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Buttermilk Fried Shrimp Recipe - Yummy!

Fried Shrimp

Looking for a great buttermilk fried shrimp recipe? Hmmm...southern food, like fried chicken, BBQ, biscuits, mustard greens, and fried shrimp. I was thinking this morning...what do I know a lot about? What kind of hubs can I produce from my life experiences - ones I can write without doing any research, and ones that I think people will enjoy? Well, I know a little about a myriad of topics, but one thing I know LOTS about is being Southern and about southern cooking. Not to brag, but I’m a very good cook, and seafood is sort of my specialty. I have a lot of experience with cooking finned fishes, crab, oysters, and shrimp, and I do it quite often. All these foods are great baked, broiled, and grilled, but for real southern flavor, they’re better battered and fried. And in my humble opinion, buttermilk fried shrimp are the best fried shrimp on the planet. In just a minute, I’ll share my buttermilk fried shrimp recipe with you.

We love fried shrimp!

We love fried shrimp!

Culinary Arts

I’m not sure I really fit into the culinary arts category. Mine creations are more like the southern version. I don’t cook fancy. I come from a long line of "Old South" families. They hailed from Charleston, Savannah, and other parts of the Low Country. My maternal grandmother was the quintessential Southern lady, and my great-great grandfather fought in the Civil War. One of the family's slaves was loaned to help build Fort Sumter - but that's a story for another time. This hub is the first of my "Southern Culinary Arts" series. I've decided to have my own online cooking classes and my own online cooking school!

For those of my readers who are interested in southern food but aren’t skilled in cooking it, I hope my online cooking classes will help them improve in the kitchen. For those who already know how to cook, it never hurts to get ideas from other cooks. I do it all the time!

This Buttermilk Fried Shrimp recipe gets much of its flavor from buttermilk.

This Buttermilk Fried Shrimp recipe gets much of its flavor from buttermilk.

Buttermilk Fried Shrimp

If you’ve never enjoyed buttermilk fried shrimp cooked in someone’s kitchen or back yard, you don’t know what you’re missing. I’m serious. I don’t like to drink buttermilk, but it gives an awesome flavor to other foods. This is a great recipe for fried shrimp. It's my original recipe, perfected through trial and error. These are the best fried shrimp I've ever eaten - anywhere. I hope you enjoy them, too!

Start with raw shrimp in the shell. White shrimp are best. Don't use tiger shrimp for frying. I've found that the medium shrimp are the best to fry. The jumbo shrimp just don't have as much flavor, and the small ones are just too much work to peel and devein. Also, the small ones are easy to overcook when frying.

Some people prefer cracker meal or cornmeal for coating, but I find that the flour adheres better to the shrimp, and they turn out less greasy will flour. If you like, you can use half flour and half corn meal. I also like to add a little red pepper to the mix. Sometimes I add Cajun or Creole seasoning, depending on who will be eating the shrimp.

You’ll need to use the right oil for frying, too, and the oil needs to be at the right temperature. If you’re not used to cooking fried shrimp, use a thermometer to make sure your oil isn’t too hot or not hot enough. Use peanut oil at 370 degrees.

Peel and devein shrimp. Rinse under cool water.

Peel and devein shrimp. Rinse under cool water.

Dry on paper towels.

Dry on paper towels.

Dip shrimp in buttermilk and egg. Shake in flour mixture.

Dip shrimp in buttermilk and egg. Shake in flour mixture.

Fry shrimp a few at a time.

Fry shrimp a few at a time.

Buttermilk Fried Shrimp and hushpuppies

Buttermilk Fried Shrimp and hushpuppies

Rate my fried shrimp recipe. Thanks!

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

10 min

25 min

Makes about four servings of fried shrimp.


  • 1 pound medium shrimp
  • 1 cup whole or low fat buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk cornmeal (or regular cornmeal)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • peanut oil


  1. Peel and devein the shrimp and rinse in cold running water. Remove tails or leave them on – that’s up to you. Dry on paper towels.
  2. Peel and devein the shrimp and rinse in cold running water. Remove tails or leave them on – that’s up to you. Dry on paper towels.
  3. Pour a cup of whole buttermilk into a large bowl, and add one beaten egg. Whisk to combine. Place the shrimp in the milk bath.
  4. Into a gallon ziploc bag, mix together self-rising flour, cornmeal, salt, cayenne, lemon pepper, sugar, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  5. Into a heavy Dutch oven, pour your cooking oil – about 2 inches. I like to use peanut oil. Heat it on medium to medium-high heat, depending on your stove. To test when the oil is ready, use a thermometer. Otherwise, sprinkle a drop of water into the oil. If it sizzles immediately, the oil is hot enough for frying.
  6. Drop a few shrimp at the time into the bag and shake until the shrimp are well coated. Shake the extra flour off each shrimp as you remove them from the bag. Place them in the oil without over-crowding. Brown both sides of the shrimp, cooking for about three minutes per batch. Remove onto a platter with several layers of absorbent paper towels, or drain on wire racks. Serve your buttermilk shrimp with cocktail sauce or tartar sauce.

