Popcorn Shrimp with Corn Butter

Serving Size: 4
Total Time:


  • 4 ears of corn—kernels cut off and reserved, cobs reserved
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 Pound shelled and deveined small shrimp
  • 0.5 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • freshly ground pepper
  • kosher salt
  • 0.75 cup plus 2 tablespoons Butter Buds (about 2 1/2 ounces; see Note)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
  • 0.5 cup heavy cream
  • 6 cup water
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 0.5 onion, quartered
  • snipped chives and lime wedges, for serving


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the corn cobs with the onion, garlic and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the broth is well-flavored and reduced to about 2 cups, about 40 minutes. Strain the broth into a heatproof bowl, discarding the solids.
  2. Return the broth to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until reduced to 1 cup, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the corn kernels and heavy cream and bring just to a boil, then stir in the cornstarch mixture and simmer over moderate heat until thickened, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the puree through a medium sieve set over a bowl. Stir in the Butter Buds and season the sauce with salt and pepper; keep warm.
  3. Set a rack over a baking sheet. Put the rice flour in a pie plate. In another pie plate, beat the egg with the milk. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and dust them in the rice flour, tapping off the excess. Dip the dusted shrimp in the egg, then dredge again in the flour; transfer to the rack.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil to 350°. Add half of the shrimp to the oil and fry until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a paper towel–lined baking sheet and season lightly with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
  5. Transfer the shrimp to a platter and garnish with chives and lime wedges. Spoon the sauce into a bowl and serve right away.
  6. MAKE AHEAD The sauce can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently before serving. NOTES Butter Buds are butter-flavored granules. They’re available in supermarkets.

Image Credit: Marcus Nilsson
Recipe Courtesy of: Chris Shepherd

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