Camaron Rebosado is a Filipino-style crispy battered shrimp quite similar to Japanese shrimp tempura. It is made of marinated shrimp or prawns coated in a lightly seasoned batter and deep-fried until golden and crunchy! Usually served with a sweet and sour sauce, it makes a great appetizer or main dish paired with steamed rice.
This recipe will show you how to make the coating delightfully crispy while keeping the shrimp tender!
What is it?
Let’s break down the name first: Camaron means "shrimp" while Rebozado translates as "coated in batter". The name is Spanish in nature, yes, but the recipe and cooking style is actually influenced by the Chinese. And like many Chinese dishes, this one is also accentuated by a flavorful dipping sauce.
Camaron Rebosado vs Shrimp Tempura
While there are a lot of similarities between the two, one can easily differentiate them through the following:
- Coating- while Camaron Rebosado has a thick yet smooth finish, Tempura is known for its light and fluffy coating.
- Preparation - the shrimp in Rebosado is marinated in a calamansi or lemon juice mixed with salt and pepper first before dunking them into the batter.
- Dipping sauce- while this can change depending on your preference, Rebosado is traditionally paired with a sweet-sour dip. While tempura has its own dipping sauce called Tentsuyu. It's a mixture of mirin, soy sauce, and dashi.
The secret to crispier batter coating
- Adding cornstarch instead of using solely flour for the batter lessens the protein content that forms into gluten. This will result in a puffier and crispier crust as opposed to a bready one.
- Use cold water - Cold batter absorbs little to no oil when fried, therefore, it does not turn soggy.
- Keeping the batter cold also slows down gluten formation.
- Avoid mixing the batter too much or gluten will develop.
- Also, do not let the batter sit too long especially after adding the baking powder. Otherwise, it will lose its leavening punch.
Foxy Tips when making Camaron Rebosado
- Do not overcrowd your pan or pot when frying. Deep-fry in smaller batches to prevent the oil from losing its ideal temperature.
- Keep the oil temperature steady. The oil should ideally be hot enough to shock the cold batter into crispiness. Make sure to allow the oil to come back to its ideal temperature before adding another batch to fry.
- Transfer the cooked pieces to a paper towel or cooling rack to drain excess oil, if any.
- Read my post for tips on choosing, cleaning, and storing shrimp.
- Season the shrimp with salt and lemon juice and let it marinate for at least 15 minutes.
- Heat enough oil for deep frying, about 2-3 inches, in a small pot or deep pan/ saucepan over medium heat.
- While oil is heating up, sift together the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in a bowl. Add the salt and ground pepper and mix.
- Add the egg and cold water and whisk into a smooth batter.
- Take a prawn by the tail and dredge it in cornstarch covering both sides then dip it in the batter and then deep fry in the hot oil. Deep fry 3-4 pieces at a time turning them several times using a slotted spoon to achieve even cooking. Cook until golden brown.
- Transfer cooked prawns to a paper towel or oil draining rack to remove excess oil.
- Arrange on a serving dish and serve while hot and crispy with sweet chili sauce.