Learn how to make deep fried shrimp that’s light, crispy, and guaranteed to disappear in minutes. It’s simple if you do it this way.
What’s not to love about a perfectly deep-fried shrimp? The crispy, golden exterior gives way to a tender, sweet morsel. You can serve them as an appetizer along with a classic Cocktail Sauce or as a satisfying dinner with an easy rice pilaf and steamed vegetables.
If you have visited the site the before, you know that I have an affinity for shrimp. I try to keep a bag of shrimp in the freezer for quick meals. Using this method to thaw them means I don’t even have to remember to pull them out in the morning.
What Equipment Do I Need To Deep Fry?
Deep, Heavy Pot Choose a pot that is 4 – 6 quarts. An enameled cast iron Dutch oven is a great option. Cast iron holds heat, which is important when deep frying – it helps to reduce excess oil absorption – and the light color of the enamel allows you to see how the food is cooking. The pot should hold 3-inches of oil with another 3-inches of space above the oil to avoid dangerous boil-overs.
Thermometer Determining when to put the food into the hot oil is critical. A thermometer that clips on to the side of the pot and accurately registers the temperature is invaluable.
Spider strainer (or slotted spoon) A spider strainer or slotted spoon are helpful when removing the shrimp from the hot oil. I prefer the spider to a slotted spoon because the design allows more oil to drain back into the pot when removing the shrimp.
Cooling rack and baking sheet (not necessary but nice) A cooling rack placed on a baking sheet keep fried foods from sitting in excess oil. You can also use a towel-lined plate.
Deep Fryer (not required but nice) I recently purchased this Hamilton Beach Deep Fryer and love it. It is designed for easy cleanup and the heating element is submersed in the oil, which means that the oil comes back up to temp quickly after the food is added. This helps to reduce excess absorption of oil.
What Oil Should I Use To Deep Fry?
It’s important to use an oil that has a smoke point of 400˚F or above and has a neutral flavor. I like to use peanut oil, but you could also use grapeseed oil or canola oil as a more economical choice.
How To Bread Shrimp For Frying
First of all, we want the breadcrumbs to be panko for this shrimp recipe. Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb that is made from a special crustless white bread. It is what makes these deep-fried shrimp so light and crispy. If at all possible, don’t substitute.
- Arrange the breading ingredients from left to right in the following order, flour, egg wash, panko bread crumbs.
- Using your left hand (this is your dry hand) put the shrimp in the flour and turn over to coat both sides, move to the egg wash.
- Using your right hand (this is your wet hand) turn over to coat, and move to the panko breadcrumbs.
- Using your dry hand (your left hand) turn over to coat both sides and move to a baking sheet.
- Repeat process until all shrimp have been breaded.
How To Deep Fry Shrimp
- Heat the oil to 350˚F.
- Fry in batches of about 6 shrimp per batch. Shrimp cook quickly, 1 – 2 minutes so keep an eye on them. You want them to be a golden brown. Note: If you overcrowd, the temperature of the oil will fall more quickly and the food will absorb more oil – yuck!
- After each batch has been removed, allow the oil to come back up to 350˚F before adding the next batch.
- Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce. If you need some suggestions, here are a few: English Cocktail Sauce and Classic Cocktail Sauce.
More Amazing Shrimp Recipes
You can browse my full collection of shrimp recipes or check out the recipes below for more great shrimp flavor.
- Roasted Shrimp Recipe
- Grilled Garlic Butter Shrimp
- Instant Pot Shrimp
- Easy Shrimp Boil
- Shrimp and Polenta
Podcast Episode About Deep Frying Shrimp
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make these shrimp, along with some other great tips, by clicking the play button below:
Learn how to make deep fried shrimp that’s light, crispy and guaranteed to disappear in minutes. It’s simple if you do it this way.
- 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (31 – 40 count)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 and 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- Oil, for frying
- Dipping sauce, your favorite
- Pat the shrimp dry and season with salt, garlic powder, and pepper.
- Line up three shallow bowls, cake or pie pans are perfect. In the first place the flour, the second the eggs and the third, the panko breadcrumbs.
- Start by coating a shrimp in with the flour, then dip into the eggs and finish in the panko. Place on a sheet pan and repeat with the remaining shrimp.
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or fryer to 350˚F.
- Working in batches, about 6 at a time, fry the shrimp. Shrimp cook very quickly, about 1 – 2 minutes, so keep an eye on them. As soon as they are golden brown, remove from the oil and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate or sheet pan. Repeat until all of the shrimp have been fried.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
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This post originally appeared in May 2019 and was revised and republished in October 2023.