Fried Shrimp

Whenever I think about the best parts of our semi-annual Cape Cod vacations I think of fried seafood.  Yes, I also think of the mini golf with the family, the dunks in the pond, the cute little galleries downtown, the nice walks near the bay.  But I know for a fact that I look forward to eating more fried shrimp, oysters, and clams in one week than I will for the rest of the year combined.  #fact.

Frying shrimp at home is amazingly easy, though – you don’t need to deep fry the shrimp, you just need an inch of oil in a pan.

How to Fry Shrimp

Tips for Frying Shrimp

  • When you coat the shrimp in the milk-egg mixture, and then the flour mixture, use one hand for the wet ingredients, and another for the dry to keep everything from getting clumpy and sticky and messy.  
  • Make sure the oil is not too hot, but hot enough (see Below)
  • Fry the shrimp in batches, without crowding them in the pan.
  • When all of the shrimp are breaded, place the baking sheet into the fridge and let the shrimp chill for 15 minutes.  This will help the coating adhere to the shrimp when frying
  • Don’t overcook the shrimp – as soon as they are golden brown, they will be cooked through
  • Allow the shrimp to drain on paper towels to remove any excess oil
How to Fry Shrimp

How to Fry Shrimp: Perfect crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside shrimp with a small amount of oil in a skillet!

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Temperature of Oil for Frying Shrimp

Ideally the temperature of the oil should be at 360 to 365 degrees to fry the shrimp so that they turn golden on the outside just as the inside is cooked but still tender.  If you don’t have a candy thermometer, just wait until the oil is shimmering, then add one shrimp.  If it starts to gently sizzle and turn golden brown after about 2 minutes, your oil is the perfect temperature.  

How to Fry Shrimp

You may need to allow the oil come to come back up to temperature in between batches of shrimp.  Don’t add too many shrimp at once or they will lower the temperature of the oil, and the shrimp won’t get nicely browned and crunchy.  They cook very quickly, so fry them up in a few batches!

How to Fry Shrimp

Combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in a shallow bowl.  Mix the egg with the milk in another bowl and season with a bit more salt and pepper.  Place a wire rack on a baking sheet.

Dunk the shrimp in the milk mixture, turning them to coat, then dredge them in the flour mixture, make sure they are well coated.  As the shrimp are breaded, place them, without touching, on the wire rack.  When all of the shrimp are coated, place the baking sheet into the fridge and let the shrimp chill for 15 minutes.

How to Fry Shrimp

Line a large plate with paper towels.  Pour the oil to a depth of 1 inch into a large, heavy deep skillet.  Heat the oil over medium high heat to 365 degrees.   

Cook the shrimp in batches until browned and crispy.    

How to Fry Shrimp

Remove them with a slotted spoon to the paper towel lined plate.  Continue frying until all of the shrimp are cooked and crispy.

How to Fry Shrimp

How to Serve Fried Shrimp

Fried shrimp get even better when paired with a sauce, like Tartar Sauce, Dill Sauce, Remoulade Sauce, or Horseradish Sauce.  You can also think about piling them into a Po’ Boy Sandwich!

Shrimp Po Boy

What to Serve with Fried Shrimp

How to Fry Shrimp

Other Shrimp Recipes:

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How to Fry Shrimp

Perfect crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside shrimp with a small amount of oil in a skillet!
Yield: 4 People
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound large (25/30 per pound) shrimp
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt , pus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Directions

  • Combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in a shallow bowl. Mix the egg with the milk in another bowl and season with a bit more salt and pepper. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet.
  • A few at a time, dunk the shrimp in the milk mixture, turning them to coat. Using a slotted spoon or your hand, remove the shrimp, allow any excess liquid to drip back into the bowl, then dredge them in the flour mixture, making sure they are well coated. As the shrimp are breaded, place them, without touching, on the wire rack. When all of the shrimp are coated, place the baking sheet into the fridge and let the shrimp chill for 15 minutes, up to a couple of hours.
  • Line a large plate with paper towels. Pour the oil to a depth of 1 inch into a large, heavy deep skillet. Heat the oil over medium high heat to 365°F. (see Note) In a few batches, add the shrimp, turning them with a slotted spoon as they cook. They should fry for about 2 to 3 minutes total, and become golden brown and crispy. Remove them with a slotted spoon to the paper towel lined plate. See if they need another light sprinkle of kosher salt. Continue frying in batches until all of the shrimp are cooked and crispy.

Notes

If you don’t have a candy thermometer, just wait until the oil is shimmering, then add one shrimp. If it starts to gently sizzle and turn golden brown after about 2 minutes, your oil is the perfect temperature. You may need to allow the oil to come back up to temperature in between batches of shrimp. Don’t overcrowd the shrimp; they need to be cooked in batches to fry up properly.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 227mg | Sodium: 1326mg | Potassium: 423mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 339IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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