3-Ingredient Fried Shrimp

4.67 from 6 votes
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3-Ingredient Fried Shrimp is the easiest fried shrimp recipe that generates the best results. The juicy shrimp are wrapped in a light, crispy, and fluffy crust that is similar to tempura. So good!

Fried shrimp served in plate with parchment paper with chopped cilantro and sauce on the side

Growing up, I was accustomed to eating very healthy food that my mom made every day. Although my dad also knows how to cook, (as a matter of fact, he cooks better than my mom), he only goes into the kitchen once in a while to showcase his skills. This super simple fried shrimp is one of my favorite dishes from him. You know, my mom hates frying food in the kitchen because it makes the room very smoky. That’s why I could only enjoy this super delicious dish 4 to 5 times a year as a treat 🙂

Just like for every other dish my parents cook, they’ve never had a recipe for this one. But since I’ve watched my dad cook this one so many times, I’m quite good at guessing the measurements from the consistency of the batter.

Fried shrimp on cooking rack closeup

Why this recipe?

This fried shrimp recipe might be the easiest one out there, but it yields such great results.

The main ingredient is the Shaoxing wine (which can be replaced by dry sherry). It gives a tangy, savory taste to the shrimp and compliments its light sweetness. The coating has a thin consistency, like pancake batter. The result is a light, crispy, and fluffy texture that is almost like tempura.

The frying process is easier than your average fried shrimp.

To speed up the process, use less oil, and generate the best results, my technique involves shallow-frying the shrimp in a large nonstick frying pan.

I only add just enough oil to cover 2/3 of the shrimp, about half an inch (1.5-cm). Then I heat it to hot over medium-high heat. Because of the large contact surface area of the pan on the stove, you can fry quite a large batch of shrimp at one time without lowering the oil temperature too much. The bottom of the shrimp will turn golden brown in 1 to 2 minutes. Then you flip the shrimp to cook the other side.

Raw shrimp in batter for fried shrimp

Fried shrimp on cooking rack

When I fry 1 pound of shrimp, it only takes me like 10 minutes to finish cooking the whole batch. Not bad, right?

The finished product might not be the prettiest fried shrimp out there, but I guarantee you it tastes SO GOOD. My husband gave it five stars and said it tastes even better than the fried shrimp tempura at the Japanese restaurant.

More delicious appetizer recipes

Fried shrimp served in plate with parchment paper closeup

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

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3-Ingredient Fried Shrimp is the easiest fried shrimp recipe that generates the best results. The juicy shrimp are wrapped in a light, crispy, and fluffy crust that is similar to tempura. So good! #seafood #recipes #shrimp

3-Ingredient Fried Shrimp

4.67 from 6 votes
The juicy shrimp are wrapped in a light, crispy, and fluffy crust that is similar to tempura. So good!
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Appetizer, Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs (450 g) shrimp , peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon water
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Serving options (*Footnote 1)

  • Chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Lemon wedges
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sriracha sauce

Instructions

  • Combine shrimp, Shaoxing wine, salt, and black pepper in a big bowl. Mix well and marinate for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the flour and water. Stir to mix well. The batter should be like a pancake batter, slightly runny but thick enough to coat the shrimp. Prepare a baking tray topped with a cooling rack.
  • Heat 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) vegetable oil in large nonstick pan over medium-high heat until hot. To test the oil temperature, insert a wooden chopstick into the oil. When you see small bubbles rapidly rise around the chopstick, it’s ready for frying. Fry shrimp in 3 to 4 batches. Coat shrimp with the batter and gently place in hot oil. Cook until the bottom side turns golden brown. Flip and fry until the other side until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the shrimp to the cooling rack.
  • Serve hot. Squeeze with lemon juice, and serve with any preferred sauces on the side.

