Easy Cracker-Crusted Crispy Fried Shrimp–A Nostalgic Favorite

Pinterest Hidden Image

Sneak Peek: This Easy Cracker-Crusted Crispy Fried Shrimp is a simple recipe that results in an exquisitely crunchy and tasty experience. Ingredients include raw shrimp, flour, eggs, milk, and saltine crackers (the secret ingredient).

REALLY CRUNCHY FRIED SHRIMP-in a bowl with remoulade saucePin

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Fried food is an “endangered species” in my kitchen. Despite the ban on grease, these shrimp are on the protected list. 😉

We’ve followed a tradition of serving fried shrimp on New Year’s Day for several years. Although I’m a person who loves change and variety, traditions make menu planning a little easier. Wouldn’t you agree?

Keep reading to discover the secret to making these shrimp crispy and crunchy.

Happy Cooks Speak Up

“I have lots of leftover ham with the holidays in the rearview mirror. I plan to make sliders using my recipe for Cheesy-Crusted Yeast Rolls.

The larger slices of ham will make a great filling. I put the ham bone in the freezer and save it for a pot of beans. That leaves the little bits and pieces of veggies for this fried rice.”–KATHY

Recipe Inspiration

One of my cooking heroes is Helen Corbitt of Neiman Marcus fame. I have several of her recipes on this website, like this Monkey Bread and Espresso Angel Food Cake.

While reading through Helen Corbitt’s Cookbook, I found the recipe entitled “Fried Shrimp.” I barely adapted her recipe because it’s simple and perfect as is.

The secret, according to Ms. Corbitt:

“The smashed saltines give them (fried shrimp) a rough pretty appearance, and somehow they “eat” better.”
–Helen Corbitt

Ingredients and substitutions

  • FLOUR: Use all-purpose flour, bleached or unbleached.
  • GARLIC POWDER: If you use unsalted crackers, you could get away with garlic salt here. Fresh garlic is unsuitable since you’re going for the crunch.
  • PEPPER: I use freshly ground black pepper, but pre-ground pepper is OK, too. A pinch of cayenne pepper will add a little kick if desired.
  • EGGS: Use large eggs or three medium eggs.
  • MILK: Any milk is fine. The fat content won’t matter much.
  • SALTINES: I tested this recipe with regular saltines. If you want to use low or no-salt crackers, add some salt to the flour for flavor. One of my readers suggested Ritz crackers as a substitute. Good idea.
  • SHRIMP: Jumbo shrimp require less work, but they are more expensive. Extra large and large shrimp are also acceptable. If you buy them with the shells on them, you’ll need to remove them. Removing the tails is optional.
  • VEGETABLE OIL OR SHORTENING: Use oil with a high smoke point like peanut, canola, or avocado.

How To Hand-Bread Shrimp

Rinse, peel, and devein the shrimp if the store did not do it before you purchased it.

how to hand-bread shrimp using crushed saltinesPin
You’re only four steps away from delightfully crunchy shrimp. Make that five. It would be best if you fried it.
  1. Place the flour mixture in a shallow dish or on a plate. Dredge the shrimp in the flour and gently shake to remove any excess flour.
  2. Dip the floured shrimp into the egg wash.
  3. Roll the shrimp in crushed saltine cracker crumbs.
  4. Allow the shrimp to sit for about 30 minutes on a baking pan. Then, if you have room, set them in the refrigerator.
  5. Heat oil to 375˚F in a large pot like a Dutch oven or use an electric fryer.
  6. Deep-fry the shrimp in batches to avoid overcrowding your pot of oil. Fry shrimp until they are golden brown on all sides.

Parting Thoughts: We are “the condiment family” (according to my daughter-in-law) who can eat hardly anything without a condiment. I serve these crispy shrimp with cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, or remoulade sauce. (See the recipe notes for my no-recipe version of remoulade sauce).

One more thing: Since you already have hot oil, try these jalapeno hushpuppies on the side. Mix them up while the shrimp chills in the fridge. Fry them after you finish the shrimp. They don’t take long at all.

More Seafood Recipes

Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at saladinajar.com. If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

crunchy fried shrimp with remoulade sauce on the side.Pin
Yield: 6 servings

Easy Cracker-Crusted Crispy Fried Shrimp Recipe

These simple fried shrimp with a crispy coating will blow you away. The secret is in the saltine crackers.

Rate this recipe

(5 stars if you loved it)

5 from 7 votes
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes


  • 1 cup (120 g) flour, all-purpose
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 (100 g) eggs
  • 1 cup (227 g) milk
  • 36 saltines
  • 1 pound (453 g) shrimp medium or large
  • vegetable oil or shortening


  • Combine 1 cup (120 g) flour, all-purpose, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, and freshly ground pepper and pour onto a flat plate.
  • Whisk 2 (100 g) eggs and 1 cup (227 g) milk together in a small bowl.
  • Crush 36 saltines and place onto another flat plate or shallow bowl.
  • Remove shells and devein 1 pound (453 g) shrimp. You may leave the tails on…or not. Your choice. Butterfly each shrimp with a small sharp knife.
  • Roll each shrimp in seasoned flour, dip in egg mixture, and finally, press shrimp into crumbs until covered. Be sure to butterfly the shrimp (spread open) for maximum crumb coverage, which results in more crunchiness. Allow the shrimp to sit on a wax-paper-covered cookie sheet for about 30 minutes.
  • Fry in 3-4 inches of vegetable oil or shortening heated to 375 degrees until golden. It doesn’t take long so stay close. Remove from grease and allow to drain onto paper towels.


