Southern-Fried Prawns: A Crispy Delight from the South

Southern-Fried Prawns: A Crispy Delight from the South

Southern-Fried Prawns: A Crispy Delight from the South


Southern-fried prawns, also known as Southern-style fried shrimp, are a mouthwatering dish that combines the succulence of prawns with the irresistible crunch of a well-seasoned coating. This Southern-inspired recipe offers a taste of comfort food at its finest. Whether you’re enjoying them as an appetizer or a main course, these crispy prawns will transport your taste buds straight to the South. Let’s get frying!

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • 1 pound large prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning (or your favorite seafood seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste for spiciness)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Lemon wedges and cocktail sauce for serving (optional)

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Prep the Prawns

  1. Begin by preparing the prawns. Ensure they are peeled and deveined but leave the tails intact for a convenient and eye-catching handle. Pat them dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.

2. Create the Dredge

  1. In a shallow dish or bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cornmeal, Old Bay seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Mix these dry ingredients thoroughly to create your flavorful dredge.

3. Soak in Buttermilk

  1. Pour the buttermilk into another shallow dish or bowl. The buttermilk will help create a tender and flavorful coating for the prawns.

4. Dredge the Prawns

  1. Dip each prawn into the seasoned flour-cornmeal mixture, ensuring it’s coated evenly. Shake off any excess dredge.

5. Soak in Buttermilk Again

  1. After dredging, place the coated prawn into the buttermilk, ensuring it’s fully submerged. This step will help the coating adhere better and create a crispy texture.

6. Double Dredge for Extra Crispiness (Optional)

  1. If you prefer an extra crispy coating, repeat steps 4 and 5—dip the prawn back into the seasoned flour-cornmeal mixture and then into the buttermilk again.

7. Heat the Oil

  1. In a deep, heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350°F (175°C). Use a thermometer to maintain the correct temperature.

8. Fry the Prawns

  1. Carefully place the coated prawns into the hot oil using tongs. Fry them in batches to avoid overcrowding, which can result in uneven cooking.

9. Cook Until Golden

  1. Fry the prawns for about 2-3 minutes per side or until they turn a beautiful golden brown and the prawns are cooked through. Be mindful not to overcook, as prawns can become tough if fried too long.

10. Drain and Serve

  1. Using a slotted spoon, remove the fried prawns from the oil and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.

11. Serve Hot

  1. Serve your Southern-fried prawns while they’re still hot and crispy. Optionally, provide lemon wedges and cocktail sauce for dipping.


Southern-fried prawns are a delectable Southern delicacy that combines the succulence of prawns with the satisfying crunch of a flavorful coating. Whether served as an appetizer, main course, or party snack, these crispy prawns are bound to be a hit with seafood enthusiasts and comfort food lovers alike.

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