Saturday, July 11, 2009

Classic Southern Fried Shrimp

Gulf Coast Shrimp dusted with a light coating of seasoned flour and deep fried to crunchy perfection.
Gulf Coast Shrimp dusted with a light coating of seasoned flour and deep fried to crunchy perfection.

Classic Southern Fried Shrimp

We love our southern fried shrimp in this part of The Deep South and fried up in a deep fryer is the best way to go when you cook fried shrimp. A hot deep fryer cooks them so quickly, that there is far less absorption of the fat, leaving behind a crispy, crunchy and delicious fried shrimp.

The Cajun and Dad have been out shrimping a few times since the inland waters finally opened up, and while the catch has been fairly small compared to past years, there have been shrimp! And I have still been busy putting up shrimp - about 21 pounds and counting, but I'm just about done.

And y'all, I have to say, fresh from the Gulf shrimp simply scream out for some southern fried shrimp - so, yes, we have already had fried shrimp, not once, but twice. Hot from the deep fryer, crunchy and salty, I'm tellin' ya ... it just don't get much better than this folks!

Dad's got some traps too, so Mom also sent me over not 1, but 2 pounds of crabmeat, which frankly if I would have picked all those crabs, I sure would have had a hard time letting go of.

Have I mentioned how much I love my in-laws???

Since we are on the subject of frying, I have to say that I love love love using a deep fryer. I recently upgraded mine and I really love the features - larger capacity than my old Waring and this one has a filtration system where you can filter out and drain your oil, getting a lot more use out of it. A deep fryer heats up super fast and foods fry really quick, so that there is no greasy residue, so I use it all the time now when I'm frying. Everything comes out quick, crisp, crunchy and delicious. Yes, you do have to contend with the frying odor, but unless that's very disturbing to you, it's not troublesome to us. I can't believe I waited so long to upgrade and this fryer was worth every penny. I especially love it for frying shrimp!

We love to eat fried shrimp right out of hand as a main dish, right along with some standard fare of potato salad, maybe a cup of gumbo, or other sides, but one of our favorite ways to consume them is as a po'boy. Here's how to build a shrimp po'boy.

First you gotta fry up those shrimp. Use this recipe... you don't need any other. Seriously! These are the perfect shrimp for a shrimp po'boy y'all. You won't find any better, promise.

Cut up some French bread into serving sizes, usually about six inches per serving unless you're really hungry. In South Mississippi we often use the thin, New Orleans style French bread, but here I'm using a standard French bread you can find at pretty much any deli.

I like to toast mine so I butter the insides and toast it in a skillet.

Slather on a little mayonnaise, or if you're feeling fancy, use some remoulade or even some Comeback sauce. Remember though, it's a po'boy - a very simple sandwich with a humble history and not intended to be too fancy, so mostly it's just good ole mayo down here and that's the way I like my shrimp po'boy. If you like your po'boy dressed, and I do, top that with a thick slice of tomato. I'm using some beautiful Creole tomatoes here.

Salt and pepper on the tomato and top with a little shredded lettuce. Throw some thin sliced dill pickles on too if you like!

Load it up with shrimp and I like to give them a generous sprinkling of some hot sauce myself, though some folks prefer good ole ketchup.

And there you have a delicious shrimp po'boy, South Mississippi style!

Now, you can eat them just like this, but in South Mississippi we like to return the whole thing to the pan - or use a sandwich press if you have it - and press it. This gives the bread a creamy interior and a nice crunchy exterior, but unlike New Orleans style, it doesn't crumble when you bite into it. We call this "dressed and pressed" here in South Mississippi. I hope y'all will excuse me while I dive into this one!!

I really do feel privileged to have a husband who goes out shrimping every year with his dad, so we get to stock up our freezer with fresh Gulf shrimp. But, even if you don't have that luxury, wild caught shrimp from America are available in your local grocery store. You just gotta look for the seal.

