Fried Shrimp Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 25 min. Cook: 5 min./batch
This flavorful fried shrimp recipe features fresh shrimp covered in a crispy panko coating and deep-fried to golden perfection. It's perfect for a restaurant-quality meal at home.

Updated: May 08, 2024

Crispy, battered shrimp with a crumb coating and savory spices might seem like a dish best left to the experts, but learning how to fry shrimp is easier than you’d think. Our fried shrimp recipe features seasonings like paprika, garlic and onion, plus panko bread crumbs for a beautiful golden-brown exterior. These shrimp are poppable, dippable and crunchy, just the thing for a game-night gathering or a small dinner party.

To make fried shrimp, start with fresh or frozen shrimp from the grocery store, giving yourself time to thaw and clean the shrimp as needed. Make sure to leave the tails on! That makes this more of a handheld dish. Large shrimp is a good starting point for this recipe, but if you want to go larger, simply adjust the cooking time accordingly. Set up a dredging station with flour, an egg dip and seasoned bread crumbs, then plop the breaded shrimp in hot oil.

A quick fry is all it takes to create one of the most beloved shrimp dishes ever. Enjoy it as an appetizer or a main dish, for a potluck, a party or just a low-key lunch at home.

Fried Shrimp Ingredients

  • Flour: You want all-purpose flour for dredging the shrimp. To make the shrimp gluten-free, whisk up a gluten-free flour mix or use cornstarch or store-bought gluten-free flour.
  • Seasonings: Season the flour with paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic and onion powders. For the pepper, use freshly ground black pepper for the best flavor.
  • Eggs: A bit of beaten egg helps the crumbs stick to the shrimp.
  • Milk: Our recipe calls for 2% milk, but any kind will do. You can also use a milk substitute.
  • Panko bread crumbs: These crisp Japanese-style crumbs make a gorgeous exterior for fried foods. Panko is slightly different from regular bread crumbs, but you can also use those in a pinch. Even better: Make homemade bread crumbs.
  • Shrimp: Most types of shrimp work for this recipe. Large shrimp come in 26 to 30 pieces per pound (you’ll typically see “26-30” on the label). If you get frozen shrimp, thaw them in the fridge overnight, and pat them dry before using. For ease you can get pre-shelled and cleaned shrimp. Or save money by shelling and cleaning them yourself. But leave the tails on for easy eating.
  • Oil for frying: The best oil for frying shrimp, such as canola oil, should be neutral-tasting and withstand high heat. Whatever cooking oil you choose, make sure it has a high smoke point.
  • Garnishes: Serve these crisp seafood nuggets with classic cocktail sauce and lemon wedges, just like at your favorite ocean-centric restaurant.

Directions

Step 1: Set up a dredging station

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In a shallow bowl, mix the flour, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. In another shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and milk. Place the bread crumbs in a third shallow bowl.

Step 2: Batter the shrimp

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Dip the shrimp in flour to coat both sides, and shake off the excess. Next, dip the shrimp in the egg mixture, then in the bread crumbs, patting to help the crumbs adhere to the shrimp. Set the shrimp aside until you’re ready to fry.

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Editor’s Tip: Pat the shrimp dry before coating, especially if originally frozen. To reduce the mess, you can gently arrange the shrimp on a parchment-lined baking sheet until it’s time to use them.

Step 3: Fry the shrimp

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In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat the oil to 375°F. Working in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan, fry the shrimp until golden brown, three to four minutes. Drain on paper towels. If desired, serve with cocktail sauce and lemon wedges.

Editor’s Tip: If you don’t have an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat the oil in a 5-quart saucepan or Dutch oven, and use an instant-read thermometer to check the temp. You’ll need to watch the pot carefully and be ready to adjust the temperature to keep the oil close to 375°. Our guide to deep-frying has more info.

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Recipe Variations

  • Vary the seafood: You can use this same technique to fry other seafood, such as scallops, oysters and chunks of crab or fish.
  • Swap the seasonings: Mix different spices or your favorite spice blends into the dredging flour. For instance, Old Bay would be a perfect complement to the juicy shrimp. Or try Italian seasoning, and dip the fried shrimp in marinara sauce.
  • Replace the milk: To make the dairy-free recipe, use another liquid instead of milk or whisk the eggs with a little water. To get creative, try beer or white wine instead of water with the egg.
  • Make air-fryer fried shrimp: Make air-fryer popcorn shrimp with a flour, egg and bread crumb coating. Less oil, less mess!

How to Store Fried Shrimp

You can store fried shrimp in an airtight container for three to four days in the refrigerator. Just know that the coating won’t be crispy with your leftovers, and reheating the shrimp may overcook it. Reheat your fried shrimp in a 350° oven or air fryer.

Can you freeze fried shrimp?

You can freeze fried shrimp for up to three months, but we don’t recommend it. The coating will get soggy when you thaw it, and it will overcook when you reheat the shrimp. This dish is best when it’s hot and fresh!

Fried Shrimp Tips

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How do you peel and devein shrimp?

It takes only a few steps to clean shrimp. You’re more likely to encounter shrimp without the head, but if there is one, pull it off, along with the legs. Then, using your thumb, release the meat by pulling the shell, starting where the legs were attached to the tail. Leave the tail on for fried shrimp, but you can pull it off for other easy shrimp recipes.

To devein shrimp, use your paring knife to make a shallow incision down the back of the shrimp to expose the dark-colored string. Then, use the tip of your knife to slowly lift the shrimp up and release it from the meat. Discard.

How do you keep fried shrimp crispy?

For maximum crispness, serve fried shrimp as soon as they’re done cooking. Place the shrimp on paper towels as they come out of the fryer, then move them to a wire rack set over a baking sheet to maintain their crunch a little longer. Make sure the shrimp aren’t stacked or touching each other; that will turn the coating soggy.

What should you serve with fried shrimp?

In addition to the cocktail sauce and lemons, fried shrimp is excellent with classic tartar sauce. Fried foods always pair well with cool, crisp veggie dishes. Pretty much any crunchy coleslaw recipes, a hearty kale Caesar salad or roasted asparagus make good vegetable sides.

Fried Shrimp

Prep Time 25 min
Cook Time 5 min
Yield 4 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1-1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined [leave tails on]
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • Optional: Seafood cocktail sauce and lemon wedges

Directions

  1. In a shallow bowl, mix flour and seasonings. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk eggs and milk. Place bread crumbs in a third shallow bowl. Dip shrimp in flour to coat both sides; shake off excess. Dip in egg mixture, then in bread crumbs, patting to help adhere.
  2. In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375°. Fry shrimp in batches until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. If desired, serve with cocktail sauce and lemon wedges.

Nutrition Facts

about 7 shrimp: 293 calories, 15g fat (2g saturated fat), 170mg cholesterol, 359mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 23g protein.

When seafood night is calling your name, try these fried shrimps that cook up quickly. Seasoned with paprika, garlic and onion powder for a classic fried flavor, you can add other seasonings like cayenne pepper to heat things up or old bay seasoning to really get that seafood flavor. Pair it with coconut rice, vegetables or hush puppies for a well-rounded meal. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin