Bayou Fried Shrimp

Bayou Fried Shrimp Recipe

As an alternative to seasoned cornmeal, try using self-rising flour to dredge the shrimp. It gives the shrimp a nice puffy outside.–The Editors of Southern Living Magazine

LC Bayou Note

Bayou. Sorta conjures images of swampy marshlands, banjo playing, and crawfish boils. In other words, Cajun country. But just as traditional to southern Louisiana as Cajun-spiced crawfish boil is Cajun-spiced fried seafood of all sorts, including shrimp. And unlike a boil, which requires roll-your-sleeves-up participation from each diner, there’s no shelling involved with this recipe, at least not for guests. So sit back, relax, and have an Abita Amber along with your shrimp. Don’t forget the napkins.

Bayou Fried Shrimp Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 6 to 8


  • 3 pounds large raw shrimp, peeled, tails intact
  • 2 cups milk, preferably whole
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, such as Tony Chachere’s
  • One 12-ounce package fish-fry mix, or 2 cups finely ground cornmeal or self-rising flour, seasoned with salt, black pepper, and, if desired, cayenne or other spices to taste
  • Peanut, canola, or other vegetable oil for frying


  • 1. Using a sharp paring knife, butterfly and devein the shrimp. (That is, make a deep slit down the back of each shrimp, all the way from the large end to the tail, cutting to but not through the inside curve of the shrimp. Remove the dark line that runs along the length of the shrimp. Toss the butterflied, deveined shrimp in a large bowl.)
  • 2. In another large bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, mustard if desired, and 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning. Pour the mixture over the shrimp, cover, and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  • 3. In a shallow dish, combine 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning and the fish-fry mix, cornmeal, or self-rising flour. Dredge the shrimp in the mixture and shake off any excess. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer on 2 baking sheets.
  • 4. Pour enough oil into a Dutch oven or other deep-sided pot to reach a depth of 3 inches. Heat the oil to 325°F (163°C). Place wire cooling racks over paper towels or spread some brown paper grocery bags on your counter.
  • 5. Fry the shrimp in small batches, being careful not to crowd the pot, flipping once, until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Transfer the shrimp to the wire racks or the brown paper bags to drain for a few brief moments. Serve hot.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Melissa Maedgen

Mar 26, 2013

This is a very simple, straightforward method for making fried shrimp. Cooking temperature and timing are perfect. The shrimp come out juicy with a crisp crust and perfect seasoning. What’s not to like? I tested the cornmeal-coated version of this dish; I made my own mix, seasoning it with salt, pepper, cayenne, and a bit of garlic powder and onion powder. If you use the self-rising flour be sure to season it, just as you would cornmeal. A homemade tartar sauce, or better yet rémoulade, is the perfect accompaniment.

Testers Choice
Linda B.

Mar 26, 2013

Yum! Crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside. I’ve never used self-rising flour as a coating for frying before, but it works really well. The light, crisp coating kind of shattered when you bit into the shrimp, and the cooking time was just about perfect. I served it with a sweet Asian chile sauce, but it really didn’t need it.

Testers Choice
Raye Tiedmann

Mar 26, 2013

Normally I just dip shrimp in egg seasoned with Tony’s Chachere’s and then dip them in the well-known Zatarain’s Shrimp-Fri mix. I’d read that Trisha Yearwood uses the self-rising flour method for frying her catfish, and it sure looked crisp, so I tried that method. It does result in a nice, crisp exterior that doesn’t get soggy even if you’re frying a larger amount. I saved myself some prep time and bought peeled and deveined shrimp with the tails on at $12.99 a pound, and it was worth the time it spared. One pound fed 3 of us. I thought this was pretty economical. We sure were happy, and the other 2 requested that I fry shrimp this way from now on.

Testers Choice
Linda Pacchiano

Mar 26, 2013

This is a very easy and tasty dish. I used cornmeal seasoned with salt and pepper for the breading. I made my own Cajun seasoning with a simple mixture of salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, and dried oregano. I made a tartar sauce as an accompaniment. Cocktail sauce or rémoulade would also be good. The recipe was easy to follow and all of the times and temperatures worked as written.

  1. My college aged son loves fried anything, especially shrimp, so I’m thinking this will be his going-back-to-school dinner later this month. Thank you!

  2. Chris says:

    This is the best fried shrimp recipe ever anytime i cook shrimp i love this recipe up ….I have it Bookmarked…lol

  3. Senorita Bonita says:

    NEVER use flour to fry shrimp our family always used cornmeal, however didn’t have any and chose your recipe.


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