Skip to Content

Reheating Fried Shrimp In The Microwave Isn’t So Bad, Is It?

Reheating Fried Shrimp In The Microwave Isn’t So Bad, Is It?

Learn how to reheat fried shrimp in the microwave and get tips to keep them crisp, avoid being soggy, and make them taste nearly as good as new.

Here’s a quick process for microwaving fried shrimp: 

  1. Lay the shrimp on a microwave-safe plate without stacking them.
  2. Microwave the shrimp on 50% power for 20 to 30 seconds initially. 
  3. Check one shrimp. If not hot, continue in 10 to 15 second intervals until done.
  4. Use tongs to move shrimp to a towel-lined plate and serve.

Fried shrimp fresh out of the deep fryer is a joy to behold, boasting a crispy exterior and a tender interior. Yet, like many fried foods, it can lose its charm when it becomes cold or soggy.

While the microwave isn’t my first choice for reheating fried foods because of the potential for uneven heating and steaming the once-crisp coating into goo, it can be done with some care. 

The following longer guide will walk you through more steps on how to reheat fried shrimp in the microwave, preserving as much of its original texture and flavor as possible. We’ll also explore the challenges of reheating fried foods and explain the science behind the soggy mess that can occur if done incorrectly.

The Challenge With Reheating Fried Foods In The Microwave

Reheating fried foods, whether it’s shrimp, chicken, or fries, can often feel like navigating a culinary minefield. The microwave, while a timesaving appliance, presents unique challenges in preserving the crispy texture.. 

So what exactly are these challenges, and how can we overcome them?

Fried foods achieve their appealing crisp texture through the perfect balance of moisture and heat within the batter or breading. But when you reheat, the shrimp releases moisture. This, combined with the powerful microwave heat, can make your crispy shrimp go soft.

Preparing Your Microwave

To achieve crispy reheated shrimp, the journey begins with proper microwave preparation:

Power level matters

Selecting the appropriate microwave power level is a critical factor. Set the right power level to prevent overheating and maintain the shrimp’s texture. 

We highly recommend using the microwave’s medium power or 50% setting for reheating fried shrimp.

Why medium power (50%)?

Microwaving at full power can unleash an intense burst of heat, which may inadvertently zap away the shrimp’s moisture, leaving them parched and unappetizing. 

While lower power settings, like 30% or 20%, can extend the reheating process, potentially resulting in overcooked or rubbery shrimp. 

The middle ground at 50% power strikes the perfect balance, allowing for controlled, even reheating while preserving the shrimp’s crispy exterior.

Arranging The Shrimp

Once your microwave is set to the correct power level, the next step is to arrange the shrimp for optimal results. Choosing a microwave-safe plate is essential. It should also be spacious enough to accommodate your shrimp without overcrowding. 

Overcrowding can trap steam, leading to a soggy mess. Remember, giving your shrimp some space is crucial for maintaining crispy texture.
Note: Was your leftover fried shrimp was left out for more than two hours at room temperature? Not sure? When in doubt, throw it out. Don’t reheat and eat as bacteria wreak havoc on seafood.

How To Reheat Fried Shrimp In The Microwave

Now, let’s delve into the step-by-step process of reheating fried shrimp in the microwave, ensuring that each bite keeps its delightful crunch:

  1. Arrange on the plate. Begin by placing your leftover fried shrimp on a microwave-safe plate. To ensure even reheating, avoid stacking or overlapping them.
  2. Set the power level. Adjust your microwave’s power level to 50% or medium power. This lower setting helps prevent the shrimp from overcooking and becoming overly crisp or tough.
  3. Reheating time. Start with an initial reheating time of 20 to 30 seconds. Keep in mind that the exact time may vary depending on your microwave’s wattage and the quantity and size of the shrimp.
  4. Check if it’s ready. After the initial heating cycle, carefully check one shrimp to see if it’s heated through. If needed, continue reheating in short 10-second intervals until all the shrimp are hot throughout.

Hot tip: Microwaves can have uneven heating. Always test reheated shrimp in several places with a meat thermometer to make sure they reach 165°F throughout.

Serving The Shrimp

Your reheated fried shrimp are now ready and ready to eat, but there are a few final steps to ensure perfection:

  • Drain on paper towels. Transfer the reheated shrimp to a plate lined with paper towels. This step serves a dual purpose. First, it helps absorb any excess oil that may have accumulated during the microwaving process, ensuring your shrimp remain crispy. Second, it maintains the presentation, preventing the shrimp from sitting in grease.
  • Season to perfection. Before serving, consider adding a pinch of salt or your preferred seasonings. This not only enhances the flavor but also highlights the crispy texture of the shrimp. Don’t hesitate to get creative with your seasonings—a sprinkle of cayenne for extra heat or a touch of lemon zest for a citrusy zing.

Comparing Microwave to Other Methods

While we’ve focused on reheating fried shrimp in the microwave, remember you can also use an oven or air fryer to reheat them. While these other methods can work well, they have their own steps and specifics. 

The microwave method, when executed correctly, offers a quick and convenient way to enjoy reheated fried shrimp without compromising on taste and texture.

The bottom line

When dealing with fried shrimp, the microwave can be your trusty ally, ensuring that every bite keeps its crispy texture and flavor. With the right technique and a touch of attention to detail, you can enjoy the same crunch as when your shrimp first emerged from the fryer. 

So, the next time you find yourself with leftover fried shrimp yearning for a second life, don’t hesitate to reheat them in the microwave. Just remember the tips I shared and approach the process with care.

More About Shrimp

How To Reheat Fried Shrimp In The Microwave

How To Reheat Fried Shrimp In The Microwave

This guide provides a step-by-step process on how to reheat fried shrimp in the microwave.


  • Leftover fried shrimp
  • Microwave
  • Tongs
  • Paper-towel-lined serving plate
  • Optional: Meat thermometer


  1. Lay the shrimp on a microwave-safe plate without stacking them.
  2. Microwave the shrimp on 50% power for 20 to 30 seconds initially. 
  3. Check one shrimp. If not hot, continue in 10-second intervals until done.
  4. Use tongs to move shrimp to a towel-lined plate and serve.
  5. It’s best to check the internal temp of leftovers, so if you have a meat thermometer handy, may as well use it to check that the shrimp have come to 165F.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Skip to Recipe