Friday, July 9, 2010

Batter Fried Shrimp

Fresh shrimp dipped in a batter, then in a seasoned flour, and fried to a golden, crispy crunch.
Fresh shrimp dipped in a batter, then in a seasoned flour, and fried to a golden, crispy crunch.

Batter Fried Shrimp

Fried shrimp is a Deep South favorite, no real surprises there. Batter fried shrimp is just another delicious alternative from classic southern fried shrimp that we enjoy in this area.

I use my freezer a lot. Not only to put up fresh tomatoes, blobs of tomato paste and fresh citrus juices, and fresh sauces, veggies, basil pesto, rolled dumplings, precooked chicken, and homemade stock, and really ... just about anything that can be frozen, but especially leftovers.

Course there comes a time when the freezer starts getting so full, I have to start working through some of it, so I've been trying to do that here recently.

As much as I would love to hold on to my fresh Gulf shrimp, it won't last forever, so I decided to take a few of the larger ones we had frozen, butterfly them and deep fry them.

For the most part, when I make fried shrimp, I usually use medium sized shrimp and simply devein them and toss them in a seasoned flour, and reserve the larger ones for stuffing or grilling, but sometimes I'll leave the tip of the tail intact, butterfly them and do this batter fried shrimp.

Mise en place - you've certainly heard that here before.

Well, it is an especially important practice when frying shrimp.  They fry super fast, especially with a deep fryer, so you'll want to have the rest of the meal going.

Prepare the shrimp by cleaning, deveining them and butterflying them first. I decided to serve the shrimp with a nice mixed garden salad, so I made those plates up even before starting to bread the shrimp.

A side of black eyed peas with jalapeno, were jazzed up with some sautéed onion and bacon and started on the stovetop. With the fryer heating, I was ready to start the process of breading the shrimp.

I like to set up a dipping station with everything lined up - the shrimp, the batter, the seasoned flour and a plate to place the shrimp on.  I'm right handed, so I reserve my left hand for dipping in the batter, and use my right hand for tossing in the flour and plating. That way you keep your fingers a bit cleaner and you don't mess up the seasoned flour as bad. Mix the flour with the seasonings, remove 1/2 cup of the seasoned flour. Mix the batter ingredients and add that 1/2 flour to it.

Dip the shrimp briefly in the flour, then the batter, allowing it to drain well before adding back to the seasoned flour. If you don't let the batter drip off, you'll lump up your seasoned flour and that'll affect the final product - which is a kinda good thing if you're doing strips of chicken but that's for a later post!

I typically dip them one at a time, putting them directly into the hot oil, otherwise dip then arrange them in a single layer on a plate. From here you'll careful transfer them into the basket of a preheated 350 degree deep fryer. Take care not to overcrowd them!

In just a couple minutes, you'll have nicely butterflied, golden, deep fried shrimp!

For more of my favorite shrimp recipes, check out the collection on my Pinterest page!

Batter Fried Shrimp

Batter Fried Shrimp

Yield: About 2 to 4 servings
Author: Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 15 MinTotal time: 30 Min
Fresh large Gulf or wild caught American shrimp, dipped in a seasoned flour and batter and fried to a golden, crispy crunch.


  • 1 pound medium to large shrimp, cleaned, deveined and butterflied, leaving tail tip intact, if desired
  • 1-1/2 cups self-rising flour, divided
  • Large pinch kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Cooking oil for frying


  1. Clean, devein and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the very tail tip intact. Preheat cooking oil to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix flour with the salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and Old Bay. 
  3. Beat the egg and milk together, add 1/2 cup of the seasoned flour and the melted butter; stir well to blend. 
  4. Dip the shrimp into the flour, then batter, allowing batter to drain off well and then back into the flour.
  5. Slide shrimp carefully into hot oil and fry until golden brown, taking care not to overcrowd. Drain on a rack over a paper towel lined rimmed baking sheet.
  6. Serve with cocktail saucecomeback saucewhite remoulade, or a spicy mustard sauce, if desired.


Beer Battered Shrimp: Omit the milk and substitute beer.

Puffy Tempura Style Fried Shrimp: Substitute iced water for the milk and add 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 1 tablespoon baking powder to the seasoned flour.

Gulf Coast Favorites, Seafood
Southern, American
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Posted by on July 9, 2010

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