Looking for crunch factor? Look no further! Crispy Fried Shrimp have perfectly cooked succulent shrimp on the inside and a big-bite worthy crunch on the outside. This is most definitely a repeat recipe!
Back in May, I published my Creamy Crab Salad recipe. I cannot tell you how much hate mail I got after that! Most of that hate mail consisted of people telling me that imitation crab meat is garbage, that corn and seafood do not mix, and that cheese with crab is a big no-no. But, just like when Tammy Wynette told women in the 1960s to stand by their man, I’m standing by my crab salad! What does that all have to do with Crispy Fried Shrimp?
Why am I telling you all of this? Well, in the crab salad post, I wrote that I was not a lover of shrimp, but that I was trying to get used to it. You can read all about it in the crab salad post, but in a nutshell, my mother never cooked much seafood, and as a result, I never cared for it much.
My daughter, on the other hand, takes after her mother, and loves seafood! For her 18th birthday this year, I decided to fire up the grill and prepare a feast of all of her favourites. We bought her a tomahawk steak all to herself. And, I grilled up some lobster tails, jumbo shrimp, and sausages. I served all of that with various sides; it was quite the meal!
While I cooked, John.e set the patio table on our back deck and before long, we all sat down to eat. I remember her biting into the shrimp and loving it. My dad was visiting and he loves shrimp. They were making it sound so good, I had to try it. They were delicious!
OTTAWA VALLEY MEATS
In an instant, I realized that I had missed out on 45 years of shrimp! I had a lot of catching up to do. So, when I got the chance to pick up some jumbo shrimps from Ottawa Valley Meats, I didn’t hesitate. And, I’m so glad I did! Since I had already tried grilled shrimp, I wanted to try fried shrimp. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen fried shrimp and have passed them by. Those days are gone, Dear Reader!
If you are in Ontario, be sure to take a look at the website. Ottawa Valley Meats offers seafood, beef, poultry, pork, etc. And, they deliver right to your door! My box of seafood arrived the next day and was delivered in a chilled truck. I’ve had frozen meat and seafood delivered before, but never as well as this. Even the driver waited by his truck after leaving the box at our door. He was so friendly and wanted to make sure we got the box without any issues.
Now that I have tried the shrimp, I cannot wait to try the cod! I cooked a whole fillet of salmon from Ottawa Valley Meats a few nights ago. Between both John.e and myself, we ate the entire thing. Without a doubt, it was the best salmon I ever had! Anyway, I digress! Just be sure to take a look at their website if you are looking for quality product.
HERE’S WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE:
- Shrimp – One pound of jumbo shrimp, which should be about 18-20 pieces. Devein and peel the shrimp, but leave the tails attached. This makes it easier to batter and fry too!
- Buttermilk – This is used to flavour the shrimp and help the batter stick to it.
- Eggs – These are beat into the buttermilk and used to dredge the shrimp into.
- Old Bay Seasoning – This seasoning mix includes mustard, paprika, celery salt, bay leaf, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, mace, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, and ginger. It’s perfect for shrimp!
- All Purpose Flour – A part of the dry batter mix.
- Corn Flakes – Yes! Finely ground corn flake crumbs are the best for getting a crunchy fried crust.
- Seasonings – Salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Oil for frying – Vegetable oil or canola oil is what I normally use.
OLD BAY SEASONING
Here’s a bit of trivia for you. Did you know that Old Bay Seasoning was developed by a German immigrant to Maryland, US, in 1939? Fresh crab was so popular to the area that local bars used to cook them up and give them to their patrons for free – kinda like some bars nowadays with bowls of peanuts. Well, to encourage patrons to buy more drinks at the bar, the seasoning blend was invented by Gustav Brunn with excess amounts of salt; the more seasoned crab patrons ate, the thirstier they became!
The seasoning mix includes mustard, paprika, celery salt, bay leaf, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, mace, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, and ginger. The seasoning is mostly used to season crab and shrimp, but it can also be used in chowders and stews.
