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Really Crispy Fried Shrimp

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Preview: Really Crispy Fried Shrimp is a simple fried shrimp recipe that yields quite a crunchy experience. Saltine crackers are the secret ingredient.

Fried food is an endangered species in my kitchen. Despite the ban on grease, these shrimp, specifically, are on the protected list. After all, we are completely heartless.

Keep reading to find out the secret for making these shrimp so crispy and crunchy.

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

Because it’s pretty basic, I never thought about posting the recipe until my daughter-in-law requested it. As a result, this one’s for you, Susie.

REALLY CRUNCHY FRIED SHRIMP-in a bowl with remoulade sauce

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.

When reading through her book Helen Corbitt’s Cookbook, I found the recipe simply entitled “Fried Shrimp.” This recipe is barely adapted from her recipe. It’s simple and perfect as is.

Here 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 always use freshly ground pepper but pre-ground pepper is OK.
  • EGGS: Use large eggs or 3 medium eggs.
  • MILK: Any milk is fine. The fat content won’t matter much.
  • SALTINES: This recipe was formulated with regular saltines. If you want to use low or no-salt crackers, you might want to add some salt to the flour for flavor.
  • SHRIMP: The larger your shrimp, the easier this recipe (and more expensive, too). If you buy them with the shell on, then you’ll need to remove them. Removing the tails is optional.
  • VEGETABLE OIL OR SHORTENING: Use oil with a high smoke point like peanut oil, vegetable oil, or avocado oil.

How to hand-bread Crunchy Fried Shrimp:

how to hand-bread shrimp using crushed saltines
You’re only four steps away from delightfully crunchy shrimp. Make that five. You definitely need to fry it.

Serve with cocktail sauce or remoulade sauce. (See notes below for my no-recipe version of remoulade sauce).


Did you enjoy this recipe? If so, you can help others and me by leaving a 5-star 🤩 rating inside the recipe below. No comments required.

Hope to see you again soon!

p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: paula at

Yield: 6 servings

Really Crunchy Fried Shrimp Recipe

Really Crunchy Fried Shrimp Recipe

Simple fried shrimp with a crunchy coating. 

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 36 saltines
  • 1 pound shrimp, medium or large
  • Vegetable oil or shortening


  1. Combine first three ingredients and pour onto flat plate.
  2. Whisk eggs and milk together in a small bowl.
  3. Crush saltines and place onto another flat plate or shallow bowl.
  4. Remove shells and devein shrimp. You may leave the tails on...or not. Your choice. Butterfly each shrimp with a small sharp knife.
  5. Roll each shrimp in seasoned flour, then dip in egg mixture, and finally, press shrimp into crumbs until covered. Be sure shrimp is butterflied (spread open) for maximum crumb retention which equals more crunchiness. Allow to sit on wax-paper covered cookie sheet for about 30 minutes.
  6. Fry in 3-4 inches of oil 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.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 329Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 226mgSodium: 931mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 25g

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