How Many Carbs Are in Fried Shrimp? A Detailed Look at This Popular Dish

Crispy, golden fried shrimp is a delicious appetizer or entrée enjoyed by seafood lovers everywhere. But for those monitoring their carb intake, the breading and frying process can make this dish deceivingly high in carbohydrates.

In this article, we’ll break down exactly how many carbs are in fried shrimp. We’ll look at the factors that affect the carb count, how different cooking methods and portion sizes impact it, and tips for enjoying fried shrimp while limiting carbs.

Understanding Where Carbs Come From in Fried Shrimp

The majority of carbohydrates in fried shrimp come from the coating or breading used. Traditional shrimp breading contains ingredients like:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Cornstarch
  • Seasonings

Flour and cornstarch are both high-carb ingredients Just 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour contains about 30 grams of carbohydrates. So heavily breading shrimp drives up the carb count quickly.

The frying method also impacts the carb content. Deep-frying causes the batter to absorb more oil, adding extra calories and carbs. Pan-frying uses less oil, resulting in a lower carb count.

Estimating Carbs in Different Serving Sizes

The portion of fried shrimp eaten substantially affects its carbohydrate content Here’s an estimate of the carbs in different serving sizes

  • 3 large fried shrimp (about 1 oz) – 5-8g carbs
  • Medium serving (about 3 oz) – 15-20g carbs
  • Large serving (about 6 oz) – 30-40g carbs
  • Full order (12-15 oz) – 60-75g carbs

As shown, carb counts accumulate quickly as the portion size of fried shrimp increases.

Something to watch out for at restaurants is batter absorption, especially if the shrimp is deep fried. The carb content may be higher than estimated based on the thick batter coating.

Comparing Different Preparation Methods

The specific breading and frying method used significantly sway the carb content of fried shrimp:

  • Traditional beer batter – Uses flour and beer to create a thick coating. 15-20g carbs per 3 oz serving.
  • Panko breadcrumbs – Japanese breadcrumbs create a crispy exterior. 10-15g carbs per 3 oz.
  • Cornmeal coating – A thin, crispy cornmeal crust. 5-10g carbs per 3 oz.
  • Almond flour – Low-carb nut flour option. 3-5g carbs per 3 oz.
  • Coconut flour – Another very low-carb breading alternative. 3-5g carbs per 3 oz.
  • Deep fried – More oil absorption increases carbs.
  • Pan fried – Uses less oil than deep frying.
  • Air fried – The lowest-carb cooking method.

As shown, the specific ingredients used to coat the shrimp and the frying method used both significantly affect the carb content. Lighter breading and air frying result in the lowest carb fried shrimp.

Low-Carb Tips for Enjoying Fried Shrimp

Here are some tips for keeping carbs in check when eating fried shrimp:

  • Opt for lighter breading like almond flour, coconut flour, or panko crumbs rather than heavy beer batter.
  • Pan fry or air fry instead of deep frying to minimize oil absorption.
  • Enjoy as an appetizer or side dish rather than a main course. A few pieces will keep carb counts low.
  • Skip the starchy side dishes like fries, hushpuppies, or cornbread which ramp up carbs.
  • Load up on non-starchy veggie sides like a crisp green salad, broccoli, or green beans.
  • Ask for the sauce on the side and use sparingly, since cocktail and tartar sauce add extra carbs.
  • Request grilled shrimp if dining out and you’re unsure of how the fried version is prepared.
  • Check nutrition info online before eating at a restaurant to anticipate carb counts.

With smart adjustments to preparation and portion sizes, fried shrimp can definitely be enjoyed as an occasional treat, even when limiting carbs.

How Many Carbs Are in Breaded vs. Unbreaded Fried Shrimp?

Breaded shrimp contains significantly more carbs than unbreaded versions. Here’s a comparison:

  • Breaded fried shrimp – The coating adds a minimum of 10-15g carbs per 3 oz serving.
  • Unbreaded fried shrimp – No coating means fewer carbs. Around 3-5g carbs per 3 oz serving.

So opting for unbreaded shrimp reduces the carb count drastically. But you still get that crispy, golden exterior from the frying process.

Do Frozen Breaded Shrimp Have a Lot of Carbs?

