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Butterfly Shrimp Recipe

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5 from 1 review

This Fried Butterfly Shrimp Recipe (Easy and Crunchy) is superb! The shrimp are lightly coated in panko breadcrumbs and seasoning blend, then pan-fried to a perfectly crunchy golden brown. Add a squeeze of lemon, or serve with your favorite cocktail sauce.

  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 1 pound large shrimp peeled, deveined, tails on
  • 3 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (you can also use cornstarch)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil for frying

For Serving

  • Lemon wedges
  • Cocktail sauce
  • Tartar Sauce
  • Fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Rinse shrimp and pat dry with paper towels. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels and set aside to use for the cooked shrimp.
  2. Butterfly each shrimp by carefully slicing through the center of the shrimp, making a lengthwise incision. Do not cut all the way through. Place butterflied shrimp on a large or medium serving platter coated with a bit of oil.
  3. Place panko bread crumbs in a medium bowl or shallow dish.
  4. In a medium bowl, add flour, salt, pepper, and Old Bay seasoning. Mix to combine.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and water.
  6. Coat all sides of the shrimp in flour mixture, shaking to remove excess flour.
  7. Then, dip the shrimp into the egg mixture bowl, allowing the excess egg to drip back into the egg bowl.
  8. Place flour and egg-coated shrimp into panko bread crumbs, cover with panko, and press lightly, ensuring the shrimp is coated with panko on both sides and the butterflied shrimp stay open at the top. 
  9. Place breaded shrimp on the plate and continue this process until all shrimp are breaded.
  10. Optional: Once all shrimp have been coated and placed on the plate, place the plate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 5 hours. This helps the crunchy topping stick to the shrimp better, but you can still cook them right after coating them.
  11. Heat the oil in a large skillet or deep fryer over medium until shimmering and hot, about 350 degrees F.
  12. Place shrimp into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan and cook in batches of about 7. 
  13. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon. Place the cooked shrimp on the baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. 
  14. Serve hot with fresh lemon wedges, your favorite tartar sauce, or cocktail sauce. Sprinkle a little chopped parsley, if desired. Enjoy!



  • The shrimp will cook quickly. Do not overcook them, or they will become rubbery. 
  • When dipping the shrimp in the coating, hold them by the tail and shake off any excess as you dip them.

  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: American
  • Cuisine: American