Spicy Fennel Fried Shrimp and Celery


This fried shrimp recipe may become a new household staple with its depth of flavor—plus, it cooks in only 15 minutes!

Spicy Fennel Fried Shrimp and Celery Served With Lemon Wedges on a White Serving Platter
Photo: Jennifer Causey
Hands On Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
15 mins
4 servings

This easy sautéed shrimp recipe packs flavor and spice. Fennel and anise seeds add an herbal depth, crushed red pepper turns up the heat, and celery plays off the spices with cooling vibes. As for the cornstarch—don’t skip it. It’s the key to getting a crispy crust reminiscent of deep frying.

Also, it’s important not to turn the shrimp too often so it can get a good browning—get out your tongs for this recipe. Any number of sides would pair well with these shrimp—try white rice to cool the heat down, grilled and oiled toast for an appetizer, or tossed with pasta.


  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds

  • 1 teaspoon anise seeds

  • 1 ½ pounds large raw, tail-on shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

  • ¼ cup canola oil

  • 4 celery stalks, cut into 1½-in. pieces, leaves reserved for serving

  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving


  1. Place salt and crushed red pepper in a large bowl. Combine fennel and anise seeds on a cutting board and roughly chop. Add chopped seeds to salt mixture and mix to combine. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Add cornstarch and toss until evenly coated.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Working in 2 batches, add shrimp to skillet in a single layer and cook, turning once, until golden brown and just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side; transfer to a platter. Add celery to skillet and cook, tossing occasionally, until it just begins to brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to the platter with shrimp and top with celery leaves. Serve with lemon wedges.

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