Notes

1. The shrimp will taste great without any sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 216kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 17.5g, Fat: 8.1g, Saturated Fat: 1.7g, Cholesterol: 143mg, Sodium: 361mg, Potassium: 138mg, Fiber: 0.6g, Sugar: 0.1g, Calcium: 50mg, Iron: 1.3mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Don't forget the last step! Tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!

The recipe was originally published on  Dec 19, 2013 and updated on Apr 13, 2018.

3-Ingredient Fried Shrimp is the easiest fried shrimp recipe that generates the best results. The juicy shrimp are wrapped in a light, crispy, and fluffy crust that is similar to tempura. So good! #seafood #recipes #shrimp

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. suja md says:

    5 stars
    Shrimp always blends with the added spices…loved your innovative beer batter 🙂

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Suja,
      I agree that there’s so many good way to blend mixed spices with shrimps. Sometimes, I like the the simplest one.
      Thank you for stopping by and glad you like this one. 🙂

  2. Rex says:

    Where does the black pepper powder come in?

    • Maggie says:

      Oops, I forgot. Just edited the recipe. You should add it in step one to marinate the shrimp. Happy cooking!

  3. Tom says:

    5 stars
    I just made this for dinner and it was amazing! I used gluten free flour, so I had to use several more tablespoons of water to get it to the right consistency. Wow! It was so good! I’ve tried many recipes for fried chicken and shrimp dishes, some of them Chinese foods, and they never come out crispy. This came out super crispy and terrific! I served it with oven fries and fruit salad. My partner said it was one of the best dinners I’ve ever made.

  4. Karen says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! We ate it too quickly to get any pictures 😊

  5. Emily Mitchell says:

    I count 5 ingredients PLUS the shrimp. why is it called 3 ingredient shrimp?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Emily, sorry the name of the recipe might sound confusing. I’ve read that oil, salt, and black pepper are usually not counted in recipe writing because they are very common.

  6. Andrea says:

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe! Super easy and great crust on the shrimp. I like that the recipe doesn’t have excessive ingredients (only the necessities for optimal flavor), but you can customize spices if you want (added coriander & cajun seasonings). My husband said it reminded him of the coating on McDonald’s chicken nuggets (and as a health seeking pescatarian, this is a great alternative). I put this in a baguette with pickled carrots, jalapeños, sriracha mayo & cilantro to make a fried shrimp bahn mi.

    • Maggie says:

      So happy to hear you like the recipe 🙂 It’s a family recipe and one of my favorite comfort food. LOVE the idea of using the shrimps to make bahn mi, yum!

  7. Spring says:

    Hi Maggie!

    I just found your website and its been a LIFESAVER for me during the quarantine. I am so happy to be able to cook a lot of the foods I would enjoy as a kid growing up in an Asian household. I am really eager to try out this recipe as well. Do you usually write the calories PER serving? so even if the recipes is for 4 servings the whole batch would be 216?

    Thanks again!

    • Maggie says:

      The nutrition fact is per serving. In this recipe, it is one of the four servings that yield from the recipe has 216 calories.
      Sorry about the confusion. I just updated the recipe so it’s clear now.

  8. Brit says:

    5 stars
    I made these in the air fryer. So delicious!!

  9. Lin says:

    3 stars
    Hello Maggie, After step 1, do you drain the shrimp from the marinade. The recipe does not say so. After some hesitation, I decided to not drain and directly add the flour to the shrimp in its liquid. The result is such wet mess that I decided I could not add another 1/3 cup of water. Instead, I needed to add more flour.

    This is the first recipe from you that did not work for me. But seeing that it worked well for others I wonder what I did wrong.

    • Maggie says:

      I’m sorry to hear the recipe didn’t work out for you.
      Once marinating the shrimp, you don’t need to drain off the marinade. It should form a sticky and slightly runny batter once you add the flour, which will coat the shrimp but not too thick (if the batter is like a paste, the coating will taste chewy once fried). The frying might be a bit messy and the fried shrimps won’t look perfect, but I do like the texture. Next time I cook this dish I’ll try to add some step photos to show the texture of the batter.

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