Fried Shrimp with Cornmeal

Southern Fried Shrimp, Cornmeal Fried Shrimp, Shrimp
Yield: 6
Author: JSG
Southern Fried Shrimp

Southern Fried Shrimp

The ultimate all time favorite crispy, savory, succulent fried shrimp!
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 15 Mininactive time: 45 MinTotal time: 1 H & 30 M


  • Raw (deveined shrimp – I seriously allow 1lb per peson)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 egg, scrambled in a small bowl
  • 1/2 tsp each - baking powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried mustard.


  1. Peel, devein and rinse the shrimp thoroughly.  This can be done 8 hours ahead of time.  Cover and refrigerate if preparing later.
  2. Use a whisk to mix your cornmeal, flour and spice mixture to evenly mix. 
  3. Taking 4-5 at a time, dip and swirl into the scrambled egg mixture, then place in your cornmeal mixture - making sure every part of the shrimp is covered in the dry mix. 
  4. Transfer to a parchment lined sheet pan for 30 minutes to allow the coating to properly adhere.
  5. When you are ready to cook - place 1/2 inch of peanut oil in a heavy bottomed pan (I use a Smithey Cast Iron Skillet) and allow the oil to come to temperature of 350-360. 
  6. Fry shrimp 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp are browned, flip and cook the other side.  Transfer to a cookie rack placed over a sheet pan, then sprinkle with a little salt - and continue cooking your shrimp until you are done.
  7. You can place these in the oven at 225, to keep very warm while cooking if you choose to.
  8. Serve with Home Made Tartar Sauce and Ketchup mixed with Horseradish for extra zing.
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From the time I was about 6 years old, fried shrimp is the lifetime all-time favorite food ever.  Now keep in mind this was in the 1960's.  You could drive from our town to Kemah, TX in about 20 minutes and drive right down to where the boats unloaded their catch.  Shrimp was also anywhere from .25 to .50 cents a pound, head on.

Sometimes my dad would bring home one of those old huge ice coolers absolutely filled, up to 50 lbs!  So the cleaning and freezing began - and wouldn't stop until everything was done.  My mom would fill containers with shrimp, then fill it up with water - that was her method for preventing freezer burn.

These days, I don't live close to Houston anymore, but rather 1000 miles from there, but just happened to find a company, Biloxi Shrimp Company that ships!  Anywhere!  and it's reasonable!  So, they arrive packed in dry ice, I open the bags, and use my own Food Saver bags to repackage into portion sizes that are good for me, vacuum pack and back in the freezer - all of 10 minutes to get this done and I have shrimp now whenever I want it - Gulf Shrimp!  and yes, there is a different between East Coast Shrimp, Argentinian Shrimp and any other place you may find.
Originally published February 17, 2009

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