Bayou Fried Shrimp

The best Cajun fried shrimp recipe. That's what this is. Go on. Try it for yourself and see. It's easy, authentic, and Cajun through and through.

Bayou Fried Shrimp Recipe

Bayou fried shrimp. Say the word “bayou,” and we conjure romantic notions of swampy marshlands, banjo playing, and, natch, the best Cajun fried shrimp you’ve ever tasted. And it’s easy. This bayou fried shrimp recipe relies on a quick bath in egg and milk followed by a dusting of cornmeal or self-rising flour. No batter. No breading. Just authentic Cajun fried shrimp recipe. So sit back, relax, and have an Abita Amber along with your shrimp. This recipe has been updated. Originally published March 26, 2013.Renee Schettler Rossi

Special Equipment: Deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer

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 means, quite simply, make a deep slit down the back of each shrimp, all the way from the big end of the shrimp to the skinny tail, cutting almost but not all the way through the inside curve of the shrimp. Use a paper towel or your fingertips to 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 moments. Serve hot.
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