Yes, frozen breaded shrimp can contain a high amount of carbs. Some frozen fried shrimp products contain up to 30-40g carbs per serving.

Always check the nutrition label on frozen breaded shrimp packages. Look for lower carb options coated in almond or coconut flour rather than heavy beer batter coatings.

And adjust portion sizes, since the label may list info for multiple shrimp. Stick to about 3-5 shrimp to keep carbs in check.

What About Carbs in Shrimp Tempura?

Shrimp tempura is another popular appetizer option. The tempura batter used is typically made from flour, egg, and cold water.

A 3 oz (85g) serving of tempura shrimp contains around:

  • Total carbs: 18g
  • Net carbs: 16g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 9g
  • Fat: 7g

So while the tempura batter is thin, it still adds a significant amount of carbs from the flour. Air frying instead of deep frying can reduce the carb content. And watching your portion size is key.

Shrimp Keto Breadcrumbs – An Ultra Low-Carb Alternative

If you’re on a keto or very low-carb diet, there are tasty alternatives to get that crispy breaded texture while keeping carbs minimal.

One option is using crushed pork rinds or parmesan cheese as breading. But my favorite is this easy homemade recipe for shrimp “keto breadcrumbs”:


  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp sea salt
  • 1⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped)


  1. In a bowl, mix together the almond flour, garlic powder, onion powder and salt.
  2. Stir in the parmesan and parsley until combined.
  3. Use in place of regular breadcrumbs to coat shrimp or chicken with a carb count of just 3g per serving!

Give this crunchy, flavorful low-carb breading a try take your keto fried shrimp to the next level.

Key Takeaways on Shrimp Carb Counts

  • The coating or batter contributes most of the carbs, especially flour-based ones
  • Deep frying amps up the carb content due to oil absorption
  • Serving size matters! Limit portions to 5-10 shrimp max.
  • Opt for lighter breadings and cooking methods to reduce carbs
  • Unbreaded and grilled shrimp are lowest carb options when dining out
  • With smart prep choices like air frying or low-carb coatings, you can enjoy fried shrimp on lower carb diets

While fried shrimp does contain more carbs than grilled or steamed, with some adjustments it can still be incorporated into healthy low-carb meal plans in moderation. Because let’s face it, the crispy crunch of shrimp with cocktail sauce is irreplaceable!

how many carbs in fried shrimp

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how many carbs in fried shrimp

Super Crispy Keto Fried Shrimp – Easy Low Carb Shrimp Recipe


How many carbs are in pan fried shrimp?


How many carbs are in jumbo fried shrimp?

Nutrition Facts
How much fat is in Jumbo Fried Shrimp? Amount of fat in Jumbo Fried Shrimp: Total Fat 10g
How much sodium is in Jumbo Fried Shrimp? Amount of sodium in Jumbo Fried Shrimp: Sodium 0mg
How many carbs are in Jumbo Fried Shrimp? Amount of carbs in Jumbo Fried Shrimp: Carbohydrates 20g

How many carbs are in fried shrimp?

The carbs in fried shrimp especially stand out because when grilled or boiled, shrimp contains virtually no carbohydrates. A 9-piece serving of fried shrimp also contains 1,050 milligrams of sodium (44 percent DV), while grilled or cooked shrimp contains 417 milligrams of sodium (17 percent DV).

Does shrimp have carbs?

Carbohydrates : Shrimp does have carbs, though very few. Three ounces of shrimp has 1.3 grams of carbs, which includes no fiber or sugars. Protein : The amount of protein in shrimp is quite substantial. Three ounces of shrimp has 19.4 grams of protein. Phosphorus: 21% DV. Check out more foods high in phosphorus.

Is fried shrimp keto friendly?

Keto fried shrimp might be possible, but a typical fried shrimp dish is not so keto-friendly. A 3-ounce serving of regular fried shrimp clocks in at 9.8 grams total carbs and 9.4 grams net carbs [ * ]. However, this is actually a pretty small serving size and the breading is wheat, which is something we want to avoid on keto.

How many calories are in cooked shrimp?

A 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked shrimp has 84 calories, 20 grams of protein, 0.2 grams of carbs, 0.2 grams of fat, and 161 milligrams of cholesterol.

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