How to Make Fried Shrimp

When you learn how to make fried shrimp you are learning the favorite way of cooking shrimp. Usually fried shrimp is done quickly is hot oil. You might consider “stir fried” also as frying shrimp. Since I look as stir fried as totally different from deep frying, I am saving those recipes for another time. Let me add that I have many recipes for shrimp stir fry so those will fill a section of this website on its own.  Deep frying is the preferred way but even this has a variety of recipes. Shrimp is deep fried using a plain flour, seasoned flour, mixture of cornmeal and flour, and many different dipping batters. Using ingredients like beer in the batter and rolling the shrimp in coconut offers a whole different taste and texture.

How to Make Fried ShrimpHow to Make Fried Shrimp

Many of us think of shrimp and prawns to be the same only different in size. Some say that prawns can actually be small and shrimp can be large. Although the two have many common similarities they are said to be quite different, even in taste. Some of the differences are noted to be difference in the gills, and difference in the abdominal area in which the prawns carry the eggs on the outside of their bodies.  I have never noticed much difference in taste and use them interchangeable. Since I learned how to make fried shrimp, I prefer large prawns mainly for the beautiful presentation. I do have to admit that I use to love the small popcorn shrimp at Red Lobster. The smaller ones also work well (As well as larger ones) in stir fry recipes.

The many different sizes of shrimp and pawns should be considered when learning how to make fried shrimp. All shrimp are pretty small and quick cooking in comparison to other foods like fried chicken.  Two minutes too long when cooking in hot oil will ruin the taste and texture of shrimp or prawns.   When you purchase shrimp you will be purchasing by the pound. In the United States you will see labels such as 16/20 meaning 16 to 20 shrimp per pound. The larger ones will have U10 or U/12 meaning under 10 or 12 shrimp to a pound.  Small sizes of cooked and peeled shrimp will have 150/250 or 250/300.

When you learn how to make fried shrimp you will find it is best to preheat the oil to around 350F degrees. The shrimp needs to fry quickly to keep the succulent texture and taste of the shrimp. The time will vary only slightly due to the size, breading or batter usually about 1 to 3 minutes.

NOTE OF CAUTION: Deep frying can be dangerous. Never fill pan over ½ full. Never let children around the hot oil. ALWAYS stay with the hot oil when on the heat. Let the oil cool completely before pouring out of pan. Hot oil is very HOT AND DANGEROUS!

TO SHELL AND CLEAN SHRIMP first wash the shrimp.

Remove all the shells by splitting it from front to back.

Carefully remove the flesh and wash shrimp again.

With a sharp pointed knife cut along dark vein.

With your fingers pull out the vein and rinse the shrimp.

NOTE: Always pat cleaned shrimp dry with paper towels. If recipe is for dipping shrimp in a batter, first dust the shrimp with flour for best results.


Sesame Shrimp Recipe Served with a Sweet and Sour SauceSesame Shrimp Recipe Served with a Sweet and Sour Sauce

Learn how to make fried shrimp coated with sesame seeds and served with sweet and sour sauce.

  • 1 ½ Pounds large shrimp (Peel with tails on and devein)
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons teriyaki sauce (Low sodium)
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 2 Teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 Cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/3 Cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Sweet sour sauce (Recipe below)

Combine and blend cornstarch, teriyaki, water, ginger and salt in small bowl.

In another bowl combine bread crumbs and sesame seeds; mix well.

Pour oil 3 inches deep in a large Dutch oven; heat to 365F degrees.

Dip each shrimp into the cornstarch mixture covering well.

Cover each shrimp with the sesame seed crumb mixture.

Drop shrimp in hot oil without crowding; fry about 1 minute until golden brown.

Drain on paper towels; serve with sweet sour sauce or favorite.

Serves about 4 OR about 8 appetizer servings.

Sweet Sour Sauce Recipe

  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 Tablespoon sugar
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 3 Tablespoons wine vinegar (Red or white)
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons chili sauce

Combine in a small saucepan the cornstarch, sugar and cayenne pepper.

Stir in chicken stock; add vinegar, soy and chili sauce.

Over medium heat cook and stir until slightly thickened; cool.


Coconut Fried Shrimp RecipeCoconut Fried Shrimp Recipe

Learn how to make fried shrimp coated with coconut and served with orange lime dip.

