Southern Fried Shrimp

If you love shrimp, then you’re going to flip over these Southern Fried Shrimp! They couldn’t be easier or tastier, and watch how fast they disappear when you put a plate of these on the table!

Southern fried shrimp on a blue floral plate

There’s nothing tastier than battered and fried shrimp. And when you add buttermilk and seasoning, they’re even better! I love fried shrimp, and so does my whole family! These shrimp are plump and tender, and the batter is crispy and loaded with flavor. 

They’re also so simple to make. Just grab your favorite shrimp and a handful of ingredients, and before long, you’ll be devouring these super delicious Southern Fried Shrimp!

What Are The Best Shrimp For Southern Fried Shrimp?

Any grocery store has a dazzling selection of shrimp. Fresh shrimp, frozen shrimp, pink shrimp, brown shrimp, and white shrimp, and they’re in a variety of sizes. How do you know what the best shrimp is for this Southern Fried Shrimp recipe?

Surprisingly, there are no regulations on the labeling of shrimp. You’ll see them called all sorts of things, like jumbo, extra large, colossal, salad shrimp, and more. But there is an easy way to identify the size of the shrimp – look for the numbers on the bag. 31-40 ct, 21-30 ct, and so on. This identifies the approximate number of shrimp per pound. So the smaller the number, the bigger the shrimp.

For this Southern Fried Shrimp recipe, I like big, plump shrimp. Look in the 21-30 ct range. Those will be big enough to get a good bite of shrimp but not so jumbo that they take forever to cook.

Wild-caught shrimp are my preference, but any shrimp will do. Make it easy on yourself and look for peeled and deveined shrimp. If the tails are on, you can just snip those off.

Southern fried shrimp being held in a hand over a stove


You don’t need any fancy ingredients to make these easy fried shrimp!

  • Extra large shrimp – Look for shrimp in the 21-30 count range. 
  • Buttermilk
  • All-purpose flour
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • Oil for frying – I like vegetable or peanut oil for frying.

How To Make The Best Southern Fried Shrimp

  1. Peel and devein your shrimp, and snip the tails off (if they aren’t already done). 
  2. Pour the buttermilk into a bowl.
  3. Mix the flour and Old Bay seasoning together in a shallow dish.
  4. Dip the shrimp into buttermilk and then dredge them in the flour mixture. Shake off the excess flour and set them in a single layer on a plate.
  5. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or heavy pan to about 350-F.
  6. Fry the shrimp a few at a time for 2-4 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Flip them over halfway through.
  7. Transfer the fried shrimp to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Season with salt and serve!

How To Avoid Flour Mittens When Frying Shrimp

Flour and liquid make a paste that can coat your fingers and hands when preparing anything battered for frying. But there’s a simple way to avoid flour mittens! It’s simple; keep one hand for the wet ingredients and one hand for the shrimp. It works like this:

  1. With one hand, drop the shrimp into the buttermilk and remove it with the same hand. Then, drop the buttermilk-coated shrimp into the flour mixture without touching the flour.
  2. Your other hand is the dry hand. Use it to coat the shrimp in flour and to move the floured shrimp to the plate.

This way, you keep your hands cleanish! One hand for the wet ingredients, and one for the dry ingredients!

Shrimp frying in hot oil in a skillet

How To Serve

These easy fried shrimp are perfect as a snack, but I also love them as a part of a heartier meal. They cook so quickly, so they’re easy to pair with tasty Southern classics like Fried Green Tomatoes, grits, and glazed carrots.

What Are The Best Sauces For Dipping Fried Shrimp?

There are so many dips that pair perfectly with these fried shrimp. I love to eat them without dip most the time but here are some of my favorites:


Once fried, these shrimp won’t keep well. If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can reheat them in the air fryer or a low oven, but watch you don’t overcook them. Overcooked shrimp are chewy and dry. These buttermilk fried shrimp are best eaten fresh.

Southern Fried Shrimp

These Southern Fried Shrimp couldn’t be easier or tastier. Watch how fast they disappear when you put a plate of these on the table!


  • 1 Pound Extra large shrimp
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 2 Cups All purpose flour
  • 1/4 Cup Old Bay Seasoning
  • Oil for frying I use vegetable, canola, or peanut oil


  • Pour the buttermilk into a bowl. Mix together the flour and Old Bay Seasoning together in a shallow dish. 
  • Dip the shrimp in buttermilk and then dredge in the flour mixture. Shake off excess flour and place on a  plate. 
  • Place oil in a Dutch oven or heavy pan and heat to 350°. Fry shrimp a few at a time, 2-4 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Season with salt to taste.