How to Fry Shrimp

How to Fry Shrimp Perfectly Each and Every Time

How many times have you overcooked or undercooked a shrimp? Shrimps may look very easy to cook but it actually takes some cooking skills to perfect it. 

And perfectly fried shrimp is juicy and tender and just ready for your dipping sauce!

How to Make Fried Shrimp?

This article will give you techniques on how to fry shrimp perfectly every time you cook. These are easy-to-follow suggestions so that you will not end up having rubber-like seafood on the table. 

How to Pan Fry Shrimps Perfectly – Fried Shrimp Recipe.

Make sure to follow the simple frying shrimp steps and ingredients we have listed down below. 


1 lb. Fresh or frozen shrimp

1 tablespoon Lemon juice

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (or 2 tablespoons olive oil)

1/2 teaspoon salt or Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper


1. If you have frozen shrimp, thaw them for at least 1.5 hours before cooking. I would also pat them dry with a paper towel before putting them in the pan, or deep fryer.

2. Run the shrimp under cold water at room temperature when you are about to cook. Put them in a mixing bowl and pour in the seasoning mixture.

3. Get a medium-sized frying pan. Put on medium-high heat. Make sure you have stainless steel, cast-iron, or carbon steel pan. Avoid using nonstick cookware. 

4. Pour olive oil ( vegetable oil or canola oil ) until it forms a thin layer on the frying pan. To ensure it is hot enough for frying, there should be a little smoking coming from the oil.

5. Cook shrimp with no covering. Stir for one to two minutes. If you are cooking for a crowd, make sure not to overfill the pan. 

6. You can add the unsalted butter right before flipping the shrimps. 

7. Flip them and cook until the shrimps will turn into light pink or orange. Reduce the heat to medium-low heat. 

8. Remove shrimp from the frying pan. Turn off the heat once they turn into orange to prevent having an overcooked shrimp.

9. Squeeze in lemon juice and sprinkle some ground pepper. 

10. Serve and enjoy

This is a simple shrimp recipe that will give you crispy fried shrimp every time.

Top Tip – I use a slotted spoon to turn the shrimp. It works well with jumbo shrimp or if you are doing southern fried shrimp.

Some folks will also lightly flour before cooking. If you do, I suggest using seasoned flour.

How To Pan Fry Shrimps Perfectly
How To Pan Fry Shrimps Perfectly

How to Not Overcook or Undercook the Shrimps

Cooked Shrimp: Shrimps cook very quickly, which is the primary reason why they are overcooked or undercooked in most cases.

Consistency and proper searing are the keys to cooking the shrimp perfectly. When shrimps are only in the frying pan for at least five minutes, there’s less likely to have an error in cooking.

Shrimp can be cooked on low to high heat for a period of time; professionals usually have their cooked shrimp over high heat. In that way, it gives shrimp the best texture, tenderness, and flavor without any rubber-like chewiness.

To start cooking shrimp, you can remove the black vein first. Have it removed yourself or at the seafood counter if you feel like it’s gross.

This is a recommendable process since the doneness of the shrimp is easier to check with it since it exposes the surface area of the shrimp. 

Can you remove or eat the shrimp shells?

Consistency should be followed thoroughly in the entire cooking process. To get the best flavor and texture that you want, you should cook them at the same time, in the same sizes. There should not be any piece of shrimp found lying on top of another. Spread them out evenly one layer in a skillet or pan. Maintain a heat of at least 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Next is searing the shrimps with some butter or olive oil for a few minutes. Do this hard and fast, making sure that they are stirred well and flipped all over the opposite side. These two ingredients will help in getting the best flavor without you exerting more effort in cooking. The most important sign that you should take note of before flipping is the shrimp’s color. It should be white and orange. 

Also, a good tip is that you are not having an undercooked shrimp or overcooked shrimp if it already has a narrow opening in the back where the vein is removed. Watch that narrow open just open a tiny amount and it will be a sign that the pan fried shrimp is at the right stage take out. The opposite end of the tail will also turn into an opaque from a translucent color when it is perfectly cooked. When you see all of these signs, immediately remove the shrimps from the heat and transfer them to your serving plate. 