  • 1 Pound unpeeled fresh shrimp (Large, jumbo or prawns)
  • ¾ Cup biscuit mix
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ¾ cup beer
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2 ½ cup flaked coconut
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Orange lime dip (Recipe below)

NOTE: When you dip wet shrimp into the coconut it will "cake" up the coconut. You can spread the coconut out over a tray to dip or I held the shrimp up and sprinkled the coconut over it. I found these two methods work the best.

Peel shrimp leaving the tails intact; devein and set aside.

Combine biscuit mix, sugar and beer; stir until smooth and set aside.

Pour oil in large pan to 3 inches deep; heat to 350F degrees.

Coat shrimp with flour; dip in beer batter allowing excess to drip off.

Gently coat dipped shrimp in coconut; drop in hot oil a few at a time.

Cook 1 to 2 minutes until golden brown; drain on paper towels.

Serve immediately with orange lime sauce.

Orange Lime Dip Recipe

  • 1 Jar (10 ounces) orange marmalade
  • 3 Tablespoons spicy mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.

Cook over medium heat stirring until marmalade melts.

Remove from heat and cool; cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Makes about 1 ¼ cups.


Basic Fried Shrimp RecipeBasic Fried Shrimp Recipe

This is a great recipe to start with when you are first learning how to make fried shrimp.

  • 1 Pound shrimp (Shelled and cleaned)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt/ pepper
  • 1 Beaten egg
  • 3/4 Cup dry bread crumbs
  • Cocktail sauce for dipping

Pour cooking oil in large hot pan about 2 inches deep; heat to 365-375F degrees.

Sprinkle shrimp with lemon juice; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Dip each shrimp in beaten egg and then in the bread crumbs.

Drop shrimp into hot oil; fry until golden brown 1-2 minutes.

Drain on paper towels and serve with sauce; serves 2 to 4.


Coconut Shrimp RecipeCoconut Shrimp Recipe

Learn how to make fried shrimp with coconut.

  • 1 ½ Pounds large shrimp raw shrimp (Peel, devein, wash)
  • ½ Cup flour
  • ½ Cup cornstarch
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 to 1 Cup ice water
  • Oil for frying
  • 2 to 3 Cups short shredded coconut
  • Sweet sour sauce (Recipe below)

NOTE: When you dip wet shrimp into the coconut it will "cake" up the coconut. You can spread the coconut out over a tray to dip or I held the shrimp up and sprinkled the coconut over it. I found these two methods work the best.

Dry shrimp on paper towels; set aside.

TO MAKE BATTER combine and mix in bowl all the dry batter ingredients.

Add the 2 tablespoons oil and the ice water stirring to blend well.

Pour oil into a deep pot about 2 to 3 inches deep; heat to 350F degrees.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 300F degrees.

Spread coconut on a large tray a little at a time adding more as needed.

Dip the shrimp in batter and then roll in coconut; drop shrimp in hot oil.

Fry shrimp until lightly browned about 3 to 4 minutes.

Place shrimp on a tray and then in oven for 5 minutes.

Serve with following sweet and sour sauce; 4 servings.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • ¾ Cup sugar
  • 2/3 Cup pineapple juice
  • ¾ Cup catsup
  • 4 Teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1/16 Teaspoon salt
  • 7 ½ Teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 Tablespoons cold water


  • ¼ Teaspoon liquid red food coloring
  • ¼ Teaspoon liquid yellow food coloring

Combine sugar, pineapple juice, catsup, vinegar and salt in saucepan.

Bring mixture to a boil.

Dissolve cornstarch in cold water; stir into hot mixture until smooth and thickened.

Stir in food colorings if desired and continue cooking 5 minutes.

Makes about 2 cups.


Learn how to make fried shrimp with a basic buttermilk and self rising flour.

  • 1 Pound large shrimp (Wash, devein, with or without tails)
  • Ice water
  • Salt/ pepper
  • Self rising flour
  • Oil for frying

Wash shrimp and place in ice water until ready to fry; drain.

Salt and pepper shrimp; dip in small amount of buttermilk.

Roll in self rising flour; fry in hot oil until lightly browned.


Learn how to make fried shrimp with zippy cocktail sauce.

