Copycat Joe’s Crab Shack Popcorn Shrimp

I love shrimp. Cooked any way, any time. Like the guy in Forrest Gump who listed off the many ways to enjoy shrimp. They’re all good. This copycat version of Joe’s Crab Shack popcorn shrimp is crazy good. There’s a nice crunchy breading. Tender tasty shrimp inside.
Copycat Joe’s Crab Shack Popcorn ShrimpI made up a batch of these and served them easy style, with two bottled sauces, both from Louisiana Fish Fry Products. The remoulade sauce has a hit of horseradish. It’s almost salad dressing-like, but with a kick. The seafood sauce definitely has a kick to it. Like grown-up cocktail sauce.

Also try my copycat of Applebee’s Sriracha shrimp. Either shrimp recipe would also be delicious in my fiesta shrimp tacos.

Copycat Joe’s Crab Shack Popcorn Shrimp

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike


  • 1 pound small fresh shrimp deveined and shelled (I used 26-30 count shrimp)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup cracker meal I substituted Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Oil for frying
  • Dipping sauce for serving (I used Louisiana Fish Fry Remoulade and Seafood sauces)


  • Put the shrimp into a resealable baggie or container.
  • Add the garlic powder, brown sugar and hot sauce. Seal and shake gently to coat. Marinate in fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Set up three large bowls (I used pie pans).
  • In the first bowl place the corn starch.
  • In the second bowl, beat the eggs with the water.
  • In the third bow,l mix together the cracker meal, breadcrumbs, Creole seasoning, flour and paprika.
  • Heat oil to 350 F in a deep fryer or Dutch oven. You'll need at least 2" of oil.
  • Working in batches, coat shrimp in corn starch.
  • Shake off excess then coat in egg wash.
  • Shake off excess then coat in breadcrumb mixture.
  • Fry until golden brown (the shrimp will float to the top of the oil when done).
  • Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool slightly.
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

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