Southern Fried Shrimp With Tartar Sauce

To ensure the crispiest results, dredge and fry the shrimp in several batches and keep an eye on the oil's temperature.

Southern Living Southern Fried Shrimp With Tartar Sauce on a platter to serve

Greg Dupree, Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley

Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

Few things are more near and dear to Southerners’ hearts than a big platter of fried shrimp. Crunchy, salty, and conveniently bite-sized, they’re the chicken nuggets of the sea.

This recipe for Southern fried shrimp will be your new favorite, because we double-dredge them to deliver an extra-crunchy crust. You’ll want to file the tartar sauce recipe away, too—packed with pickles, briny capers, and chives, it’s a fresh new twist you won’t be able to resist.


  • Canola oil

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup minced sweet onion

  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped dill pickles plus 1 tsp. pickle juice

  • 1 Tbsp. chopped capers

  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish

  • 2 tsp. stone-ground mustard

  • 2 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided

  • 2 1/4 cups self-rising flour

  • 3 Tbsp. Creole seasoning (such as Tony Chachere’s)

  • 3/4 tsp. black pepper

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 Tbsp. hot sauce (such as Tabasco)

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 2 lb. large peeled, deveined raw shrimp, tail-on


  1. Preheat oil:

    Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches in a large Dutch oven; heat over medium-high to 350°F to 375°F.

  2. Make Tartar Sauce:

    Stir together mayonnaise, onion, pickles and pickle juice, capers, chives, mustard, and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt in a medium bowl until combined. Set Tartar Sauce aside.

  3. Make shrimp coating:

    Stir together flour, Creole seasoning, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a shallow bowl. Whisk together milk, hot sauce, eggs, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl until combined.

  4. Coat the shrimp:

    Working in batches, add a handful of shrimp to flour mixture, and toss to coat. Transfer to milk mixture, submerging shrimp completely. Remove from milk mixture; let excess drip off. Return shrimp to flour mixture, tossing to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet; repeat with remaining shrimp.

  5. Fry shrimp:

    Working in batches, add shrimp to hot oil and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per batch. Remove from oil using a spider skimmer or slotted spoon, and transfer to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining shrimp. Serve with Tartar Sauce and additional chopped chives.

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