GET THE PREP DONE FIRST
Can you prepare Crispy Fried Shrimp ahead of time? Yes and no. You can certainly marinate the shrimp in the buttermilk ahead of time. And, you can mix the dry ingredients together for the batter, but that’s about it. For best results, the shrimp should be eaten within 20-30 minutes after they come out of the fryer.
I do recommend marinating the shrimp for at least two hours. You want to get as much flavour inside the shrimp as possible, and the buttermilk will tenderize the meat even more than it already is. The shrimp can marinate in the buttermilk for up to 24 hours, but no longer than that. To prepare the batter, just whisk the dry ingredients together, cover and sit aside until ready to use.
FRYING THE SHRIMP
When you’re ready to fry the shrimp, you should set up a work station to make things go smoothly. Here’s how I do it. I pour the oil into a heavy bottomed pot. A Dutch over is great for deep frying! You will want about four inches of oil in your pot.
Set a baking sheet with a wire cooling rack on it next to the pot. You will place the fried shrimp on the wire rack in a single layer. This will allow air to flow around the fried shrimp, allow the excess grease to drip off, and keep the batter crispy and crunchy. Turn on the heat and bring the oil to optimum frying temperature. For Crispy Fried Shrimp, you will want the oil to be 350 degrees. If in doubt, use a kitchen thermometer!
Now, working with one shrimp at a time, pick it up by the tail that you left on. Gently shake off the excess buttermilk and egg mixture. Still holding the tail, transfer the shrimp to the dry ingredients mixture and coat the shrimp well. Place the coated shrimp onto a plate and continue to do this until all of the shrimp are ready to fry.
Once you’re all ready to go and the oil is hot enough, it’s time to fry the shrimp! Holding the shrimp by the tail – see, I told you to leave it on! – lower them one at a time into the oil. Don’t overcrowd the pot. I tend to fry them off about four or five at a time. Shrimp fries really quickly. They only need about three or four minutes and they’re done!
I love shrimp with dipping sauce. If you’ve been a reader of Lord Byron’s Kitchen for while, you will know that I will dip just about anything I can into sauce! Tartar sauce is my go-to sauce for seafood. I’m not a huge fan of seafood sauce, but if you are, these shrimps would be great with it! I have a Classic Homemade Tartar Sauce that you can make in minutes and it’s much better than store-bought.
You can serve these as an appetizer or as a main. They are large, so I would serve about 4 or 5 as a main. Try serving Crispy Fried Shrimp with my Homestyle Creamy Coleslaw and these potato wedges. It’s quite the fish shack/diner type of meal, isn’t it?
Finally, whatever you do, do not forget to serve these with a few wedges of lemon. All seafood pairs well with lemon, but shrimp especially so! Oh, one last thing – be sure to take a minute to check out Ottawa Valley Meats if you’re in Ontario. Maybe you’ll be just lucky enough to be in their deliver area! They also have a store-front in Ottawa, so you can always go there in person. Enjoy!
Crispy Fried Shrimp
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp, deveined, peeled, tails left on
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 2 cups corn flake crumbs
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- vegetable or canola oil for frying
- In a shallow dish, such as a pie plate, beat the buttermilk, eggs, and Old Bay Seasoning together.
- Add the shrimp in a single layer, being sure the completely submerge the shrimp into the buttermilk mixture.
- Cover well and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
- When you’re ready to fry the shrimp, set up a work station. First, pour about 4 inches of oil into a heavy bottomed pot. Turn on the heat and bring the oil to 350 degrees F.
- Set a baking sheet with a wire cooling rack on it next to the pot.
- Working with one shrimp at a time, pick it up by the tail and gently shake off the excess buttermilk and egg mixture. Transfer the shrimp to the dry ingredients mixture and coat the shrimp well. Place the coated shrimp onto a plate and continue to do this until all of the shrimp are ready to fry.
- Once the oil is hot enough, it’s time to fry the shrimp. Hold the shrimp by the tail and lower them one at a time into the oil. Don’t overcrowd the pot. Fry them off about four or five at a time. Shrimp fries really quickly. They only need about three or four minutes and they’re done!
- Serve immediately with lemon and dipping sauce, if desired.