1pound (450g)raw shrimppeeled and deveined, see note 1
½teaspoonground black pepperdivided
½cup (120ml)buttermilkor whole milk, or sour cream with a splash of water
1cup (120g)all purpose flour
Oil for fryingsee 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.