Fantail Shrimp Recipe: Crispy and Delicious Seafood Treat!

Fantail shrimp are a popular dish featuring large shrimp that are butterflied, or cut open and spread flat. These shrimp are dipped in a flavorful batter and then deep-fried until crispy and golden brown. They are often served with a tangy dipping sauce on the side, which adds an extra burst of flavour.

The dish is visually appealing because the shrimp tails are usually left on, creating a fan-like appearance. Fantail shrimp are a common item on Pu Pu platters, which are assortments of appetizers typically served in Chinese restaurants.

They are loved for their crunchy texture and delicious taste, making them a hit at parties and special gatherings.

Fantail Shrimp Recipe

Fantail Shrimp Recipe

Fantail shrimp is a dish of large, butterflied shrimp that are batter-fried to golden perfection and served with a tangy sauce on the side. You really can’t go wrong with this tasty treat! Fantail shrimp are not only delicious but also beautiful and impressive, making them a great choice for any meal. Often featured as part of a Pu Pu platter, fantail shrimp are usually a standout item on the plate.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 360 kcal


For the Shrimp:

  • 1 pound Fresh shrimp headless, unpeeled, size 15
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 3-4 cups Vegetable oil or canola oil for frying

For the Batter:

  • 3/4 cup All-purpose flour plus an extra 1/4 cup, divided
  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp Baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp White pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 2/3 cup Ice water

For the Sauce:

  • 1 tsp Vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 2 tbsp Tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp White vinegar
  • 1 tsp Soy sauce
  • 1/8 tsp Sesame oil
  • 1/8 tsp White pepper
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch mixed with 1/3 cup water


Butterfly the Shrimp:

  • Make sure the shrimp are headless and unpeeled with the backs intact. This helps hold both sides of the butterflied shrimp together. Leave the tails on.
  • Peel the shrimp, leaving only the small segment of shell that connects to the tail. You can scrape the tails to remove any liquid.
  • Place the shrimp on its side with the underbelly facing you. Hold the shrimp with one hand and use the tip of a knife to split the tail shell.
  • Gently push the knife into the shrimp, splitting it evenly down the middle until it reaches the outer membrane. Remove any sand tracts and rinse if needed.
  • Pat the shrimp dry on both sides and lightly salt them with 1/4 teaspoon of salt (or to taste).

Make the Batter:

  • In a bowl, mix 3/4 cup of flour with the cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, white pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  • Add the ice water and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, stirring until a smooth batter forms. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Make the Sauce:

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon of oil and the ketchup. Fry for 30 seconds on low heat until it begins to caramelize.
  • Stir in the white vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, and cornstarch mixture.
  • Continue stirring until the sauce simmers and thickens enough to coat a spoon. Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside.

Fry the Shrimp:

  • Heat 3-4 cups of oil in a small pot to 325°F (about halfway up the pot).
  • Place 1/4 cup of flour on a small plate and lightly dredge the shrimp, shaking off any excess.
  • Dip the shrimp into the batter, letting any excess drip off. Adjust the amount of batter to your liking—some prefer a light coating, others heavier.
  • Carefully place the shrimp into the hot oil. Fry for 1 minute on one side, then turn the shrimp over.
  • Once the shrimp are golden brown on all sides, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.


  • Fantail shrimp are best enjoyed hot, right after frying.
  • You can prepare the shrimp ahead of time. Freeze the fried shrimp for up to 2 weeks.
  • When ready to serve, refry the shrimp in oil, reheat in an air fryer, or bake in the oven at 400°F until warmed through.
  • Adjust the batter thickness to your preference. Some people like a light, crispy coating, while others prefer a thicker, crunchier batter.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories360 kcal

Can I Prepare Fantail Shrimp Ahead of Time?

Can I Prepare Fantail Shrimp Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can make the shrimp ahead of time. After frying, you can freeze the shrimp for up to 2 weeks. When you’re ready to serve, simply refry them in oil, reheat them in an air fryer, or bake them in the oven at 400°F until warmed through.

How Can I Reheat Leftover Shrimp?

Reheat leftover shrimp by refrying them in oil, heating them in an air fryer, or baking them in the oven at 400°F until warmed through. This helps restore their crispy texture.

Can I Make a Healthier Version of Fantail Shrimp?

Yes, for a healthier version, consider using an air fryer instead of deep frying, use low-sodium soy sauce, reduce the amount of added salt, and experiment with whole wheat flour for the batter.

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