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How To Butterfly Shrimp, Batter & Fry It

Updated on May 9, 2015

Butterflied Shrimp


How to Butterfly Shrimp

A Guide on How to Butterfly Shrimp

Shrimp are delicious. There is just no getting around that fact. If you have been to a nice seafood restaurant and have had a gorgeous shrimp cocktail with huge butterfly shrimp hanging off the glass, your mouth has probably watered. Believe it or not, though, you do not have to go to a restaurant to get that great look. You can do it in your kitchen! In this article I will show you how to butterfly shrimp, and will even include a tasty butterfly shrimp recipe for your recipe collection.

How to Butterfly Shrimp: Tools and Preparation

The only way to properly learn how to butterfly shrimp is to equip yourself with the right tools. To butterfly shrimp, you will need to start with a cutting board (to protect your kitchen counters). A paring knife is also very useful, as are a pair of kitchen shears. If you can find a small pair, that will work; if not, a regular pair will do.

To prepare your shrimp, first make sure that they have been peeled. This includes ensuring that their head and legs have been removed, but not the tail. You should also remove the veins in the shrimp. While they are not harmful, they are unsightly, and getting rid of them will just make your shrimp look better. As far as shrimp go, I recommend buying jumbo shrimp. It is just easier to butterfly them.

Butterflied Shrimp: Impress your Guests

Butterflied shrimp gives a nice, clean, attractive presentation no matter how you prepare it.
Butterflied shrimp gives a nice, clean, attractive presentation no matter how you prepare it. | Source

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How to Butterfly Shrimp: Procedure

  1. Once you have prepped your shrimp, take your paring knife or your kitchen shears and place them at the top of the shrimp, at the head region.
  2. Insert the blade into the shrimp, about ¾ of the way through (careful not to go all the way through. You will want to carefully cut down the center of the shrimp’s back to the tail.
  3. Once you have done this, use your fingers to open up the flesh of the shrimp until the meat is flat.
  4. At this time removing the central vein is easier than if you try to do it before opening up the shrimp.
  5. All you have to do now is thoroughly wash the shrimp in cold water (being careful to not let the shrimp meat collapse or fall apart.

You can use butterfly shrimp in a lot of different ways, but here is suggestion for your next meal:

Fried Shrimp


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Quality Shrimp

4 lbs. Fresh Jumbo Shrimp
4 lbs. Fresh Jumbo Shrimp

If you don't live near the ocean, order quality shrimp.


How to Butterfly Shrimp: A Delicious Shrimp Recipe

  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp
  • 2/3 cup flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/3 minced clove of garlic
  • Cornstarch
  • Vegetable oil


  1. Once you have butterflied your shrimp, place them aside in the refrigerator while you prepare the breading. Take your flour and mix it together with the dry ingredients (curry, garlic, and salt).
  2. Then, add in the egg, milk, and water. Stir until you get a batter. Then, place a few drops of cornstarch on a piece of wax paper and gently drag your shrimp through it so that you get a light coating of cornstarch on both sides. This will help your batter stick to your shrimp.
  3. Then, dip the shrimp into your batter, making sure that the shrimp is covered up to the tip of the tail. Heat your oil in a deep saucepan or pot until it is hot enough for frying. Then dip each shrimp into the oil until the batter has turned a nice, golden brown.
  4. If your shrimp are too oily, just pat them with a paper towel. Then, let cool and serve. I recommend lemon juice and cocktail sauce to go with your newly-created butterfly shrimp.


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    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      I wish we had some right now too. Your article is great with such details and specifics. Your and excellent writer and well educated in the preperation of wonderfull food in my humble opinion.God Bless You Dear Heart.

    • Lisa Luv profile image

      Lisa J Warner AKA Lisa Luv 8 years ago from Conneticut, USA

      I wish I could eat some right now...