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!
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.
And, I know this is a big thing to say, but I actually think this popcorn shrimp is just as good.
Not to mention, it takes just 15 minutes to make, so it's probably quicker to make it at home, than it is to get it at the restaurant. And since it is so quick and easy to make, you can whip up these biscuits and instant pot corn on the cob for the ultimate meal!
That said, let's get into the ingredients you'll need to make this popcorn shrimp recipe.
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 shrimp, deveined and peeled
- 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!
PANKO VS REGULAR BREADCRUMBS
As you may have noticed, you have the option to choose between panko breadcrumbs and regular breadcrumbs for this recipe. So, let's get into what the differences between the two are.
Panko is a type of breadcrumb commonly used in Asian cooking. It is made from white bread and has a much larger and flakier consistency than regular breadcrumbs.
The larger size and flat shape cause the panko breadcrumbs to absorb less oil than regular dried breadcrumbs.
By absorbing less oil, panko breadcrumbs keep fried food crispier for a longer period of time.
So, if you do not plan on eating all of your shrimp the day you make it, I suggest using panko breadcrumbs to ensure the shrimp will stay crispy.
Regular breadcrumbs are made from a variety of different breads and crusts and are processed to a finer crumb than panko.
They are not as dry and flakey as panko and have a denser and more bread-like consistency when fried.
That said, panko and normal breadcrumbs can be substituted for one another at a 1:1 ratio in recipes.
And, if you want the best of both worlds, you can bread half of your shrimp in panko and half in regular breadcrumbs.
Whichever you decide to use, this popcorn shrimp will be just as delicious.
HOW TO MAKE POPCORN SHRIMP
You have two options when it comes to turning your breaded shrimp into crispy bites of deliciousness.
One way is by frying the shrimp in a pan on the stove, and the other way is to make air fried shrimp. Both methods are quite simple and will yield restaurant-worthy results.
Now, if you're ready to make some popcorn shrimp, let's get into it!
STEP 1: PREPARING THE COATING
The first thing you'll want to do is prepare the breading mixture to coat the shrimp.
To begin, add the flour and seasonings to a bowl and mix to combine.
Then, in a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and milk.
Lastly, either spread your breadcrumbs out on a plate or put them in a third bowl.
STEP 2: COATING THE SHRIMP
Before coating the shrimp, you'll want to heat the oil of your choice in a large saucepan to 350°F (175° C).
Then, place the shrimp in the bowl with the flour and seasonings, and mix the shrimp around until each piece is entirely and evenly coated.
Once that's taken care of, dip the shrimp into the egg mixture.
Then when the shrimp is fully coated in the egg wash, press it into the breadcrumbs, covering every part of the shrimp.
Lastly, you can transfer the breadcrumb covered shrimp to a baking sheet and spread them out.
STEP 3: FRYING THE SHRIMP
So, to deep fry the breaded shrimp, you'll want to cook them in your preheated oil a handful at a time.
And make sure the shrimp are spread out evenly in the pan as you cook them. You want each one touching the surface of the pan as they cook, and you don't want them to overlap one another.
Then you can fry the shrimp for approximately 3-5 minutes until they are golden brown.
STEP 4: SERVING
After the shrimp are done cooking, you'll want to transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate before serving to soak up any excess oil.
Then, you can garnish them with parsley and lemons, serve with the dipping sauce of your choice, and enjoy!
MAKING AIR FRYER POPCORN SHRIMP
To cook your shrimp in the air fryer, you will first want to preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for 5 minutes.
Then, follow all of the instructions as described above, until your shrimp are ready to be fried.
Now, when the shrimp are ready to be fried, spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray, and spread the shrimp out in the basket, so they do not overlap - you may need to cook the shrimp in various batches to do this.
Anyway, when you've added the shrimp to the basket, you'll want to lightly spray the top of them with cooking spray, and cook them for about 4 minutes.
Then flip the shrimp with tongs and cook for another 4 minutes on the other side. Once the outside is golden brown and they are crispy, they are done.
STORING and REHEATING YOUR POPCORN SHRIMP
So, you made this popcorn shrimp recipe, you loved it, and now you have some leftovers that need to be stored.
Well, you can store your leftover shrimp in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator - this is a good guide to storing cooked shrimp. And to reheat it, just use your oven or air fryer so that the breading retains its crispy and crunchy texture.
Just DO NOT re-fry the shrimp! It will result in soggy shrimp and can cause the breading to fall off.
That said, to reheat the shrimp in the oven, all you have to do is cook it for about 10 minutes at 350°F (175°C) - or until it is thoroughly warmed.
However, if you would like to reheat your shrimp in the air fryer, just preheat it to 350°F (175°C), and then cook it for about 3-5 minutes, until warmed.
And you can reheat the shrimp with either method, no matter how you fried it initially.
Freezing the Popcorn Shrimp
If you would like to keep this popcorn shrimp for longer, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
And you can reheat the frozen shrimp the same way in the oven or air fryer. You'll just need to heat it for a little longer.
That said, if you want to speed up the reheating process, just turn the temperature of your oven or air fryer to 450°F (232°C), and keep an eye on the shrimp as they cook.
Wrapping IT UP
And there you have it, an easy and out of this world delicious recipe that you can have for any occasion.
Whether you're hosting a party, need an appetizer for the family, or just want a tasty meal, this popcorn shrimp can do it all!
Anyway, I hope you love this popcorn shrimp recipe as much as me and family do. As always, if you make it, let me know what you think about it in the comments below.
MORE SHRIMP RECIPES
If you liked this popcorn shrimp, we have a ton of other shrimp recipes on the blog that I think you'll like too!
Try making one of these next:
Popcorn Shrimp | Crispy and Crunchy Fried Shrimp
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 1x
- 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.
The scale up function does not change the gram measurements.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 211
- Fat: 3.25
- Carbohydrates: 22.5
- Fiber: 3
- Protein: 21
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