There's no better party appetizer than these incredible butterfly shrimp! These succulent shrimp are breaded in panko bread crumbs and fried to crispy crunchy golden brown perfection. Best of all though, they're so, so easy to make! Just a little mixing, coating, dipping, and frying is all you have to do to put 'em together.
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Why You'll love this recipe
It's easy to make. Seriously, these butterfly shrimp are such an easy appetizer. Simply dredge the shrimp in egg wash, coat them with the panko bread crumbs, and fry them to golden perfection. Done!
They're a crowd pleaser. Serve these beautiful butterfly shrimp up at your next get-together instead and watch them fly off the plate. Your guests will love the crispy crust and the tender shrimp so much, they'll be requesting them again and again. We've had several such requests at ours.
It can be served in a ton of different ways. I love serving these shrimp up with a delicious sauce. Obviously, it goes great with cocktail sauce, but it's also delicious with this hot honey sauce, this homemade Popeye's Sweet Heat Hot Sauce, or even this sweet and sour sauce. You really cannot go wrong with any of those combinations.
They're a family favorite. Not only do I serve these butterfly shrimp as perfect party appetizers, but I also like to jazz up a boring weeknight dinner with them, as well. Serving these up as an unexpected side dish always has my family in a good mood!
- Flour- all purpose, used to dredge the shrimp.
- Eggs- helps bind the breadcrumbs to the shrimp for an even coating.
- Panko- Japanese bread crumbs that keep their big, flaky texture when fried.
- Shrimp- large and butterflied. These are the star of the dish!
- Seasonings- Garlic powder, salt, black pepper, to add flavor to the dish.
- Oil- for frying, vegetable oil works well here. Or another high temperature oil.
How to make butterfly shrimp
Step 1: Prepare the dredging station. In a small bowl, mix the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Set it aside for later. In another bowl, whisk the egg and set this aside, too. Finally, add breadcrumbs to a plate and set it aside. (If your shrimp are not yet butterflied, carefully cut shrimp along the back and lay it open. Be careful not to cut all the way through the shrimp.)
Step 2: Flour the shrimp. Place a shrimp in the flour and flip it a few times using a fork. When it is even coated, shake it to remove excess flour.
Step 3: Cover in egg. Then, dip the shrimp into the egg, allowing the excess egg to drip back into the egg bowl.
Step 4: Coat with Panko. Place the egg-coated shrimp into the panko bread crumbs. Cover the shrimp with panko and press it lightly. Make sure all the shrimp is covered with panko and the shrimp has remained open.
Step 5: Dredge all of the shrimp. Repeat this process with all of the shrimp until they are all coated and ready to be fried. Pile them onto a plate until your oil is ready.
Step 6: Fry the shrimp. Heat your oil in a medium-size pan over medium-high heat until the oil sizzles when a few panko crumbs are tossed in the pan. Fry shrimp in hot oil until shrimp are golden brown.
Step 7: Serve and enjoy! When the shrimp are golden brown and crispy, set them on a plate lined with paper towels to remove any excess oil. Serve them immediately with cocktail sauce or Popeye's Hot Sauce.
My tips to make the best butterfly shrimp
- It's best to use large or jumbo shrimp for this recipe. Using shrimp that size will prevent them from cooking too quickly which means they'll retain their moisture and turn incredibly tender as well.
- I highly recommend sticking with Panko breadcrumbs in this recipe. Panko really gives you the best crunch on these shrimp.
- Use a high smoke point oil for your frying. Oils like avocado, peanut, canola, sunflower, sesame, and macadamia nut oil will work best.
- Serve these butterfly shrimp hot out of the oil for the best experience.
How to store and reheat leftover butterfly shrimp
In the fridge: While these shrimp are best served hot out of the oil, you can also store any leftovers in the fridge for a later meal. Simply allow the shrimp to cool completely before placing them in an airtight container in the fridge. Stored like this the shrimp will stay good for up to 2 days.
In the freezer: You can easily store any leftovers in the freezer, as well. Again, allow the shrimp to cool and then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped shrimp in a freezer-safe bag and freeze 'em. They'll stay fresh for up to 3 months stored this way.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use frozen shrimp?
Yes, you can! Just allow them to thaw completely before you begin cooking them!
Why should I butterfly the shrimp?
When you butterfly the shrimp you create a shrimp that cooks more evenly than a regular-sized shrimp does. It also gives you a better mouthful and makes it easier to eat them.
What can I serve with these butterfly shrimp?
I love serving these shrimp with a hot batch of french fries. These copycat Taco Bell Nacho Fries are a fun alternative to a regular french fry and they go perfectly with this shrimp recipe!
Can I add shredded coconut and turn this into a butterflied coconut shrimp recipe?
Yes, simply replace 1 cup of the panko breadcrumbs with 1 cup of shredded coconut and you'll be able to turn this recipe into a coconut shrimp recipe.
More Shrimp Recipes To Try Next
- Texas Roadhouse grilled shrimp
- Olive Garden chicken and shrimp carbonara
- Beer battered shrimp
- Firecracker shrimp
- General Tso shrimp
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 large eggs
- 3 cups panko
- 1 lb. large shrimp butterflied
- Oil for deep frying
- In a bowl, mix flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk egg. Set aside.
- Add breadcrumbs to a plate, set aside.
- Carefully cut shrimp along the back and lay it open. Be careful not to cut all the way through the shrimp.
- Coat shrimp in flour, shaking to remove excess flour. Then, dip shrimp into egg, allowing excess egg to drip back into the egg bowl.
- Place egg-coated shrimp into panko bread crumbs, cover with panko and press lightly, making sure all shrimp is covered with panko and the shrimp has remained open.
- Heat oil in a medium-size pan over medium-high heat until oil sizzles when a few panko crumbs are tossed in the pan.
- Fry shrimp in hot oil until shrimp are golden brown.
- Serve immediately.
Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 591Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 286mgSodium: 1976mgCarbohydrates: 78gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 41g