Really Crunchy Fried Shrimp

Really Crunchy Fried Shrimp-45.jpg

Fried shrimp with a crumbled saltine coating makes for extra crunch.

Fried food is an endangered species in my kitchen, but these shrimp are on the protected list.

I have a tradition of serving fried shrimp on New Year’s Day for our annual celebration with friends–when the party is at my house.  Once in awhile we might have them on someone’s birthday, but they are a rare and special treat.

Because it’s pretty basic, I never thought about putting up the recipe until my daughter-in-law requested it. So this one’s for you, Susie.

Really Crunchy Fried Shrimp storyboard

You’re only four steps away from yummy crunchy shrimp. Make that five. You definitely need to fry it.

The secret ingredient is the crushed saltine crackers. They elevate the crunch factor significantly.

Serve with cocktail sauce or remoulade sauce. (See notes below for my no-recipe version of remoulade sauce).

Really Crunchy Fried Shrimp
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Simple fried shrimp with a crunchy coating.
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 36 saltines
  • 1 pound shrimp, medium or large
  • Vegetable oil or shortening
  1. Combine first three ingredients and pour onto flat plate.
  2. Whisk eggs and milk together in a small bowl.
  3. Crush saltines and place onto another flat plate or shallow bowl.
  4. Remove shells and devein shrimp. You may leave the tails on...or not. Your choice. Butterfly each shrimp with a small sharp knife.
  5. Roll each shrimp in seasoned flour, then dip in egg mixture, and finally, press shrimp into crumbs until covered. Be sure shrimp is butterflied (spread open) for maximum crumb retention which equals more crunchiness. Allow to sit on wax-paper covered cookie sheet for about 30 minutes.
  6. Fry in 3-4 inches of oil heated to 375 degrees until golden. It doesn't take long so stay close. Remove from grease and allow to drain onto paper towels.
My no-recipe remoulade sauce: To approximately ½ cup mayonnaise, add enough catsup until it's nice and pink. Stir in a generous spoonful of pickle relish and one hardboiled egg, chopped finely.

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Kathy March 7, 2016 at 11:49 am

I just made this recipe with fresh off the boat Jumbo Gulf Shrimp. I didn’t fry enough! They were so good I wanted more than the 5 I fried for my lunch but I am quite full. They are so delicious and so crunchy. Can’t wait to cook them again this evening for hubby! I have searched a long time and tried so many fried shrimp recipes. No more searching, this is it!! Thanks so much!

Kathy March 7, 2016 at 11:49 am

I forgot to ask. Have you tried this recipe with fish?

DonnaG March 19, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Made this recipe tonight and it was the best shrimp we ever had! Thank you so much..this will definitely be a big favorite.

Ruth Kukaska December 9, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Oh my god, this is the best recipe every, thank you for sharing with us.

priscilla August 15, 2013 at 12:29 pm

This recipe is awesome!!!! Absolutely restaurant quality recipe. …I will be making these at every event I host! !!!

Erika February 21, 2013 at 10:56 am

This is so smart! I’ve read about crusting sweet potato fries in crushed cornflakes, but that would definitely be a weird flavor on shrimp. Pinning to try!

Ms. Glaze January 26, 2013 at 11:35 pm

What’s not to love about succulent sweet shrimp deep fried with a crunchy salty cracker batter? I am going to use this for the Super Bowl. In fact I have this cute little deep fryer that will do the trick (cuisinart – not too expensive either) since I’ve been banned from deep frying on the stovetop by my husband because he claimes the grease goes everywhere. It doesn’t. But whatever. I don’t think he’ll complain much after this recipe, that’s for sure!

Suzanne January 21, 2013 at 12:07 pm

These look wonderful, I need to try this recipe I know it’s great if it comes from you Paula. Happy Monday 🙂

Paula January 21, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Thanks Suzanne. You are so kind. Hope all is well with you.

Roy January 21, 2013 at 11:58 am

Might I suggest trying Rice flour instead of All Purpose. Gives a really good crunch on it’s own. I know I will be trying this recipe with Rice flour.

Paula January 21, 2013 at 8:26 pm

I think I have some rice flour so I will try it. Making these for a Superbowl party so your suggestion came just in time.

The Café Sucré Farine January 21, 2013 at 10:31 am

You certainly have a way of making my mouth water Paula! Reminds me of the shrimp I loved so much growing up but with 6 kids there was never quite enough to satisfy me!

Paula January 21, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Six kids?? Are you, by any chance, an overachiever? 🙂 Even though I only had 2 boys they can never seem to get quite enough of these either on the rare occasion that I make them.

Schweet Life January 19, 2013 at 10:12 pm

This looks really good! I love fried shrimp but tend to hate that lackluster flour batter a lot of places use. I’ve seen a few recipes for crab cakes that use saltines to create a crust but I never thought of using them for fried shrimp. Definitely on my list of things to make.

Susie January 19, 2013 at 10:11 pm

yum yum! Thanks for adding to the blog index…love this family favorite!

Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie) January 19, 2013 at 10:10 pm

These look great!

Melissa January 19, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Thanks so much for sharing! this recipe looks awesome!

Cyn in S Calif January 19, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Oh these sound so yummy! Can’t wait to try them. I don’t have fried food very often either, but these look very tempting! Thanks for the recipe.

Lorraine January 19, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Just a great photo of one of my all time favorite foods! Wish the plate was before me for real 🙂

*Just Fran* January 18, 2013 at 11:36 pm

Club crackers are the buttery secret to my perfectly crunchy Chicken Fried Chicken. I am sure that saltines are amazing on these shrimp. I can’t wait to try them.

Staci January 18, 2013 at 10:42 pm


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