So, once again, please allow me the opportunity to soapbox and ask you to PLEASE stop buying that imported shrimp they sell in the grocery stores. Our fishermen and women right here in the good old US of A are suffering because of these imports, and they really need your support. And besides Wild American Shrimp just tastes, well ... superior over the imports and isn't loaded with the vast chemicals that imports often are. So, flip over that package and look for the country of origin. If it's not the United States, continue looking. Okay, off the soapbox now and on to the fried shrimp recipe!

Check out more of my shrimp recipes on Pinterest!

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!


Recipe: Classic Southern Fried Shrimp

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish Blog
Prep time: 20 min |Cook time: 4 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • Deep fryer filled with fresh peanut or canola oil

Preheat the deep fryer or heat oil in a large heavy pot to 350 degrees. Peel and devein shrimp, rinsing well. Pat dry with a paper towel to remove most of the water. Whisk together the egg, milk and hot sauce; add shrimp to mixture. Stir together the flour, Cajun seasoning, Old Bay, salt and peppers. Dunk the shrimp from the milk mixture to the flour mixture and then to a colander set over a plate or tray. Let sit for a moment, then return the shrimp to the flour mixture a second time and toss around. Place back into the colander and shake well to remove excess flour.

Fry in small batches (to avoid overloading the fryer and cooling down the oil too much), for about 3 to 4 minutes per batch, or until golden brown. Shake fryer basket and turn out onto a platter covered with paper towels. Sprinkle with just a bit of additional salt and continue frying the remaining shrimp in batches until all are done.

Cook's Notes: I use White Lily self-rising flour. Self rising flour contains baking powder, which contains cornstarch and gives a more crisp and crunchy result than plain all purpose flour will. For a little more zing, whisk in 2 teaspoons of hot sauce and 2 teaspoons of creole mustard with the milk. May also use buttermilk for a thicker crust.

Variation: Use half self-rising flour and half all-purpose yellow cornmeal, crushed saltines, or cracker meal.

Air Fryer: Brands and wattage of air fryers differ. Be sure to keep an eye on the food the first time that you cook a recipe and adjust as needed. Preheat air fryer for 3 minutes at 400 degrees F. Batter shrimp as above. Spray basket and shrimp with cooking oil and air fry at 400 degrees F in batches at 6 minutes each, turn, spray again and fry for 2 to 4 minutes longer. I recommend the EVO sprayer.


NOTE: You do not need to request access to print! Access is for editing purposes only.
Requires Adobe Reader - download it free!
©Deep South Dish
Are you on Facebook? If you haven't already, come and join the party! We have a lot of fun & there's always room for one more at the table.
Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

Batter Fried Shrimp
Shrimp Spaghetti
Shrimp in Brown Gravy with Homemade Mashed Potatoes
Cajun Shrimp Pilaf

Posted by on July 11, 2009
Images and Full Post Content including Recipe ©Deep South Dish. Recipes are offered for your own personal use only and while pinning and sharing links is welcomed and encouraged, please do not copy and paste to repost or republish elsewhere such as other Facebook pages, blogs, websites, or forums without explicit prior permission. All rights reserved.

Material Disclosure: Unless otherwise noted, you should assume that post links to the providers of goods and services mentioned, establish an affiliate relationship and/or other material connection and that I may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You are never under any obligation to purchase anything when using my recipes and you should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.

Bookmark and Share


  1. That, as all your meals looks so yummy! I was looking to see if you have arecipe for the strawberry lemonade. That sounds so good. Do you just make your regular lemonade recipe and add strained strawberries?
    I have enjoyed your blog so much since I found you. You are my kind of cook. We cook a lot alike but I have learned a lot from you as well.
    Keep up the great work.

  2. Why thank you Brenda!! I haven't put the recipe up yet but it's the "easy" version. I take a pint of strawberries, puree them and then strain them just to make sure to get out any chunks. Add that puree to a pitcher, add a can of lemonade concentrate and I also add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of sugar unless the strawberries are real sweet. I like this to be more sweet than tart. And then add the water. Easy! You can of course make the fresh lemonade with the simple syrup and add the strawberry puree but I pretty much reserve fresh lemonade for special occasions since lemons are kind of expensive. I need a lemon tree! Thanks so much for your sweet comments - I'm having fun with the blog and I love hearing people are enjoying it too!

