The crunchy breading for this Kickin' Fried Shrimp recipe features a perfectly seasoned flour and cornmeal mixture for extra crunch. In warm weather or cool, these fiery shrimp are sure to get the party started.
Southern Kickin' Fried Shrimp Recipe
These mouthwatering shrimp fall into the category of special treats for my family. Contrary to common thought about life in the South, deep fried dishes aren't an everyday occurrence at our house so when we splurge, we do it right! Shrimp is definitely on our short list of favorite deep fried dishes following close behind Southern fried chicken.
How to Make the Best Southern Style Fried Shrimp
- What's the best breading for fried shrimp? There are many ways to make a breading for shrimp. This recipe features a perfectly seasoned flour-cornmeal breading that provides just the right balance between crispy and crunchy. Other common breadings used vary from panko breadcrumbs and dried seasoned breadcrumbs to grated Parmesan cheese, tempura batter or or light and crispy beer batter. See how to make beer battered fish here.
- What size shrimp will I need? I recommend using a medium-large size shrimp that have been peeled and with deveined tails removed.
- This recipe uses a three part dredging system. First, you coat the shrimp with seasoned flour, then into a buttermilk egg mixture and into the flour cornmeal breading. Gently shake any excess breading from the shrimp before dropping into the hot oil to fry until golden.
- Can I fry shrimp in a deep fryer? Sure, any deep pot, Dutch oven or fryer will do.
- Can I make fried shrimp in advance and reheat? I don't recommend making shrimp in advance and reheating it. When doing so, it becomes rubbery and not very appetizing. It's best to fry the shrimp and serve it immediately.
- Is there a delicious sauce that works great for dipping? I highly recommend making a batch of Comeback Sauce to serve on the side in addition to tarter sauce and classic cocktail sauce.
Other Shrimp Recipes to Add to the Menu
When you're short on time, it's always a plus that shrimp cooks quickly, too. Other shrimp recipes you may like to try:
- Fiery Buffalo Shrimp Recipe can be served as an entrée or an appetizer.
- Serve this Kickin' Shrimp Salad in lettuce wraps, stuffed into croissants or artisan bread for light meals and snacking.
- My recipe for Easy Shrimp Creole is a Cajun classic with a tomato based sauce that makes it perfect for serving with rice.
- This recipe for a no fuss Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil can be made for a meal any day of the week.
- Restaurant Style Shrimp Cocktail from Ask Chef Dennis makes a classic and impressive start to any meal.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Kickin' Fried Shrimp
Servings: 10 servings
- 2 lb medium raw shrimp peeled, deveined tails removed
- 2 ½ cup self-rising flour
- ½ cup plain yellow cornmeal
- 3 ½ teaspoon seafood seasoning divided [i.e. Seafood Magic, Old Bay, Cajun-Creole]
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 ½ cup whole buttermilk
- 6-8 cups vegetable or peanut oil for frying
- Season the shrimp with ½ teaspoon seafood seasoning and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the self-rising flour, cornmeal, 3 teaspoon seafood seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground cumin.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 large eggs and 1 ½ cups whole buttermilk.
- Toss the seasoned shrimp with ⅓ cup of the seasoned flour-cornmeal breading.
- Spread out into a single layer so they won't clump.
- Dip each piece in the buttermilk-egg wash.
- Toss in the seasoned flour-cornmeal breading shaking off any excess.
- Heat 4 inches of oil in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan to 350°F. Do not overfill the pot.
- Fry the shrimp in batches for 2-3 minutes [depending on the size of the shrimp] until golden and crispy. Adjust the heat periodically to maintain the temperature of the oil while frying.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the crispy golden shrimp to a paper towel lined pan to drain.
- Repeat until all of the shrimp is fried. Sprinkle with additional seasoning after frying, if desired. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.
Self-rising flour has salt and baking powder already added. The baking powder adds a light and crispy texture to the breading that makes it so delicious! The salt in the flour and in the seafood seasoning makes it unnecessary to add additional salt to the breading. If needed, adjust to your taste.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 472kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 270mg | Sodium: 758mg | Potassium: 201mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 134IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 192mg | Iron: 3mg
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EXCELLENT! I typically read and recognize recipes as a guide except when baking. This one is PERFECT as written. This is my first ever review. Right amont of kick flavor and texture. I used Argentinian fresh caught large shrimp and it was phenomenal. You need to try and keep this recipe.
Thanks so much!
So good! I will never buy breading again. Thank you.
Thanks so much!
Trying to make these tonight, anything I can substitute for buttermilk? I don’t have any right now.
To make your own, add 1 Tbsp of lemon juice or white distilled vinegar to each cup of whole milk. Let stand for 5 minutes on the counter, then proceed with the recipe.
What’s the best oil to use for these shrimp?
Peanut oil, canola or vegetable oil.
Found this shrimp receipe a few weeks ago, it is outstanding, our guest said it was the best they had ever eaten, better than any restaurant
How wonderful, we love these, too. Thanks so much for your kind comment.
Celiac here, would gluten free flour work instead of all purpose?
I haven't tested this recipe with gluten free flour but, if you've had success with a particular gluten free flour used for breading in the past, it should work.
Can I use. White corn meal
Plain yellow cornmeal is best.
Do you have your own app?
Had save some of your recipes and had a hell of a time finding them ... forgetting your name
Bought the shrimp but, needed to more ingredients.
Hi Margo, I don't but be sure to subscribe for email updates and bookmark my website in your browser.
These shrimp are amazing! We live in Charleston, SC. They are better than any we've had in the many seafood restaurants here. Bravo!
That's high praise thanks so much. I'm glad you loved these!
Thanks so much. The sauce pictured is a roasted red pepper tarter sauce. I'll have to add the recipe to this one soon.
Why wouldn't this work for chicken also?
Sounds like a great experiement.
Sounds yummy just like the rest of your recipes! What dipping sauce do you have in the picture?