Is this a joke recipe? I’ll leave that up for you, dear reader, to decide. I’ll be honest though, after eating these weird cinnamon toast crunch tempura shrimp I have to say it isn’t the worst thing I’ve made. For those of you that are still lost, this recipe is a reference to the currently trending story about comedian and rapper Jensen Karp tweeting a picture of some shrimp tails he found in a box of cinnamon toast crunch. Of course, the manufacturer has denied this, but who am I to make judgement. I’m just here to make a funky new recipe!
The website Eater has an amazing timeline of this cinnamon toast shrimp saga for those that want more juicy information. I’m bound to side with Karp for the sole reason that he makes amazing life decisions (he ended up marrying Topanga from Boy Meets World!).
How To Make Cinnamon Toast Crunch Tempura Shrimp
So the two main ingredients you’ll need for this odd recipe is of course shrimp…and cinnamon toast crunch. If you live in Europe then they are called Cini-minis, but they’re the same thing. For the shrimp I am using Argentinian Red Shrimp as they are the sweetest variety, and I thought would pair well with the rest of the ingredients. I also use them for almost all my shrimp or prawn recipes like Cantonese style black bean shrimp and my pineapple mango shrimp.
To start, peel and devein your shrimp. Alona did this for me and she left the tail on for the appearance (and also as a tribute to the trend). Then I skewer the shrimp so they keep a longer shape and do not curl up when frying.
Add a cup of Cinnamon Toast Crunch to a bag and just go to town with a rolling pin or wine bottle. Really anything to turn it into crumbs. If you like, you can also use a food processor.
Making the batter is extremely simple. A traditional Japanese tempura is just flour, water, and egg. For these cinnamon toast crunch tempura shrimp I am replacing some of the flour with the crushed up cereal. Whisk together half a cup of flour, the cinnamon toast crunch, one cold egg, a cup of ice cold water, and a teaspoon of salt. Feel free to add other seasonings if you want.
Next make a batter dredging station. Lay out your shrimps, followed by a shallow dish of potato starch, and then the batter. You’ll also need a pot of hot oil for deep frying.
Take a shrimp and then roll it in the potato starch. This is used to help bind the batter to the shrimp without sloughing off when you dip them. You can also use corn starch if you prefer.
Next dip the starch powdered shrimp into the batter quickly. You don’t want too much batter so if it’s super thick just let it drip off for a few seconds. Then, put it in the hot oil for about 20-30 seconds.
I dip these into the oil one at a time. Mostly because I used a really small pot and didn’t want to waste a lot of oil if this dish turned out to be absolutely disgusting. If you are making a huge batch then you can do 3-4 skewers at a time.
Voila! You’re basically done with this recipe. You can stop here and just scarf them down, gift them to friends as a prank dish, or plate them nice and pretty for some presentation points.
Personally, I didn’t know how to present these cini-mini shrimps so I just added stuff to a plate to make it look like something nice. I placed the tempura shrimps on a bed of rocked with a sprinkling of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. Of course, there are some lime wedges for a reason unbeknownst to me, and a dipping sauce. What dipping sauce you ask? Well, it’s bravas sauce. Yes, the traditional Spanish sauce most famous with patatas bravas. Does it pair well with this dish? Who’s to say, I’m clearly going crazy these days.