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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.
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.
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!
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.
- 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:
- Deep fryer or Dutch oven
- Meat thermometer
- Mixing bowls
- Sheet pan
- Gallon zip-top bags
- Parchment paper
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.
Step 3: Grab a gallon sized bag, and add the flour and seasonings. Shake to combine.
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.
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.
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.
Step 9: Place the breaded shrimp on the prepared sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
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.
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.
Step 12: Repeat steps 10 and 11 with the remaining shrimp. Serve the breaded shrimp with chopped parsley, lemon wedges, and cocktail sauce.
What to Serve With Panko Shrimp
Looking for a delicious side dish to serve with your fried shrimp? Here are some tasty options!
- Creamy Coleslaw
- Pan Seared Asparagus
- Creamed Spinach
- Creamed Corn
- Stovetop Mac and Cheese
- Roasted Potatoes (made in the air fryer)
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.
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 Shrimp Recipe FAQ
Start with a variety of sauces to try. You can also add sides like rice, potatoes, a salad, or your favorite roasted veggies.
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.
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.
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
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas – Sure to become your favorite shrimp recipe if you love Mexican food and seafood!
- Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi – A great excuse to pull out your Instant Pot and enjoy some comforting pasta, too.
- Instant Pot Tuna Casserole – Another IP recipe that the whole family will love. Perfect for meat-free Mondays or Fridays during Lent.
- Sheet Pan Salmon – So flavorful and scrumptious when cooked with the red onions and bell peppers. *Chef’s kiss*
- Tuna Noodle Casserole – A classic and budget-friendly meal made with canned tuna.
Panko Fried Shrimp
- 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
- 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.
- 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.