Gulf Coast Fried Shrimp Recipe

A Southern staple, this crispy treat will make any day feel like "Fry"-day!

On Florida's Gulf Coast, where fresh shrimp are harvested, fried shrimp are a staple food. The touch of sugar and vanilla will sweeten the flavor of previously frozen shrimp.

Serves 2 to 4



Start with Roger's Jumbo White Shrimp - 1 pound shrimp, peeled (20-25 ct) 

¼ cup buttermilk or milk

½ teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten (optional)

Cornmeal or lightly seasoned cornmeal-based fish fry mix

Grapeseed or canola oil



You can leave the shrimp whole, but they fry more evenly if you butterfly them. Grasp each shrimp by the tail and cut almost through the body halfway up. Open the shrimp halves to resemble a butterfly. In a glass bowl, mix together the buttermilk, sugar, vanilla, and egg, if using. Add the shrimp, making sure that they are covered with the liquid. If not, add additional buttermilk. Let the shrimp marinate in the mixture for at least 1 hour.

Place the cornmeal on a plate, shake off any excess liquid from each shrimp, and dip in the cornmeal. Place them on a rack next to the stove.

Add the oil to a skillet to a depth of 1 inch. Heat the oil and fry the shrimp a few at a time, regulating the heat so that the shrimp do not burn. They will cook through in 30 to 45 seconds. Remove the shrimp and drain on paper bags. Serve immediately.

From the "Legal Sea Foods Cookbook" by Roger Berkowitz and Jane Doerfer, illustrated by Edward Koren.

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