Easy Cornmeal Fried Shrimp

Deep Fried Shrimp
Diana Rattray
  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
Ratings (35)

This simple fried shrimp makes a great-tasting meal or appetizer. The shrimp are easy to prepare with a basic egg batter and a mixture of flour and cornmeal or bread crumbs. This is one of many great ways to cook shrimp.

Try this flavorful fried shrimp recipe. The shrimp make a fabulous appetizer or serve them as part of a meal with fries, coleslaw, and tartar sauce or remoulade.

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 pounds medium to large shrimp
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal (or fine, dry bread crumbs)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Dash salt
  • Dash freshly ground black pepper​

How to Make It

  1.  Peel the shrimp, leaving the tails on and then put them in a colander. With a small, sharp knife, make a shallow cut down the back of a shrimp; pull the dark vein out or scrape it out with the tip of the knife. Rinse the shrimp under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Put about 3 inches of vegetable oil in a deep, heavy saucepan or deep fryer. Heat the oil to 360 F.
  3. To keep the fried shrimp warm as you fry subsequent batches, heat the oven to 200 F. 
  1. Place a rack in a baking pan. Set aside.
  2. Have paper towels ready for draining the shrimp.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk with egg until well blended. Put the shrimp in the milk and egg mixture and let stand for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4.  Combine the flour, cornmeal, and baking powder in another bowl; blend well. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a dash of freshly ground black pepper.
  5.  Dip the shrimp in the flour and cornmeal mixture to coat thoroughly. Shake off excess. 
  6. Cook the shrimp in small batches in the hot oil until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Drain on paper towels and then move to the rack on the baking sheet. Place the pan in the oven to keep them warm while you fry the remaining shrimp.
  8. Sprinkle the fried with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Tips and Variations

  • Replace 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the milk with hot sauce, such as Frank's or Texas Pete's.
  • How to Thaw Frozen Shrimp - Put the shrimp in a large bowl and thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or put them in a bowl of cold water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Keep a small stream of cold water running into the bowl, so the water in the bowl stays cold but not ice-cold.
  • Replace all or part of the cornmeal with fine dry bread crumbs or panko crumbs.
  • Season the flour mixture with 1 teaspoon of Creole or Cajun seasoning, a seasoned salt blend, or Old Bay. Omit the salt unless the seasoning is salt-free.