More online cooking classes in my online cooking school:

  • Southern Cuisine: Holle's Country Fried Deer Steaks
    In another life (or so it seems), I married into a family of cattle farmers. They had a huge farm, with lots of wildlife, including white-tailed deer. My ex and I were both hunters, and we ate venison often....
  • Southern Cuisine: The Black Iron Skillet
    If you've been following my Southern Cuisine series, you surely noticed my repeated mention of using a black iron skillet. Is this just so I might sell the item occasionally via one of my articles? Nope! I...
  • Southern Cuisine: Cracker Salad
    My grandmother and great-grandmother were from Charleston and Savannah, and both were wonderful cooks. They specialized in Low Country dishes, even though they didn't call them that at the time. Most were...
  • Southern Cuisine: Fried Okra
    Okra holds a special place in the hearts of most Southerners. I always grew a long row of it my garden for use in gumbos and winter soups, but the best way to eat it is fresh, right from the stalk - battered...
  • Southern Cuisine: Oyster Dressing Casserole
    This is a great recipe for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any time you want to enjoy the unique flavor of oysters. This casserole is simple to make, and because it uses only a few ingredients, the natural...
  • How to Make Real Old-Fashioned Southern Cornbread Dressing: Step by Step
    This is an old recipe for real Southern cornbread dressing the kind my mother and grandmother always made at Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you're searching for a low-calorie or low-fat recipe, THIS...
  • Southern Cuisine: Crab Stew
    There are few dishes more satisfying on a cold winter night than a big bowl of crab stew. Its creamy goodness is more than just your average soup - it's hearty enough for a stand-on-its own meal. Serve with...


Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on August 24, 2010:

Paula, your book is awesome! I'm honored that you visited my article! I'm a Southern cook, also.

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paula oandasan on August 23, 2010:

hi..thanks for listing my cookbook "there's not a healthy recipe in this whole damn book, a guide to southern comfor food". hope if you read it, you enjoyed it. thanks again

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on June 19, 2010:

Steph, you'd make a good southerner!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on June 19, 2010:

We went to Red Lobster yesterday, and I ordered the buttermilk shrimp. When the waiter brought out regular shrimp, I told him that's not what I had ordered, and to take them back and bring the buttermilk shrimp. The manager came out soon and asked me what I had ordered. I told her buttermilk shrimp, and informed me that they don't serve buttermilk shrimp! I meant beer-battered shrimp! Buckie, this contest is clouding my mind!!

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on June 19, 2010:

Yummy - looks absolutely delicious! Fried anything is my favorite. :)

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on June 19, 2010:

Just saw this and don't think I got this on my postings, when my email was out yet again! Anyhow - it looks delicious....I could gain 10 pounds just reading these things....maybe I have!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on June 11, 2010:

Yum, Quildon!

Angela Joseph from Florida on June 09, 2010:

Another great recipe, habee. I'm going to make mine with the creole seasoning.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on April 18, 2010:

CC, glad you liked the shrimp! I made them last night for dinner. Yum!

C.C on April 18, 2010:

I did this recipe today for lunch. Yummy! I had it with cocktail sauce...The best tasting shrimp Ive had in a while.

susan on March 26, 2010:

hi , susan so you be a yours finests two month at top lushes and plentyfully were is the homemade mack and cheese from scrath. susan been your you wold jello about us southern fishing pro's hee,' hee', fishing are luv u next door neibors

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 06, 2010:

Well, Joey, I have been accused of being a little crazy. But that's how I always test my oil! And I've never been burned. I use only one or two drops.

Thanks for reading!

joey on February 06, 2010:

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! dont EVER test your oil by sprinkling water in it!!! Are you insane??

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on December 28, 2009:

No, I didn't know that! There should be a! I cook with my great-grandmother's black iron skillet! I often wonder how many meals that pan has cooked.

rmcrayne from San Antonio Texas on December 28, 2009:

I went to OT school in Charleston at MUSC. This sounds really good. Did you know you can't use cast iron on glasstop/smooth top stoves? We have a new thick bottomed Hamilton Beach skillet that does a great job frying cubed steak though, so I'm sure it would do the shrimp justice.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on December 28, 2009:

Great minds, Owl, great minds. lol! I'd never thought about the yellow coloring.

Hi, Ethel. I like to try new recipes and dishes, too. Unfortunately, hubby isn't quite as adventurous. lol!

Okay, HH - I really want you to try this recipe. It's one of my faves!

Hello, hello, from London, UK on December 28, 2009:

Oh. habee, you open a whole new world of cooping up for me. Thank you so much. I like different dishes. It gets on my nerves when I have to cook always the same. Keep writing.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on December 28, 2009:

These recipes are great. I like to experiment with different foods and after the usual Christmas nosh such foods sound srummy

platinumOwl4 on December 28, 2009:

I will try your recipe for buttermilk shrimp. Apparently, we were experimenting at the same time. I like yourself discovered that jumbo shrimp don't do well in the skillet and the small ones are in fact way to much trouble. When I cook and serve my shrimp I serve them around lettuce, tomato,pickle and a boiled egg sliced. I also add a little yellow food color to the egg bath it brighten the presentation.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on December 27, 2009:

You're more than welcome, Pop!

breakfastpop on December 27, 2009:

Great recipe. Thanks so much.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on December 27, 2009:

Hi, Tammy. Good to see ya! The pre-seasoned skillets are DEFINITELY the best!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on December 27, 2009:

Hi, Tammy. Good to see ya! The pre-seasoned skillets are DEFINITELY the best!

Tammy Lochmann on December 27, 2009:

Ha I am first...I did not know you could buy pre-seasoned iron skillets... I have to get one. I can't wait for more about your life in the South. I taught myself how to make fried chicken. Great story!

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