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The best popcorn shrimp! These small shrimp are battered, seasoned with Old Bay, and deep-fried to golden perfection.
Pair with some cocktail sauce, and dive in!
If you are a fan of shrimp, you will love this restaurant-quality popcorn shrimp recipe.
Whip them as a tasty appetizer for a crowd or for a fun and easy dinner at home.
The small fried shrimp are super simple to make using a few basic ingredients.
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this homemade popcorn shrimp recipe.
- Shrimp – raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and with tales removed
- Flour – If you need a gluten free option swap the classic flour with a gluten free flour blend.
- Old Bay – I typically season seafood with Old Bay, but you can use a cajun or creole seasoning if you prefer.
- Salt & pepper
- Oil – Vegetable, canola, or even peanut oil are best when deep frying foods. They won’t smoke like an olive oil would.
How to make Popcorn Shrimp
Step 1: Start by adding your flour and spices into a shallow bowl. Make sure to mix it up until the flour mixture is evenly mixed up.
Step 2: Next, in another bowl work on your egg mixture. Mix the egg and milk together until all mixed up.
Step 3: Now you will dip shrimp in the wet egg wash, then dredge in the flour. Place all the breaded shrimp on a plate.
Step 4: Fry the shrimp, a few at a time, in your heated oil. You want to cook the shrimp till it is golden brown on both sides. This should take around 2-3 minutes.
Step 5: Once the shrimp is done, serve up with some cocktail sauce, fresh lemon wedges, or your favorite sauce. Then dive in and enjoy your delicious fried popcorn shrimp!
Recipe Tips & Variations
- Tail on Shrimp is an option if you want to hold on the tails to bite away from the shrimp. It is all about personal preference on how you like to eat your shrimp.
- Add more or less seasoning to control how mild or spicy you want your shrimp to be.
- You can make as much or as little of the shrimp as you would like. I did a pound of shrimp, but feel free to adjust the recipe to fit your needs.
This popcorn shrimp is best served fresh and hot from being fried. The batter on the outside will become softer in texture as it is stored in the fridge.
That said, you can store leftovers for 1-2 days in the fridge in an airtight container. To make them as crispy as possible, reheat the shrimp in the oven on a baking sheet topped with a metal rack. About 10-15 minutes at 350° F should do it.
Being that popcorn shrimp is made with very small shrimp people often eat a few at a time, as they would with a bag of popcorn.
Typically popcorn shrimp are made with very small shrimp. However, you are welcome to use any size of shrimp you would like. The biggest thing is to just adjust the cooking time to fit the size of shrimp you are using to ensure they are cooked through.
You should rinse shrimp in cold water in a strainer before prepping it. The reason being is sometimes you will find leftover debris on the shrimp. Running it under cold water right before cooking with it, helps to ensure your shrimp is clean.
Craving more seafood recipes?
Try these reader favorites:
- Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi
- Shrimp Scampi with Pasta (non-Instant Pot recipe)
- Sheet Pan Salmon
- 27 Seafood Recipes
- 1 pound small shrimp peeled, deveined, tail-off
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup milk
- canola or vegetable oil for frying
- In a shallow bowl, stir to combine flour, old bay, salt, and pepper.
- In a second bowl, whisk together the milk and egg.
- Heat at least 3-4" inches of oil over medium heat to 350° F in a dutch oven or deep, heavy bottom pan. Lay a few layers of paper towels on a plate and set aside.
- Dredge each piece of shrimp in the flour mixture, then dip in the egg mixture, then back in the flour mixture. Repeat with all shrimp.
- Fry the shrimp about 6 at a time, until golden and cooked through–about 2-3 minutes. Remove fried shrimp to the paper towel-lined plate to soak up the excess oil. Repeat until all shrimp are fried.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy.