Homemade scampi is so much better than those from supermarkets. Shop bought scampi often contain over 50% breadcrumbs and only 7% actual scampi. The rest is water and minced cod plus additives.
Origins of Scampi
Scampi is an Italian word that migrated all over Europe. In most countries, especially Italy, scampi means the peeled tail of pretty much any kind of prawn but in the UK it refers to the meat of just one special prawn: the langoustine.
Langoustines are small lobsters found in the colder waters of Scotland, Ireland and Norway. They are also known as Dublin Bay Prawns or Norway lobsters.
One-third of the world’s total catch is landed in Scotland although langoustine is caught all around the UK coast.
John Torode’s homemade scampi are fabulous whether you use langoustine tails or substitute monkfish. Also try his homemade fish fingers, great with tartare sauce.
A Deep Fryer is Best
For best results, instead of an oil-filled pan, I use a countertop deep fryer like this one from (affiliate link)Amazon.
The most important benefit of deep oil fryers is the ability to control the oil temperature accurately. This takes away all the guesswork and gives consistent results.
Other Recipes You Maybe Interested in …..
For the langoustine brine:
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp salt
- ½ tbsp baking powder
- 1 litre water
For the scampi:
- 24-30 raw langoustine tails peeled, or 20 small pieces of monkfish
- 100 g self raising flour seasoned
- 2 eggs beaten
- 50 ml milk
- 100 g panko breadcrumbs
- 100 g classic yellow breadcrumbs
- vegetable oil for shallow frying
- If using langoustine, make the brine – dissolve the sugar, salt and baking powder in the water. Add the langoustine, mix well and leave to sit for at least 15 minutes.
- Take three shallow bowls and put the flour in one, the beaten eggs and milk in another and a mix of the breadcrumbs in the third.
- Roll the wet scampi (or the monkfish) in the seasoned flour, and then the egg and then the flour again and then to the egg and finally to the breadcrumb mix.
- Take a large deep frying pan and pour in the vegetable oil to about 1cm, and cook on a medium heat until the oil is hot enough.
- Cook the fish for about 2 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt.
- Serve with tartare sauce