so they would thaw quickly when we had a shrimp hankering.  On this particular day, I couldn’t get enough of these Buffalo Shrimp.  They were too tasty not to share.

Have you ever had Hooters Buffalo Shrimp? I asked that question to three of the ladies I work with and without hesitation they all said yes, yep, love them.  Looking forward to trying them, but for now this was my attempt to recreate what I had heard were some damn good Buffalo Shrimp.

Butterflied Buffalo Shrimp

For this recipe I made two changes to my standard Crispy Fried Shrimp recipe.  First, I butterfly cut the shrimp.  For a quick tutorial on how to Butterfly Shrimp click here.  Then instead of a full panko crust, I simply used a flour and cornstarch dredge.  I liked the butterfly cut a lot but would go with a little extra coating next time.

Crispy Fried Shrimp

Once the shrimp are fried and drained, we tossed them in buffalo sauce, then layered them onto a bed of tortilla chips.  Couldn’t resist this trick that we first learned from an old friend, that we’ll affectionately call Ferris.  Making Buffalo Wings, finish them in a giant bowl filled with tortilla chips.  Any sauce that drips off the wings or shrimp, create a layer of buffalo nachos if you will.

Buffalo Shrimp3
Hooters copycat buffalo shrimp
Buffalo Shrimp with Ranch and Buffalo Sauce
Hooters Copycat Buffalo Shrimp

Buffalo Shrimp

Hooters copycat recipe
Servings 2 -4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. large shrimp peeled & deveined, then butterflied
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or milk
  • oil for frying canola or peanut oil

For buffalo sauce…

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s hot sauce
  • 1 Tbl. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

To serve…

  • Tortilla Chips
  • side of ranch or blue cheese dressing

Instructions
 

  • Prepare butterfly shrimp (see how-to link in post).
  • Line a shallow baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine flour, cornstarch, salt & pepper in a bowl or zipper top bag. Whisk together egg & buttermilk in a second bowl. Working in small batches, toss shrimp buttermilk/egg, then into flour. Place in single layer on parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Meanwhile, combine buffalo sauce ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil then reduce heat to low to keep warm.
  • Heat 3-inches of oil in a deep pot to 375 degrees. Fry shrimp in small batches, for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Remove to drain on brown paper bags.
  • To serve, place tortilla chips in a large bowl. Toss shrimp in buffalo sauce then place on chips to drain. Serve with a side of blue cheese or ranch dressing and extra buffalo sauce.