  3. why does everything you make look sooooo good???? I can't make things that look and taste yummy...there is either one or the other for me!!! lol
    I now am craving that asparagus!

  4. Oh Mary--this post is killing me!!! I miss shrimping and putting up fresh shrimp. It's been so long since I had fresh from the gulf shrimp. I may just have to go buy some shrimp so I can have some fried soon!! Asparagus is another favorite--I plan to have some asparagus beds soon too--at least then I could get that fresh.
    I made the chicken and dumpling bake the other day--finally--well--one daughter didn't want it because it wasn't bisquick dumplings and the husband wasn't too enthusiastic either. I had one bowl left for me the next day--husband took it to work for his lunch. I asked him what he wanted for his lunch the next day--more chicken and dumpling bake!! Thank goodness I had picked up a rotisserie chicken that morning. At 8:30 that night, I was in the kitchen making more of the c&d bake!! So--in a little over 24 hours, I had made it twice. I think that will be my go to recipe when I just don't feel like cooking--I always have the ingredients on hand and it tastes so good. Thanks for your blog and the great recipes. Sheila in NC

  5. Tootsie you are SOOO sweet girl. If only I could cook up my gardens to look remotely like your gardens!!

    Awww Shelia. I wish I could ship you some shrimp. Hubs is going back out tonight and I'd love to put up another 20 to 30 pounds. I peeled up about 6 pounds of smaller sized shrimp for sauces, gumbos etc. My Hubs is like that about food. He'll turn his nose up at something new or a name he's not familiar with, so now he'll ask me what something is and I'll just say "it's food, eat it!" He's eaten more things that he'll never know that it's hilarious!! It's a nice easy dish to pull out in a hurry. Glad your hubby liked it after all!

  6. Mmmm, those shrimp look wonderful. I love your fryer! We have one of those old round ones, too... it must be from the year 1620... came over with the Pilgrim, hehe. I don't do a lot of frying but I hate to drag that old thing out whenever I do want to.

  7. Karen, you know how we southerners are with our frying! I was the sme way with my old fryer - rarely used the stupid thing. There is a world of difference between those two fryers, and I find that I used this one a lot more! It really does a fantastic job of keeping things fried crisp and not greasy.

  8. Mary, thank you for the recipe, I will be making it this week. It will be a great alternative to my regular sweet tea.
    Have a great week.

  9. This made me miss my momma's fried shrimp even more. My momma boiled her shrimp first to get them spicy and then breaded and fried them. They were the best fried shrimp I ever ate! The ones in restaurants don't even compare. Now I might have to check out that fryer to make my own. ;-)

    1. Now that is an interesting way to do it Melissa - I'm gonna have to give that a try sometime!

  10. We put up 131 lbs of shrimp from AL Gulf Coast. Bought directly off the boat. So GOOD!

  11. Minor correction, self rising flour contains no corn starch. Both the While Lily and Gold Medal sites tell you to add1 1/2 tsp. of baking powder and 1/2 tsp. of salt to their all purpose flours to make them self rising. However there is a difference between Southern flours like White Lily and national brands of AP flour. White Lily is low protein (8%), low gluten and makes far better biscuits. If you live in the Northeast, in the southern ingredients desert, Wegmans has White Lily AP. Just add salt and baking powder. Can't wait to try this shrimp recipe.

    1. Well... I do hope you enjoy my shrimp coating however, I believe you may have misread what is written above and that no correction is necessary!

      As I noted in my recipe, I call for self rising flour. Self rising flour does contain some baking powder, which absolutely contains cornstarch. Self rising flour gives a more crisp and crunchy result than plain all purpose flour will, which is why I prefer using SR flour over all purpose, especially for frying. Most of my readers here are fairly well educated on southern flours, due in part to my many posts about it, but yes, my preferred flour brand for everything, but most especially my homemade buttermilk biscuit recipe here, is, as noted, White Lily. I hope you visit again and take some time to explore my website a little further in the future. Wishing you a very merry holiday season!

