Bayou Fried Shrimp

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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