My no-recipe remoulade sauce
To approximately 1/2 cup mayonnaise, add enough catsup until it’s nice and pink. Stir in a generous spoonful of pickle relish and one hardboiled egg, chopped finely.
*Please note that the calorie count does not include the oil the shrimp is fried in, as that is impossible for me to measure accurately in my home kitchen.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 179mg | Sodium: 314mg | Potassium: 338mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 3mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a Jar.com

5-Star Ratings Are My Favorite!Help others find this recipe in search results on the web.

My Amazon Store

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Mary Villareal says:

    5 stars
    So simple and so delicious! I only had Ritz crackers so I used those instead. I don’t fry seafood often and we all thought this was better than our favorite local seafood places. Thank you!!

    1. Hi Mary,
      I agree. So simple. Ritz crackers sound like the perfect substitute. Thanks for writing–this is a helpful tip.

  2. I tried this recipe and I used the “egg dip + a bit of yellow mustard in it instead of milk” and crushed Stacy’s pitta chips cuz no Saltine. The shrimp came out delicious, crunchy and well received by the family! Thanks, Paula 🙂

    1. Hi Sarah,

      I love pita chips. I can just imagine how wonderful your shrimp was. Thanks for sharing.

  3. When I am coating anything with an egg dip I put a bit of yellow mustard in it instead of milk. It somehow makes the egg stick better to what you are dipping and the coating sticks much better as well. It doesn’t change the taste.

    1. This is a great tip. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for taking the time to share, Debbi.

  4. How. Many Carbohydrates are there in each, do you know?

  5. I just made this recipe with fresh off the boat Jumbo Gulf Shrimp. I didn’t fry enough! They were so good I wanted more than the 5 I fried for my lunch but I am quite full. They are so delicious and so crunchy. Can’t wait to cook them again this evening for hubby! I have searched a long time and tried so many fried shrimp recipes. No more searching, this is it!! Thanks so much!

    1. I forgot to ask. Have you tried this recipe with fish?

  6. Made this recipe tonight and it was the best shrimp we ever had! Thank you so much..this will definitely be a big favorite.

  7. Ruth Kukaska says:

    Oh my god, this is the best recipe every, thank you for sharing with us.

  8. priscilla says:

    This recipe is awesome!!!! Absolutely restaurant quality recipe. …I will be making these at every event I host! !!!

  9. This is so smart! I’ve read about crusting sweet potato fries in crushed cornflakes, but that would definitely be a weird flavor on shrimp. Pinning to try!

  10. Ms. Glaze says:

    What’s not to love about succulent sweet shrimp deep fried with a crunchy salty cracker batter? I am going to use this for the Super Bowl. In fact I have this cute little deep fryer that will do the trick (cuisinart – not too expensive either) since I’ve been banned from deep frying on the stovetop by my husband because he claimes the grease goes everywhere. It doesn’t. But whatever. I don’t think he’ll complain much after this recipe, that’s for sure!

  11. These look wonderful, I need to try this recipe I know it’s great if it comes from you Paula. Happy Monday 🙂

    1. Thanks Suzanne. You are so kind. Hope all is well with you.

  12. Might I suggest trying Rice flour instead of All Purpose. Gives a really good crunch on it’s own. I know I will be trying this recipe with Rice flour.

    1. I think I have some rice flour so I will try it. Making these for a Superbowl party so your suggestion came just in time.

  13. The Café Sucré Farine says:

    You certainly have a way of making my mouth water Paula! Reminds me of the shrimp I loved so much growing up but with 6 kids there was never quite enough to satisfy me!

    1. Chris,
      Six kids?? Are you, by any chance, an overachiever? 🙂 Even though I only had 2 boys they can never seem to get quite enough of these either on the rare occasion that I make them.

  14. Schweet Life says:

    This looks really good! I love fried shrimp but tend to hate that lackluster flour batter a lot of places use. I’ve seen a few recipes for crab cakes that use saltines to create a crust but I never thought of using them for fried shrimp. Definitely on my list of things to make.

  15. yum yum! Thanks for adding to the blog index…love this family favorite!

  16. Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie) says:

    These look great!

  17. Thanks so much for sharing! this recipe looks awesome!

  18. Cyn in S Calif says:

    Oh these sound so yummy! Can’t wait to try them. I don’t have fried food very often either, but these look very tempting! Thanks for the recipe.

  19. Just a great photo of one of my all time favorite foods! Wish the plate was before me for real 🙂

  20. *Just Fran* says:

    Club crackers are the buttery secret to my perfectly crunchy Chicken Fried Chicken. I am sure that saltines are amazing on these shrimp. I can’t wait to try them.