Easy Cornmeal Fried Shrimp

Deep Fried Shrimp
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
370 Calories
11g Fat
29g Carbs
38g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 370
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 386mg 129%
Sodium 1207mg 52%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 38g
Calcium 338mg 26%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There are many great ways to cook shrimp, and fried shrimp is always a crowd pleaser, whether served as a fun appetizer or special main dish. It can be breaded in many different ways, and this recipe calling for an egg and milk soak and then cornmeal and flour coating is a real winner.

The shrimp make a fabulous appetizer accompanied by a remoulade dipping sauce, or serve them as part of a meal with fries, coleslaw, and tartar sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds medium- to large-sized shrimp (deveined)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • Dash of freshly ground black pepper​

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Peel the shrimp, leaving the tails on, and put them in a colander. Rinse the shrimp under cold running water, then pat dry with paper towels.

  3. Put about 3 inches of vegetable oil in a deep, heavy saucepan or deep fryer. Heat the oil to 360 F.

  4. To keep the fried shrimp warm as you fry subsequent batches, heat the oven to 200 F. Place a rack in a baking sheet and set aside. Have paper towels ready for draining the shrimp.

  5. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk with the egg until well blended. 

  6. Put the shrimp in the milk and egg mixture and let stand for 3 to 4 minutes.

  7. Combine the flour, cornmeal, and baking powder in another bowl; blend well. Stir in salt and a dash of freshly ground black pepper.

  8. Dip the shrimp into the flour and cornmeal mixture to coat thoroughly. Shake off excess. 

  9. Place coated shrimp in the hot oil and cook in small batches until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.

  10. 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.

  11. Sprinkle the fried shrimp with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

  12. Serve and enjoy!

Tips

If your shrimp is frozen, put them in a large bowl and thaw overnight in the refrigerator. If you haven't planned that far ahead, place the shrimp in a colander and put under cold, gently running water until thawed.

If the shrimp you purchased are not deveined, it is not too difficult to do yourself (although a little time consuming). With a small, sharp knife, make a shallow cut down the back of a shrimp. Pull out the dark vein or scrape it out with the tip of the knife and discard.

Recipe Variations

Although delicious as is, you can easily swap out an ingredient or two to change the flavor or texture of these fried shrimp. For a spicy twist, replace 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the milk with hot sauce, such as Frank's or Texas Pete's. Or season the flour mixture with 1 teaspoon of Creole or Cajun seasoning, a seasoned salt blend, or Old Bay. (Omit the salt in the recipe unless the seasoning is salt-free.) To give the coating a different type of crunch, swap all or part of the cornmeal with fine dry breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs.