Fried shrimp, coated with puffy Japanese panko crumbs? One of the world's great crunchy treats, to be sure! And it's easy: you simply dip shelled shrimp in beaten egg, then dip in panko crumbs before frying. But if you wish to augment that treat an iota, there is something else out there: whole shrimp, head-on and shell-on, also panko-fried to perfection. There are more crevices, more crenallations, more chances for joy. The only problem is finding the right shrimp: they need to be delicate, with small heads and thin shells. Remember that Japanese groceries in winter often sell them.

  • two dozen head-on, shell-on shrimp
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, on a flat plate
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups seasoned panko crumbs on a flat plate
  • 3 cups Canola oil
1. Roll the head-on, shell-on shrimp in flour.

2. Dip shrimp in beaten egg. Let drip.

3. Roll shrimp lightly in panko crumbs.

4. Dip shrimp again in beaten egg.

5. Working quickly, roll the shrimp one more time in panko crumbs, pressing more heavily.

6. Fry immediately in deep oil that has been heated to 365 degrees. The frying is quick; taste as you go; the shrimp should be done in 1-2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Season to taste and serve.

[More: David Rosengarten on 3 custom coatings for frying seafood]