Amazingly crispy and so easy to make, this Fried Shrimp recipe is the only one you’ll need! Make these tasty shrimp for dinner, or serve them as an appetizer or a tasty salad topping.
Forget about frozen fried shrimp, it’s much easier to fry fresh shrimp yourself, and the results are crispy, flavorful, and irresistible shrimp that everyone will devour!
To keep things simple, I make all of my deep fried recipes on the stovetop using a heavy Dutch oven. I love how evenly it heats the oil, and it requires much less oil than an electric deep fryer does.
This recipe for fried shrimp uses a quick buttermilk marinade and a light breading of perfectly seasoned flour. It’s very easy to make crispy fried shrimp, and they will be ready to eat in under 30 minutes!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe for Fried Shrimp
- No Deep Fryer Needed – You can fry shrimp in a deep fryer if you have one, but I’ll show you how to fry shrimp on the stovetop using a Dutch oven and just a few inches of cooking oil.
- Easy, Crispy Breading– I am keeping this shrimp fry recipe super simple, and breading the shrimp with seasoned flour after a quick buttermilk marinade. You don’t need breadcrumbs; the shrimp are perfectly crispy without them.
- Versatile Recipe – Fried shrimp can be the main event, or they can be a bonus along with a steak dinner. Put them on top of fresh Ceasar salad, or enjoy crispy shrimp as an appetizer.
Ingredients In Fried Shrimp
Here’s what you need to make this easy recipe for fried shrimp.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Shrimp: This recipe makes a pound of shrimp. I’m using large shrimp (31-40 count per pound), but you can use shrimp that are slightly larger or smaller if you’d like. Your shrimp must be raw, deveined, and without shells. You can leave the tails on or take them off if you prefer.
- Salt, Pepper: Use these kitchen basics to season the shrimp and the breading mixture.
- Buttermilk: If you have buttermilk, use it to marinate the shrimp. In a pinch, use regular milk instead, or sour cream loosened up with a splash of water. The dairy acts as a tenderizer and gives the shrimp a mellow, creamy flavor.
- Flour: Regular all-purpose flour is the main ingredient in this breading for fried shrimp.
- Seasonings: Onion powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika give the flour tons of flavor and go perfectly with shrimp.
- Oil: You’ll need a mild-flavored oil with a high smoke point for deep frying. Canola oil is a common choice, but you can also use vegetable oil or peanut oil. The amount of oil needed will depend on the pot you’re using to fry in.
- Lemon Wedges and Shrimp Dipping Sauces: Optional, but these are the perfect companions to crispy shrimp!
How To Fry Shrimp
- Marinate: Add the shrimp to a large bowl or a ziplock bag and season with half of the salt and pepper. Add the buttermilk and mix to combine. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the breading and pre-heat the frying oil to 350°F/180°C.
- Bread the shrimp: In a shallow bowl, combine the flour with the remaining salt and pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Remove the shrimp, one at a time, from the buttermilk and dredge through the flour mixture to coat.
- Fry: Drop the shrimp into hot oil, 6-7 at a time so that you don’t overcrowd the pan. Fry for 2 minutes, then remove from the oil onto a wire rack or a plate lined with paper towels.
- Serve: Serve right away while the shrimp is hot and crispy with lemon wedges and dipping sauces! See below for some ideas.
Keep it light! Be sure to let any excess buttermilk and flour fall away from the shrimp as you’re breading. Too much breading will just fall off in the oil.
- Buy the right shrimp. Shrimp at the grocery store comes in different preparations. For this recipe, avoid shrimp that has been pre-cooked. Frozen, raw shrimp work well, but be sure that they are thawed all the way before breading and frying.
- Adjust if needed. I’m frying large shrimp, and they take about 2 minutes to cook. If you want to use jumbo shrimp, add 30 seconds to the frying time. For medium shrimp, reduce the time by 30 seconds.
- Try other seasonings. The simple seasonings in this recipe can be adjusted to suit your tastes or try adding others like lemon pepper seasoning, cajun seasoning, or Old Bay.
- Don’t overcook shrimp: You’ll know that the shrimp have cooked too long when they curl up into a circle rather than a U shape. Overcooked shrimp are tough and chewy, which is not what we want.
- Eat right away: Like most fried foods, fried shrimp are at their best right after cooking. Serve them hot – they are the most crispy right after removing from the oil.
Try to eat fried shrimp right after cooking them, but if you have leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Reheat shrimp very briefly in the air fryer or in a skillet so that you don’t overcook them.
The Best Dipping Sauces for Fried Shrimp
A good dipping sauce (or two, or three) is a must when enjoying freshly fried shrimp! Try any of these excellent options, and follow the links to get recipes to make these tasty sauces from scratch:
- Sweet Chili Sauce
- Cocktail Sauce
- Tartar Sauce
- Bang Bang Shrimp Sauce
- Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Homemade Ranch Dressing
- Mayo mixed with spicy Sriracha sauce
What To Serve With Fried Shrimp
You can tell if shrimp is cooked by looking at it, although this is trickier to do when the shrimp is covered with breading! Overcooked shrimp will curl into a circular shape, rather than a U shape, so keep an eye out for that. When overcooked the shrimp will get tough and rubbery.
This will depend on the size of the shrimp you’re cooking, but large shrimp should take about 2 minutes to fry in oil that has been heated to 350°F/180°C.
I use a few tricks to keep my hands mostly clean while battering foods. First, I use a ziplock bag for the wet ingredients, rather than putting each piece of shrimp through the buttermilk by hand, they all go in at once. 2nd, I only use one hand to dredge the shrimp through the flour. Yes, that hand gets messy, but I have my other hand free to do other things!
You can also use a fork or tongs to do the breading, but it is much easier with your hands.
Enjoy these crispy fried shrimp! Your family is going to love it when you make these for dinner and be sure to include dipping sauces! Pin the recipe for later and share it with your friends.
- 1 pound (after peeling) (450 g) raw shrimp peeled and deveined, see note 1
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper divided
- ½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk or whole milk, or sour cream with a splash of water
- 1 cup (120 g) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Oil for frying see note 2
- Add the shrimp to a medium bowl or a Ziploc bag, season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper then add the buttermilk and mix to combine. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes as you prepare the breading and preheat the oil.
- In a shallow bowl, combine the flour with the remaining salt and pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika.
- Remove the shrimp (one by one) from the buttermilk shaking off any excess then bread in the flour mixture and place onto a plate or a wire rack. Repeat with the rest/all of the shrimp.
- Preheat at least 2 inches of oil in a Dutch oven or a deep fryer (it needs more oil to work) to 350°F (180°C). Drop the shrimp in hot oil, do not overcrowd (I do 6-7 at a time), and fry for 2 minutes.
- Remove onto a wire rack or a plate lined with paper towels and serve hot with fresh lemon wedges and your favorite dipping sauces.
- Be sure that your shrimp are raw rather than precooked, and that you have removed the shells and the veins. You can leave the tails on, or remove them if you prefer. If your shrimp is frozen, thaw it fully before cooking.
- The amount of frying oil you need will depend on how you’re frying. You’ll need enough to fill a dutch oven with 2 inches of oil. If using a deep fryer, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. For deep frying, canola, vegetable, and peanut oils all work well.
- The cook time for this fried shrimp recipe is based on using large shrimp (31-40 count). You can cook other sizes of shrimp using this method, but they make take more or less time depending.
- Fried shrimp is best enjoyed immediately after cooking while it’s hot and crispy. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Enjoy fried shrimp dipped into sweet chili sauce, cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, honey mustard, or mayo mixed with sriracha.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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