  12. Well. My names Julia. And I just bought 2pounds of jumbo shrimp. All that I buy is jumbo. And that's just what I'm frying for dinner. PO boy on deck can I get an amen

  13. i am not into spicy foods, so can i use other seasonings that are not spicy? but the shrimp do look really delicious though. please let me know. my e-mail is

    1. All you'll need to do is simply omit the Cajun seasoning, which is simply salt, black & red pepper & garlic powder. Cajun seasoning is a fairly classic ingredient here in the Deep South & we use it much like a seasoning salt, but it isn't a critical ingredient. You can add in just a bit of garlic powder, if you like, but taste your first batch and see if you want to increase the salt and pepper as well. You may not need to. Hope that helps!

  14. Wow! I just made this for my kids and they loved it. Even the two year old who usually wants fruit snacks or pickles. I was kind of skeptical just searching the Internet for a random recipe. I'm so glad I ran across yours. Thanks so much for sharing. I can't wait to try your other recipes.

    1. Thanks Bridgette & welcome to the Deep South Dish family!!

  15. Just found your Facebook page seeing fellow southern belles whipping it up in the being italian-cajun from Lafayette, LA...And absolutely lovvve to woo my family on the east coast (south Philly and south jersey) with my Cajun dishes...if not for pizza, hoagies, and pasta, they'd be malnourished and starving...guess that's why they're all thin and we a Lil on the thick your posts, even may ask u to share some specific to our area ones from time to time to compare how y'all rock the dish on the other side of the great Mississippi delta.

  16. Hi from the Texas gulf coast. These r the best fried shrimp! I use buttermild with a little hot sauce and SR white lily. No longer have a deep fryer but my magnalite pot and a candy thermometer do just fine.

    1. Thanks so much - I'm so glad you enjoyed them. It's a simple recipe, but the self-rising flour makes all the difference!

  17. Oh Mary, It’s Friday and my mouth is watering for some fried shrimp. Unfortunately, I had some intense oral surgery 10 days ago and have been fitted with full “uppers;” not fun. It’s like getting a peanut butter sandwich stuck to the roof of your mouth… forever.
    My wife and I lived in the FL Keys for 4 years. I’d periodically go “dipping” for Key West Pinks. It was easy and they’re wonderful. My father-in-law got me into Stone Crab claws. They’re incredible.
    Personally I hate the lingering smell of deep frying and/or fish. Back in NY, I used to use my Vollrath deep fryer under the overhang in front of my workshop and just plugged it into my welder outlet for power. Now I do all of my frying on the apron of the garage, using the LP gas cooker base of my turkey fryer and a 14 in. x 4 in. deep commercial sauté pan. One of our favorites is my pan seared sea scallops with wilted spinach over a bed of fresh linguini. It’s outstanding but also exceptionally stinky. That’s why I sometimes use a fan to make sure the stink is all gone.
    BTW, instead dumping the shrimp, or anything fried, onto a paper towel lined sheet pan or bowl, take a sheet pan and cover it with a cooling rack and dump the fried food onto that. The reason being is to let the excess oil drip off and away from the food. When the food reaches approximately 15 deg. below what it was cooked at, the food starts to reabsorb the oil.
    I’ve been researching deep fryers. And I’ve been looking at the T-fal. But I must say that I’m spoiled after having used a Fry-O-Lator and Frymaster in the restaurants; and even owning my own personal 10 lb. cap. 240vac Vollrath deep fryer. Part of me is glad I left it back at St. John’s in NY, and part of me wishes I had it for our church.
    God bless.

    1. Oh goodness - my sympathies on the oral surgery. As they say it's heck getting older but it beats the alternative.

      I love the deep fryer - we don't use it often, but mine now lives on the back porch too.


Thanks for taking the time to comment - I love hearing from readers and I read every single comment and try to respond to them right here on the site, so stop back by!

From time to time, anonymous restrictions and/or comment moderation may be activated due to comment spam. I also reserve the right to edit, delete or otherwise exercise total editorial discretion over any comments left on this blog. If your comment serves only to be snarky, mean-spirited or argumentative, it will be deleted. Please mind your manners.

Related Posts with Thumbnails