Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 6 mins

Delicious crispy fried shrimp from South Carolina's lowcountry courtesy of John Martin Taylor, noted authority on lowcountry cooking. His favorite shrimp came from the Edisto Motel and he included their recipe along with a colorful description in his book, "The Fearless Frying Cookbook". If you can't find cracker meal, you can pulverize saltine crackers in a food processor (or simply crush them in a bowl with your fingers) and reduce the salt in the recipe, which I much prefer to the corn flour. You can also substitute 2 lbs. of larger shrimp and just increase cooking time accordingly. If using the small shrimp most folks can eat about a pound each, but you can allocate smaller portions or even serve them as appetizers; thus, the range in the number of servings. Great served with cocktail sauce, cole slaw and hushpuppies.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 lbs small shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact (40-50 count)
  • 1 cup cracker meal (you can sub corn flour, AKA masa harina)
  • peanut oil (for frying)


  1. Pour 3 inches of oil into a stockpot or Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat. Beat the eggs with the milk and salt and pour over the shrimp in a bowl, making sure they're well coated. Drain the shrimp in a sieve, shaking well to remove excess. Place the cracker meal on a plate.
  2. When the oil reaches 365°, roll the shrimp in cracker meal, then place in a dry sieve. Shake off the excess meal over the plate, then fry the shrimp in small batches in the hot oil until golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Larger shrimp will take longer to cook, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Remove the shrimp from the oil with a wire mesh strainer and shake off all excess oil or drain on paper towels briefly. Serve hot.