There truly is nothing better than a crispy, crunchy batch of fried shrimp. This easy, no-fuss recipe is perfect when that salty craving hits. If you like, you can easily dress up the flavors by adding your favorite spices, such as paprika, cumin, or more cayenne. Depending on the size of your shrimp, you may have to adjust your cooking time. Serve these Lil’ poppers in a PO’ boy, taco, or just enjoy them straight up.
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons chile hot sauce (such as Cholula)
2 pounds large peeled, deveined raw shrimp
3/4 cup (about 3 1/4 oz.) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (about 2 7/8 oz.) cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For serving: lemon wedges, cocktail sauce, rémoulade (optional)
Step 1 Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches in a large deep skillet; heat over medium-high to 370°F. While oil heats, whisk together eggs, milk, and hot sauce in a shallow dish; add shrimp to the mixture, and toss to coat. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a separate shallow dish.
Step 2 Remove 6 to 8 shrimp from egg mixture, shaking excess off; dredge in flour mixture. Place dredged shrimp in hot oil; fry until coating is golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Repeat with remaining shrimp, bringing oil back to 370°F over medium-high heat before adding each batch of shrimp.
Step 3 Serve fried shrimp with lemon wedges, cocktail sauce, and rémoulade if desired.