Easy Cornmeal Fried Shrimp

Cornmeal Fried Shrimp Recipe

 The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
412 Calories
27g Fat
36g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 412
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 34%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 362mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 179mg 14%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 216mg 5%
*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 rémoulade dipping sauce, or serve them as part of a meal with fries, coleslaw, and tartar sauce.


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  • 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

  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Cornmeal Fried Shrimp Recipe ingredients
    The Spruce 
  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.

    Cornmeal Fried Shrimp Recipe
    The Spruce 
  3. Put about 3 inches of vegetable oil in a deep, heavy saucepan or deep fryer. Heat the oil to 360 F.

    Cornmeal Fried Shrimp Recipe
    The Spruce 
  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.

    Cornmeal Fried Shrimp Recipe
    The Spruce 
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk with the egg until well blended. 

    Cornmeal Fried Shrimp Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Put the shrimp in the milk and egg mixture and let stand for 3 to 4 minutes.

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

    Cornmeal Fried Shrimp Recipe
     The Spruce
  8. Dip the shrimp into the flour and cornmeal mixture to coat thoroughly. Shake off excess. 

    Cornmeal Fried Shrimp Recipe
     The Spruce
  9. Place coated shrimp in the hot oil and cook in small batches until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.

    Cornmeal Fried Shrimp Recipe
     The Spruce
  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.

    Cornmeal Fried Shrimp Recipe
     The Spruce
  11. Sprinkle the fried shrimp with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

    Cornmeal Fried Shrimp Recipe
     The Spruce
  12. Serve and enjoy.

    Cornmeal Fried Shrimp Recipe
     The Spruce


  • 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.