  • 2 Pounds fresh shrimp (Peel and devein)
  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 Cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 Beaten egg
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Zippy cocktail sauce (Recipe below)

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Make a well in center of dry ingredients.

Combine water, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon oil and egg.

Pour liquids into well of dry ingredients; stir until batter is smooth.

Heat oil in deep pan to 375F degrees.

Dip shrimp in batter and fry until browned; serve with zippy cocktail sauce.

Serves 4 to 6.

Zippy Cocktail Sauce Recipe

  • 2 Cups chili sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Cups ketchup
  • 2 Teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • 4 Tablespoons horseradish
  • 3 Teaspoons black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon

COMBINE and mix all ingredients; serve with shrimp.

Store in refrigerator; makes 5 cups.


Fried Shrimp Recipe with BeerFried Shrimp Recipe with Beer

Learn how to make fried shrimp with a beer batter.

  • 1 ½ Pounds large shrimp (Shelled with tails on/ deveined)
  • 2/3 Cup beer
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup water
  • ½ Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 ¼ Cups self rising flour
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon white pepper
  • Oil for frying
  • Marmalade sauce (Recipe below)

TO PREPARE SHRIMP use a sharp knife to butterfly shrimp.

Cut shrimp from outer part to the center until it can be spread out flat.

DO NOT cut all the way through; wash well and drain.

Refrigerate shrimp until ready to cook; open beer and let it get “flat”.

TO MAKE BATTER mix the beer with cornstarch in a bowl.

Add water, Worcestershire, eggs, flour, salt and pepper; beat until smooth.

Heat the oil in deep fryer or deep pan to 350F degrees.

Dip shrimp into batter; fry until golden brown 3 to 4 minutes turning once if necessary.

Remove from the oil onto paper towels; keep warm in oven (200F degrees) until all are cooked.

Serve with marmalade sauce below; serves 4.

Marmalade Sauce

  • 4 Tablespoons horseradish sauce
  • 1 cup orange marmalade

BLEND WELL and serve with shrimp; makes full 1 cup.


Learn how to make fried shrimp using Japanese style tempura with fish and vegetables; makes enough for 4.

  • 12 Raw jumbo shrimp 
  • ½ Pound monkfish (OR halibut, cod or haddock)
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1 Green pepper
  • 1 Spanish onion
  • 4 Small zucchini
  • 4 Flowers broccoli
  • ¼ Pound small mushrooms
  • 1 Lotus root (Canned)
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Tempura Batter

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Cup ice water
  • 1 Cup flour

Dipping Sauce

  • ½ Cup chicken stock1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 Cup rice wine (OR sweet sherry)
  • 1 Tablespoon Japanese horseradish (OR horseradish)
  • 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger

Clean and shell SHRIMP leaving the tails on; devein, wash and pat dry.

Cut 1 inch thick FISH into strips 2 X ¾ inches.

Cut EGGPLANT in half; cut away most of the flesh leaving 1/8 inch layer to the skin.

Cut the eggplant skin in fan shapes about 1 ½ inches long.

Cut the PEPPER in strips 2 X ¾ inches.

Slice the fattest part of the ONION in 1/8 inch slices.

Separate onion slices into rings using 8 large rings.

Cut ZUCCHINI in half lengthwise then in half lengthwise.

Divide the BROCCOLI into sprigs.

Cut the MUSHROOMS in half.

Cut 8 slices of lotus root 1/8 inch thick; set ALL seafood & veggies aside.

NEXT MAKE DIPPING SAUCE by combining stock, soy and wine or sherry.

Divide sauce into 4 individual bowls; divide horseradish and ginger among the bowls.

TO MAKE BATTER beat the eggs in a large bowl; add the ice water and continue beating.

Sift in flour and fold (Do not beat too well and use immediately.

HEAT OIL in deep fryer to 360 to 380F degrees.

DIP INGREDIENTS into the batter starting with the shrimp; shake off excess.

Drop into hot oil without crowding; fry until crisp about 2 minutes.

NOTE: Do not judge doneness by browning.

Serve as soon as possible.

NOTE: You might want to cook HALF of all ingredients and serve; then cook remaining half.

TO EAT dip in sauce; eat with chopsticks or fingers.