How to Properly Season Shrimps

One of the most common seasonings used in raw shrimp is fresh lemon wedges or lemon juice, kosher salt, pepper or red pepper flakes, paprika, and garlic (garlic powder).

Do not forget to taste as you season so you get just the right amount and who does not like tasting a pan fried shrimp.

Seasoning is needed since shrimps only produce a very mild flavor.

To deep fry, or do air fryer shrimp you still need to season your fresh shrimp before starting to cook them. Some chefs love to use peanut oil and it gives a unique taste to the pan fried shrimp.

What are the best seasonings for fried shrimp

  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • smoked paprika
  • spicy red pepper flakes
  • cajun seasoning

I also love sprinkling herbs like chopped parsley, cilantro with a dash of cayenne pepper and squeezing more lemon wedges on top. Adding the seasonings at the last minute will contribute to the freshness and bold flavors. 

Also, salting a bowl of shrimp for at least fifteen minutes will help to retain the moisture. Even if it will be seared, it will still retain the moisture hence it will be cooked in a perfect way with more flavor on it.

Do not forget a little or your favorite sauce to dip in your shrimp fry up. These go well with crawfish and can be added with salmon to pasta salad.

If you are planning the catering for a Superbowl party see our resource page for ides, tips and how many you need to but.

Do Not Over Cook Shrimp
Do Not Over Cook Shrimp

How to Shop for Shrimp In the Supermarket

To get the best raw shrimp for dinner, get the one in the freezer aisle rather than the one thawed at the supermarket’s fish counter. Unless you know the shrimp is really a fresh shrimp. This is because freshly caught shrimps are immediately frozen after being caught. Remember that shrimps are highly perishable.

Also, avoid getting seafood that smells like ammonia. Again, if you are not sure about the quality, head to the frozen section and get a frozen shrimp for a better dish for your meal.

How To Quickly Cook Shrimp on the Stovetop

One of the simplest and most delicious ways to cook shrimp is to sear them in a pan. You can use only oil, salt, and pepper if you’re short on time and ingredients. (you can also use a braiser or dutch oven and All Clad make some great pans that are good for frying shrimp)

Tip: It is best to add the shrimp if the oil is already hot enough. Add the shrimp immediately and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Stir more often until the shrimp will turn into a light orange. (Read above on the tips about how not to overcook or undercook shrimps.) Remember that smaller shrimps cook faster than large ones, so take a closer look at the color and texture of the shrimps even before you think they are cooked. 

Are Undercooked Shrimp Bad For You

Food professionals never recommend eating anything raw since it has a high risk of food poisoning. Shrimps, when raw, carry bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Usually, cooking shrimp in at least 350 degrees Fahrenheit will be enough to kill contaminants, making them safe to eat. So, in other words, undercooked shrimps are bad for everyone. 

You would know that if you have symptoms of food poisoning such as fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. In fact, most cases of food poisoning are found in undercooked or raw dishes that carry Salmonella, E. coli, Vibrio, or Bacillus.

Fresh vs. Frozen Shrimp: Which is Better

If you are torn between buying fresh or frozen shrimp, the latter is the best option that we can suggest. Some would say that fresh seafood is better but it, in all honesty, it can carry harmful contaminants. As soon as an animal dies, it will begin to decompose. Hence, it is the perfect place for bacteria and viruses to stay. But freezing them will suspend the decomposing process.

If you plan to buy one, get the frozen shrimps that are mostly sold in five-pound blocks. They are as fresh as it was still caught and has better flavor than thawed ones. Know that the shelf life of thawed or “fresh” shrimps only lasts a couple of days. While frozen ones retain the freshness for several weeks.

How long do you fry shrimp for?

You fry shrimp for no more than 3 to 5 minutes – depending on the size.

Jumbo shrimp will take 1-2 minutes longer to fry.

How does shrimp sizing work? – see our handy table

Can you fry already cooked shrimp?

Yes, you can – add a little of your favorite seasoning, seasoned flour, and have a hot pan and just give them a very short flash in the pan to get them hot.

What type of shrimp is best for pan frying?

Pink shrimp are known as the tastiest shrimp and are the best for pan frying.

They are quite mild and sweet and will take on the taste of your seasoning. They do not have the distinctive ammonia taste of the brown and white shrimp.

How do I make a shrimp dish presentable – use the shrimp tails