Easy At-Home Fried Shrimp
There’s no better sound than crispy, crunchy golden fried shrimp! And this recipe is a quick route to lasting flavor. The key to the perfect fried shrimp falls somewhere between the right prep, the right batter, and the right oil. And once you’ve got peeling and deveining down, the rest is all about creating that crispy coating that’ll have everyone crunching soon enough.
How to Peel and Devein Shrimp
The first step of making fried shrimp at home is to properly prepare the shrimp. You will need to peel and devein each shrimp to ensure it’s edible and won’t introduce any unwanted bacteria to your guests.
To peel shrimp, simply remove the head with a paring knife and use your hands to remove the legs. From there, your shrimp shell should peel right off, but if it needs extra work, try to separate the shell from the flesh using your thumbs.
To devein shrimp, use a paring knife to make a ⅛ inch incision along the spine of the shrimp. You’ll see a thin black line across the back of the shrimp, which is the part you’ll need to remove. Insert the knife into the incision and gently lift the vein out. If it breaks, you can scrape the rest out with the knife.
If this sounds like more time or energy than you’d prefer to spend, opt out of this step with some Peeled, Deveined, & Tail-Off Shrimp.
Should I Soak My Shrimp?
This one comes down to the chef’s preference. Some prefer to soak seafood in milk before cooking to keep it from tasting too fishy. If you choose to soak your shrimp, you should do so with whole milk for at least 10 minutes. You can even use this opportunity to infuse your shrimp with more flavor by adding garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper to the milk before soaking.
If you choose to skip this step, head straight to the batter.
Top Fried Shrimp Batter Recipes
Great news: some of the best shrimp batters are made with simple ingredients you can find in your pantry. If you choose not to do the milk bath then, in addition to the batter, you’ll need to whisk together three eggs in a medium bowl. Once that’s done, hold your shrimp by the tail and dip it into the egg. Gently shake off the excess. You’ll do the same when removing the shrimp from the milk bath, then cover each shrimp in a dry mix until completely coated.
Next, batter up! Below are three different dry shrimp batters that will fry nicely into crispy-coated shrimp.
Southern Fried Shrimp Batter
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- Optional ½ tsp cayenne for a kick
Super Crunchy Shrimp Batter
- ⅓ cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups of panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
Lemon Pepper Shrimp Batter
- ½ cup of all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup of panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¾ tsp lemon pepper seasoning
Once your shrimp is well coated, get ready to fry.
Best Oils for Frying Shrimp
The top oils for frying shrimp are peanut, vegetable, and canola oil. Heat your oil in a pot to 350° F. Gently lower your shrimp with a skimmer or tongs. (Careful of oil pops!) Cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove shrimp from the oil and dry on a paper towel.
Eat and Enjoy!
The final step is the best part: crunching! You can serve your shrimp with an Easy, 5 Minute Cocktail Sauce and lemon wedges, or pair it with sides such as salad, french fries, or a hot bowl of grits. And remember, keep having fun with it! Experiment with a whole range of different shrimp.