This popcorn shrimp is coated with crispy, flavorful breadcrumbs and fried to golden perfection. And if you don't want to fry it, you can make air fryer shrimp instead. Plus, this recipe is super easy to make and you can have it ready in just 15 minutes either way!
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The Best Popcorn Shrimp
Popcorn shrimp is a crowd favorite and can be served as an appetizer, side, lunch, or dinner.
Seriously, you can make this shrimp recipe for any occasion or any meal, and it's sure to be a hit. And, honestly, that's why it's one of the best shrimp recipes you can make!
Now, having said that, I think Popeye's popcorn shrimp is one of the best out there. So, this recipe is my best attempt to "copycat" their recipe.
Why This Recipe Works
Quick and easy. This crunchy popcorn shrimp takes just 15 minutes to make, and the entire process is effortless.
Versatile. Serve it as an appetizer, snack, or meal. This popcorn shrimp is delicious any time!
Crowd-favorite. Everyone that's tried this crispy popcorn shrimp absolutely loves it. Trust me, it's sure to be the talk of the night.
One of my favorite parts about this recipe is that it requires such simple ingredients.
And odds are, you have all of them ready to go. The only ingredient you might need to pick up is the shrimp.
That said, here's what you'll need to make this recipe:
- 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
- ½ cup flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons milk
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs or plain breadcrumbs
- lemon and fresh parsley for garnish
By the way, if you buy frozen shrimp, I highly suggest picking up a few extra pounds - you can put it to good use by making this blackened shrimp next!
How To Make Popcorn Shrimp
1. Prep the breading: Add the flour and seasonings to a medium bowl, and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Spread the breadcrumbs out on a plate or put them in a third bowl.
2. Bread the shrimp: Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan to 350°F (175° C) before coating the shrimp. Place the shrimp in the bowl with the flour and seasonings, and mix the shrimp around until each piece is fully coated. Dredge the shrimp in the egg mixture, then press the shrimp into the breadcrumbs.
3. Fry the shrimp: Fry the breaded shrimp a handful at a time for 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Transfer the shrimp to a plate lined with paper towels before serving to soak up any excess oil. Fry the remaining shrimp.
4. Serve: Garnish the fried shrimp with parsley and lemons, serve with cocktail sauce or your favorite dipping sauce, and enjoy!
How To Make Air Fryer Popcorn Shrimp
1. Prep: Preheat the air fryer to 400° F (200°C) for 5 minutes. Follow all of the instructions above until your shrimp are ready to be fried.
2. Air fry the shrimp: Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray and spread the shrimp out in the basket. Lightly spray the top of the shrimp with cooking spray and cook for about 4 minutes. Flip the shrimp and cook for another 4 minutes or until the shrimp are golden brown.
3. Serve: Transfer the shrimp from the air fryer to a plate and serve with cocktail sauce.
Tips To Make The Best Recipe
- Add Old bay seasoning, cajun seasoning, onion powder, or chili powder to the flour mixture to make a seasoned flour and add more flavor.
- Use panko bread crumbs for extra crispy popcorn shrimp.
- Use very small shrimp for bite sized shrimp to serve as the ultimate appetizer.
- Check the oil temperature with a frying thermometer.
- Only deep fry a few shrimp at a time so the oil temperature doesn't decrease.
How To Store Popcorn Shrimp
In the fridge: Store the leftover cooked shrimp in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
In the freezer: Transfer the popcorn shrimp to a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Reheating: To reheat popcorn shrimp, put the popcorn shrimp on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bak for about 10 minutes at 350°F. Just add more reheating time for the frozen popcorn shrimp.
FAQS About This Popcorn Shrimp Recipe
What is popcorn shrimp made of?
Popcorn shrimp is made with raw shrimp coated in flour, dredged in an egg and milk mixture, then covered completely in bread crumbs.
What is the difference between popcorn shrimp and regular shrimp?
Popcorn shrimp has a crispy, crunchy breading, and regular shrimp is just plain shrimp with no breading.
Why is it called popcorn shrimp?
It is called popcorn shrimp because the shrimp is very small and almost looks like pieces of popcorn.
Is popcorn shrimp fully cooked?
Yes, popcorn shrimp is fully cooked since it only takes a few minutes to cook shrimp.
More Shrimp RecipesPrint
Popcorn Shrimp (Crispy and Crunchy)
This popcorn shrimp is coated with crispy, flavorful breadcrumbs and fried to golden perfection. And if you don't want to fry it, you can make air fryer shrimp instead. This recipe is super easy to make and you can have it ready in just 15 minutes either way!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Seafood
1 lb shrimp (455g), deveined and peeled
½ cup (60g) flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons milk
lemon and fresh parsley for garnish
- Add the flour and seasonings to a bowl, and mix until combined.
- Then, in a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and milk.
- Now, either spread your breadcrumbs out on a plate or put them in a third bowl.
- Then, before coating the shrimp, heat the oil of your choice in a large saucepan to 350°F (175° C).
- Once the oil is heated, place the shrimp in the bowl with the flour and seasonings, and mix the shrimp around until each piece fully coated.
- Dip coated shrimp into the egg mixture, then press the shrimp into the breadcrumbs, covering every part of the shrimp.
- Fry the breaded shrimp a handful at a time for 3-5 minutes until golden brown.
- Transfer the shrimp to a paper towel-lined plate before serving to soak up any excess oil.
- Garnish with parsley and lemons, serve with a dipping sauce of your choice, and enjoy!
Air Fryer Instructions
- Preheat the air fryer to 400° F (200°C) for 5 minutes.
- Follow all of the instructions above until your shrimp are ready to be fried.
- Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray and spread the shrimp out in the basket.
- Lightly spray the top of the shrimp with cooking spray and cook for about 4 minutes. Flip the shrimp cook for another 4 minutes - or until the shrimp are golden brown.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 211
- Fat: 4
- Carbohydrates: 22
- Protein: 21
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