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southern fried shrimp

Southern Fried Shrimp


These fried shrimp are twice-coated in seasoned flour and cornmeal, then deep fried to golden brown perfection. The perfect main course or appetizer that’s way better than what you’d get at a restaurant! Pair with a flavorful dipping sauce, a salad, or add to a sandwich (like the po’ boys pictured above).

Your Shopping List:

Pantry Items/Seasonings:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Cornmeal
  • Hot sauce
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Smoked paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Peanut oil or vegetable oil


  • Buttermilk
  • Large eggs


  • Shrimp (large or jumbo)


  • Lemon

Equipment/Tools You’ll Need:

  • Mixing bowls
  • Heavy-bottomed pot or cast iron pan (which is my preference. I prefer almost anything cooked in cast iron.)
  • Wire rack, for cooling
  • Paper towels

Fried shrimp po boy

Southern Fried Shrimp

Lena B.
Fried shrimp are a simple yet delicious southern staple. Perfect with cocktail or tarter sauce.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Seafood
Servings 4 people


  • 4 Mixing bowls
  • Pot or cast iron pan for frying
  • Wire rack
  • Paper towels


For Shrimp (seasoning)

  • 1 lb. large or jumbo shrimp thawed, raw, peeled, deveined
  • 2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • the juice of 1/2 a lemon

For Dredging (coating shrimp)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour divided
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • a splash of hot sauce
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper optional

For Frying

  • Peanut oil or vegetable oil


  • Add shrimp to a bowl and season with Old Bay and lemon juice. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in one bowl. Combine eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce in another bowl. Combine the remaining flour, cornmeal, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper, if using, in a third bowl.
  • Carefully coat each shrimp. First, in the flour mixture. Second, in the egg mixture. Finally, in the flour and cornmeal mixture. Place coated shrimp on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or paper towels for easy clean-up.
  • Add oil to a heavy-bottomed pot (at least 3 inches deep) or cast iron skillet (halfway up the side of the skillet) and bring it to 375º F. Add shrimp to the hot oil and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  • Remove the shrimp from the oil and place them on a wire rack to drain and cool.


  • It’s recommended to leave the shrimp tails on if they will be eaten just with a dipping sauce. If they are being used for a salad or sandwich, remove the tails before seasoning and frying.
  • Feel free to substitute seasoned salt for regular salt.
  • Regular paprika will work if you don’t have smoked paprika.
  • If you don’t like the extra texture that corn meal adds, just substitute it for a little more flour or breadcrumbs.
  • Whole milk, heavy cream, and coconut milk can all be used instead of buttermilk.
  • When you add the shrimp to the oil, the temperature will drop to around 350º F. Be careful not to overcrowd the pot/pan and try to keep the oil around 350-360º F.
Keyword Shrimp







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