Panko Shrimp

5 from 4 votes
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Crispy, golden brown panko shrimp make for the ultimate party appetizer or a quick and easy main course for dinner. Perfectly seasoned and fried to perfection, you’ll make them again and again!

Nothing beats a good appetizer, whether you’re throwing a party at home or tailgating before the big game. This panko shrimp recipe will become one of your favorites.

Panko breaded fried shrimp served with cocktail sauce, lemon wedges, and french fries.

The shrimp is seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper before its coated with a thin layer of panko breadcrumbs. And those panko crumbs help the shrimp fry up golden brown, crispy, and delicious. They don’t taste too heavy or fried; they’re just super crispy bites of deliciousness.

Hand holding panko shrimp.

While the fried shrimp are great as an appetizer, you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to try this panko shrimp recipe. Enjoy the shrimp as a main dish instead with your favorite side dishes. We have ideas for those below, too!

And while you’re here, since you’re obviously a shrimp super-fan, try our Popcorn Shrimp or Easy Shrimp Scampi when you get the chance. You’ll love them!

Ingredients  

This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.

Ingredients for Panko Shrimp.
  • Peanut Oil — This oil has a high smoke point and a neutral taste, making it perfect for deep frying.
  • Shrimp — Use large shrimp, peeled, tail-off, and deveined. Make sure they’re completely thawed before frying.
  • Flour — All-purpose flour combined with seasonings provides the first coat for the shrimp.
  • Seasonings — Garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and black pepper.
  • Eggs and water — This helps the breadcrumbs and seasonings adhere to the shrimp.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs — Use the plain ones because we’ll be adding our own seasoning to it.
  • Parsley — Use fresh chopped parsley if you want to garnish your panko shrimp right before serving.
  • Lemons — A fresh squeeze of lemon juice and lemon wedges brightens up the flavors and helps cut through the fried flavor.
  • Cocktail Sauce — For dipping the crispy shrimp! Use your favorite dipping sauce if cocktail sauce isn’t your thing.

Equipment You’ll Need

Gather up your kitchen tools before you start cooking. Here’s what you’ll need to make panko fried shrimp:

How to Make Fried Shrimp With Panko

This section shows you how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions. For the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below. 

Step 1: Pour 3 inches of oil into your deep fryer or Dutch oven. Preheat to 350°F.

Step 2: Pat the raw shrimp dry with paper towels while the oil heats.

Raw shrimp on paper towel.

Step 3: Grab a gallon sized bag, and add the flour and seasonings. Shake to combine.

Two image collage of flour and seasoning in zip top baggie before and after mixing.

Step 4: Add the shrimp to the bag of flour and seasonings. Close the top, and shake the bag to coat the shrimp. Set aside.

Raw shrimp in baggie before and after being shaken with seasoned flour mixture.

Step 5: Whisk your eggs and water in a shallow bowl until combined.

Step 6: Add your panko breadcrumbs to another shallow dish.

Step 7: Take a few shrimp at a time out of the bag, and place them in the egg mixture, turning until they are coated.

Shrimp in egg mixture.

Step 8: Let the excess egg wash drip off, then place the shrimp into the breadcrumbs. Coat them completely with the breadcrumbs, gently pressing them into the shrimp so they stick.

Breaded shrimp being covered in panko breadcrumbs.

Step 9: Place the breaded shrimp on the prepared sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.

Panko breaded shrimp on baking sheet before frying.

Step 10: Once the oil is hot, carefully add shrimp to the hot oil in batches. Don’t crowd the pan. Cook the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown. Your meat thermometer should read that the shrimp has an internal temperature of 165°F.

Panko shrimp in deep fryer basket.

Step 11: Remove the shrimp from the fryer, and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Immediately transfer them to a wire rack set on top of a baking sheet to catch any drips. The wire rack allows for air circulation, which will keep the shrimp crispy.

Two image collage of fried panko shrimp on paper towel and on wire rack over sheet pan.

Step 12: Repeat steps 10 and 11 with the remaining shrimp. Serve the breaded shrimp with chopped parsley, lemon wedges, and cocktail sauce.

Fried shrimp with panko breading and garnished with parsley.

What to Serve With Panko Shrimp

Looking for a delicious side dish to serve with your fried shrimp? Here are some tasty options!

Of course, simple sides like fries, rice, or a green salad work nicely, too.

Storage and Freezing

Store panko fried shrimp in the fridge for up to 3 days. Enjoy them cold or reheat them in an air fryer for a couple of minutes or a hot oven until the shrimp are warmed through. I don’t recommend reheating in the microwave because the breading can get soggy and the shrimp may become rubbery.

Panko shrimp can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag.

