Crispy Cajun Shrimp are crunchy, spicy, zesty, and packed with flavor. Simple seasoning including Cajun seasoning, a touch of lemon zest, and served with a Cajun dipping sauce. Perfect for an easy appetizer, or for a quick dinner!
Oh man. These are so good. I posted about these shrimp a few weeks ago on my Instagram stories, and I know that there have been eager bellies looking forward to this recipe. I promise you there will be no disappointment with these delicious shrimp. We don't make a lot of fried food in our house, and this was a special treat!
I love deep-fried shrimp. It is one of my favorite things to order, but it is also THE WORST when you get them, and you can tell that it was popped into the fryer from the freezer. Hand-breading, seasoned, super crispy, NOT over-cooked, and an excellent dipping sauce are all necessities when it come to fried shrimp. The crunch and that perfect texture of a shrimp cooked just right are absolutely cravable!
These aren't just plain fried shrimp. I love to add a little Cajun seasoning to my shrimp and a little lemon zest to keep the flavors bright. I serve my shrimp with a creamy Cajun mayo, and it is a match made in heaven.
What do you need to make Crispy Cajun Shrimp?
- Large raw shrimp (peeled, but tails on!)
- All-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- Unseasoned panko breadcrumbs
- Cajun Seasoning (Check out Kylee Cooks recipe for Homemade Cajun Seasoning!)
- Salt and Pepper (Unless your seasoning includes this)
- Fresh lemon zest + Lemon wedges!
- Vegetable oil
- Mayo (for the sauce!)
- Ketchup (for the sauce!)
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Tongs (for slipping)
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Frequently Asked Questions
I haven't deep-fried before- any tips?
Yes, don't flip too early. Cast iron is my favorite skillet to fry in, but if you slip too early the coasting will stick. Also, make sure your oil is ht enough or the shrimp will overcook and the coating will not get super crispy. AND get everything prepped before you fry or there are too many parts in motion and something will likely burn.
What is the process to get a nice even crispy coating on my shrimp?
Seasoned flour, eggs, breadcrumbs. It is like an assembly line. One hand needs to be the flour hand, and the other is for eggs and breadcrumbs. It helps your finger not get completely covered, and you can easily work with the shrimp.
I do not like spicy. What can I use in place for the seasoning?
I think a little salt and pepper is perfect for a classic fried shrimp. However, if you are looking for seasoning a little lemon pepper will be nice for more citrus, or a little paprika would be tasty.
What do I do if I overcook my shrimp?
Eat them overcooked I guess. Sorry, that one I can't bring back to life. Give that batch to your kids or significant, and make a new one for yourself- Haha.
Can I make the shrimp in advance?
That is a hard one because technically you can, but they really are best fresh out of the skillet.
Can I use larger or smaller shrimp?
Absolutely, but the size will impact cooking time. You will want to cook less with a medium shrimp, and slightly more with jumbo or extra large.
Looking for more Cajun flavors and delicious shrimp?!
Cajun Chicken & Quinoa Skillet (from Jaida at Sweet Beginnings)
Cajun Fish Tacos (from Jaida at Sweet Beginnings)
Crispy Cajun Shrimp
For Crispy Shrimp
- 12 large raw shrimp, peeled, but tails left on
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp fresh lemon zest
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp Cajun seasoning
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
For Cajun Dipping Sauce
- ¼ cup mayo
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
Cajun Dipping Sauce
- Place mayo, sour cream, ketchup, and Cajun seasoning in a bowl. Whisk together and set aside while you prepare the shrimp.
Crispy Cajun Shrimp
- Place flour, salt, lemon zest, and Cajun seasoning in a bowl. Stir with a fork to evenly mix. Next, crack an egg in a bowl, add milk, and beat with a fork. Next, place panko on a plate. Set up the stations in a line starting with flour, then egg, and then panko. Place a clean plate at the end of the assembly line for the shrimp as they are done.
- With your left hand dredge shrimp in the flour. Transfer to your right hand and dip it in the egg and then the panko. Press the panko into the shrimp so it is evenly coated. Place shrimp on the clean plate. Repeat with remaining shrimp. Keeping one hand dry will be helpful to reduce sticking, and make the breading process more efficient.
- Add oil to the cast iron skillet. You want there to be about an inch of oil in the bottom. If you are using a smaller or larger skillet adjust amount accordingly. Heat oil oven medium high heat. The oil will sizzle if you sprinkle a few breadcrumbs in it when it is ready. Do not add the shrimp too soon.
- Place shrimp in the pan using tongs. Try to keep them from touching so the pan is not too crowded and shrimp can cook evenly.
- Cook shrimp 90 seconds per side. Gently flip the shrimp, but if the breading begins to stick allow them a little more time. The shrimp will not stick one the breading is cooked.
- Remove shrimp from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate. Serve immediately with the Cajun Dipping Sauce.