Sometimes I make a recipe that leaves me with some leftover store-bought phyllo and I can usually make some Baklava with the rest or Tyropitakia (cheese-filled phyllo triangles). The other alternative is to take some sheets of phyllo, cut them into triangles and roll some shrimp in them and fry them up!
This idea is inspired by the Asian shrimp appetizers that use wonton wrappers to roll. This appetizer is easy on the eye, easy to prepare and simply delicious! A different meze if you will! Most of the commercial phyllo out there is thinner than wonton wrappers but this recipe still works…just ensure the shrimp are wrapped tightly, the oil you use is good (I like sunflower oil for frying) and simply use your eyes to gauge when the shrimp are ready – when golden.
This is a fun dish and let your imagination get the best of you – play with some sauce combos to accompany the phyllo-wrapped shrimp. On this occasion, I made one sauce made of tomato confit, honey, olive oil and some Boukovo (Greek chilli flakes), the second sauce was made of garlic, yogurt, splash of cream, mustard, chives and honey. The third one is made with good red wine vinegar, a little water, honey and some more Boukovo. You can try one of these (or all) or try making your own sauce(s).
The basics for dipping sauces is that they should be made with what’s already in your pantry or in your fridge. The KISS (keep it simple stupid) principle is in full effect here. Let’s wrap some shrimp!
Phyllo-Wrapped Shrimp With Three Sauces
(appetizer for 4)
12 medium-sized shrimp, fresh or thawed from frozen
12 triangles of phyllo pastry, approx. 6″ X 4″ X 4″
1 tsp. of cornstarch diluted in 1 tsp. of tap water
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
vegetable oil for frying
- Take your phyllo out the fridge (assuming it’s already thawed) and leave on the counter to return to room temperature. Rinse your shrimp, peel & devein leacing the tails in tact. Now most importantly, slit the inside curve of the shrimp in 3-4 spots so that the shrimp is no longer curved and the shrimp is now freely straight (it’s important that your shrimp aren’t curved or your phyllo will unravel when fried). Rinse the shrimp and pat-dry then place in a bowl. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and paprika and toss.
- Pour enough vegetable oil in your frying pan/skillet to come up about 1 1/2 – 2 inches up the pan. Heat your oil to a temperature of approx. 360F. Add the corn starch with water and mix until you have a paste, reserve. Lay your phyllo out on your work surface and cut into triangles.
- Place your shrimp near the left corner of the phyllo with the tail exposed and the body of the shrimp just laying inside the phyllo. Fold the phyllo over the shrimp and tuck tightly under the shrimp then fold the top part of the phyllo to cover the top part of the shrimp (now only the corner to the far0right is the only pointed side of the phyllo. Now roll the phyllo up until your roll is complete. Dab your finger into the corn starch paste and seal the phyllo roll. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
- Fry your phyllo-wrapped shrimp until just golden and then blot on paper-lined plate. Serve immediately with your favourite dipping sauces. Pour a glass of Ouzo with some ice and enjoy!
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