Panko fried shrimp being dipped in cocktail sauce.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • If using smaller shrimp, add an extra egg to the egg wash and extra panko breadcrumbs. You’ll have more shrimp to bread, requiring more coating.
  • Choosing the right oil is very important for this recipe. It requires a neutral oil with a high smoke point to avoid smoking up your house. If you substitute the oil for another, use a vegetable oil with a high smoke point, like canola oil or avocado oil.
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the shrimp helps brighten up the flavor and cut through the fried taste from the oil.
  • Don’t overcrowd the shrimp in the pan. They need plenty of room to fry and brown evenly on the sides.
  • Avoid using olive oil for deep frying. It has a low smoke point, and the flavor doesn’t work for this panko shrimp recipe.

Additions and Variations

Use different seasonings. Instead of the seasonings listed in the recipe card, you can swap them out for Old Bay, Creole, lemon pepper, or blackening seasoning. However, if you use a pre-made seasoning blend, eliminate the salt in the recipe. There will be salt in the mix already.

Try seasoned panko breadcrumbs. Want a boost of flavor? Substitute seasoned panko crumbs for the plain ones. But make sure you adjust the amount of salt in the rest of the recipe.

Serve with a variety of sauces. While shrimp are traditionally served with cocktail sauce, don’t be afraid to experiment! Tartar sauce is a tasty choice. Or try a homemade ginger orange dipping sauce or honey mustard for a sweet yet tangy flavor combination.

Make it gluten-free. Swap out the flour and panko breadcrumbs for gluten-free versions.

Panko fried shrimp piled on plate with fries and cocktail sauce. One shrimp has bite taken out of it.

Panko Shrimp Recipe FAQ

What do you eat with panko shrimp?

Start with a variety of sauces to try. You can also add sides like rice, potatoes, a salad, or your favorite roasted veggies.

What sauce goes with shrimp?

Cocktail sauce is the traditional choice, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Spicy mayonnaise, Thai peanut sauce, ginger soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, or even tartar sauce are all tasty choices.

Can you air fry panko shrimp?

Yes, you can; it’s a healthier alternative if you’re watching your calories and fats. Spray the basket with cooking spray. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F, and place the shrimp in the basket in a single layer. Cook for 8 minutes, flipping the shrimp over halfway. Test the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to make sure it’s 165°F and the outside is crispy. If it needs a little more time, cook for 2-3 more minutes and check again.

Are panko crumbs different from regular breadcrumbs?

Yes. First, panko crumbs come from a crustless white bread, so all the crumbs are similar in color, size, and texture. Panko breadcrumbs are also larger than regular breadcrumbs, making food look and taste crispier.

More Scrumptious Seafood Recipes

Recipe
Crispy panko fried shrimp served with fries and cocktail sauce.
Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Panko Fried Shrimp

Author: Jaclyn
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 3 minutes
Total: 23 minutes
Shrimp are perfectly seasoned and coated in panko for an irresistible party appetizer or easy dinner. Serve with your favorite sauce — cocktail sauce, honey mustard, garlic aioli, or tartar sauce!

Ingredients
 

  • 2 pounds large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • peanut oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • splash of water
  • 3 cups plain panko breadcrumbs
  • fresh chopped parsley for garnish
  • lemon wedges to serve
  • cocktail sauce to serve

Instructions

  • Preheat 3 inches of peanut oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 350°F.
  • Prep the shrimp while the oil is heating. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels.
  • Add the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Toss to combine the ingredients.
  • Add the shrimp to the bag. Zip the top and shake the bag to coat the shrimp in the flour mixture. Set aside.
  • Whisk the eggs and water in a shallow bowl until combined.
  • Add the breadcrumbs to another shallow bowl.
  • Place shrimp a few at a time into the egg wash, moving them around so they are coated.
  • Let the excess egg wash drop off, and then place the shrimp in the panko, covering them with breadcrumbs. Gently press them in so they stick.
  • Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Place the breaded shrimp the tray.
  • When the oil is hot, add shrimp in small batches. Do not crowd the pan. Cook the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Place the shrimp onto a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Then, transfer the shrimp to a wire rack set on top of a sheet pan to catch any drips. This will keep the shrimp crispy.
  • Repeat steps 7 through 11 with the remaining shrimp. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, lemon wedges, and cocktail sauce.

Notes

  • Substitute your favorite seasoning blend for the ones in this recipe, if you prefer. Old Bay, lemon pepper, or Creole seasoning are all great choices. If using bottled seasoning mixes, skip the salt in this recipe.
  • Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the shrimp to cut through the fried flavor and brighten them up.
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Cocktail sauce is one of our favorites.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Enjoy them cold or reheat them in the fryer or oven.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 435kcal
Crispy panko fried shrimp served with fries and cocktail sauce.

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