Heat up the oil, because it’s time to make the BEST Fried Shrimp! This easy recipe takes just 15 minutes, start to finish, and always yields the best crispy and juicy fried shrimp. Don’t forget your favorite dipping sauce!
Juicy & Crispy Fried Shrimp Recipe
New to deep frying? Don’t be scared! This easy recipe for fried shrimp is pretty foolproof, so it’s ideal for beginners. Just be careful not to burn yourself with the hot oil, and you’ll be in the clear! We’ve included plenty of tips and tricks to make sure you end up with perfect fried shrimp every time.
One of our favorite things about making fried shrimp is sneaking in our little secret ingredient into the breading… And that’s our favorite Cajun Seasoning. There’s just enough of it in there to give the shrimp some flavor, but not enough to fully place them in the Cajun category. That way, you can still serve them up with whatever your favorite sauce is. It’s the best of both worlds!
These crispy shrimp make a quick and easy dinner, but they can also be served as a lunch or appetizer. Also, while seafood is pretty summery in general, that doesn’t stop us from making this recipe throughout the fall and winter as well. There’s just no bad way to enjoy some classic fried shrimp!
You only need a few ingredients to make these fried shrimp! You might already have most of them on hand as they are pantry stables.
- Flour – For the best results, just use all purpose flour – nothing fancy!
- Cajun Seasoning – While you can definitely use a store bought brand, we heavily recommend using our Homemade Cajun Seasoning. It’s got all of the flavor you’re looking for and way less of the sodium!
- Eggs – As always, we love using pasture raised organic eggs. The more golden the yolk, the better the quality.
- Panko Bread Crumbs – Try not to substitute panko with regular bread crumbs. Panko bread crumbs give the shrimp a much crispier breading that’s SO good! They also stick to the shrimp better than finer breadcrumbs.
- Large Shrimp – They’ll need to be peeled and deveined. You can use frozen shrimp, but they’ll need to be completely thawed prior to breading and frying.
- Vegetable Oil – You can also use peanut oil or canola oil. You want to use a mildly flavored oil with a high smoke point.
How to Make Fried Shrimp
Create the dredging stations. In a medium sized bowl, whisk to combine the flour and cajun seasoning. Set aside. Place beaten eggs in a separate shallow bowl and the panko bread crumbs in a third shallow bowl.
Dredge the shrimp. Dredge one shrimp through the seasoned flour on all sides. Place the floured shrimp in the whisked eggs, then coat the shrimp in the bread crumbs. Repeat until all of the shrimp are breaded.
Heat up the oil. In a medium size heavy pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 375°F. You can also check if your oil is ready by dropping in a few breadcrumbs. If they sizzle, your oil is hot and ready!
Fry the shrimp. Fry the shrimp in batches. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry each batch for about 2 minutes, until the shrimp are golden brown. Remove the cooked shrimp from oil and transfer them to a paper towel lined plate or tray to drain. Repeat with remaining shrimp until all shrimp are fried.
Enjoy! Serve immediately as an entree or appetizer with your favorite dipping sauce.
Variations to Try
- Swap out the seasoning. If you’re not a fan of Cajun seasoning, you can replace it with just some kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper!
- Cook smaller shrimp. We use extra large shrimp when we fry them up. You can use smaller shrimp if you’d prefer – just adjust the cook time accordingly so they don’t fry for too long.
- Tail on or off. You can go either way here! Personally, we like to keep the tails on, just so we have something to hold on to while we dip the shrimp and take a bite. If you’re using the shrimp for something like tacos, then we recommend frying the shrimp without the tail so they can go right into your tacos.
Tips for the Best Fried Shrimp
- Use the right sized pot. To use less oil but achieve deep fried shrimp I used a small – medium size deep sided pot. If you use a wide bottom pan, you’ll need more oil to completely cover the shrimp.
- Clean the shrimp. Before you start preparing the rest of the ingredients, make sure that your shrimp are shelled and deveined. You can buy them this way or do it yourself.
- Prepare to move quickly. This is a VERY quick moving recipe! Each batch of shrimp really only takes about 2 minutes to fry, to be prepared to move fast. You don’t want them in the hot oil for too long – that’s how they’ll become greasy.
How To Serve
These fried shrimp are delicious all on their own, but there are a lot of different ways you can serve them. Here are a few of our favorite ways:
- Dipping Sauce: There are so many different dipping sauces that are delicious with fried shrimp. These are a few of our favorites: Bang Bang Sauce, Homemade Tartar Sauce and Cilantro Lime Crema.
- Tacos: Wrapping up these fried shrimp in a warm tortilla and with some fresh homemade slaw to make Shrimp Tacos is always a good idea!
- Side Dishes: Need some sides to go with these crispy shrimp? How about a refreshing Cucumber Tomato Salad or some Cilantro Lime Rice.
These shrimp are best served fresh, like any fried food. However, you can store and reheat the leftovers:
- Fridge: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Reheat: We recommend reheating them in an air fryer for best results. We reheat them at 400°F for about 1 to 2 minutes, just until warmed through. You don’t want to cook them too long, or the shrimp will become tough
- Frozen: You can freeze fried shrimp. Most fried shrimp you buy in stores is fried and then frozen. Freeze the fried shrimp in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Reheat directly from frozen in an air fryer at 400°F for about 2 to 3 minutes, just till warmed through.
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1-2 cups vegetable oil
- lemon wedges, optional
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk to combine the flour and Cajun Seasoning. Set aside.
- Place beaten eggs in a separate shallow bowl and the panko bread crumbs in a third shallow bowl.
- Dredge one shrimp through the seasoned flour on all sides. Then place floured shrimp in egg and then coat the shrimp in the bread crumbs. Repeat until all shrimp are breaded.
- In a medium size heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high heat, until it reaches 375°F. (You can also check if your oil is ready by dropping in a few breadcrumbs. If they sizzle, your oil is ready.)
- Fry shrimp in batches, making sure not to crowd the shrimp, for about 2 minutes, until golden brown. Remove shrimp from oil and transfer to a paper towel lined plate or tray to drain. Repeat with remaining shrimp.
- Serve immediately, as desired!
- Fridge: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Reheat: We recommend reheating them in an air fryer for best results. We reheat them at 400°F for about 1 to 2 minutes, just until warmed through. You don't want to cook them too long, or the shrimp will become tough.
More Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas
Looking for more easy dinner ideas in 30 minutes or less? Lucky for you, that’s what we do around here!