RECIPES:
Feb 23, 2022

Bang Bang Shrimp

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
A bonus of making your own bang bang shrimp is you can make (and eat) as many as you want!

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This recipe for fried shrimp is similar to popcorn shrimp and is served in a creamy, spicy sauce made from Thai sweet chili sauce, sriracha and mayo. The bang bang shrimp recipe is inspired by the famous appetizer at Bonefish Grill. I fell in love with the crispy shrimp years ago and make this recipe whenever I’m too far away from one of the restaurant locations!

I first coat the shrimp in an egg and milk wash then dredge them in a combination of cornstarch, flour and panko breadcrumbs before dropping them in hot oil until they’re fried to golden brown perfection. The egg wash helps the coating to adhere to the outside. While the shrimp can be cooked in a deep fryer or air fryer (instructions below) I simply heat oil in a heavy bottomed pot or cast iron pan. Both conduct heat well to evenly and quickly fry the shrimp. 

Bang Bang Shrimp

What’s in Bang Bang sauce? 

This sauce is slightly spicy and sweet, tangy and creamy all at once. It’s the perfect pairing for the crispy fried shrimp. 

  • Mayonnaise
  • Thai sweet chili sauce 
  • Sriracha 
  • White vinegar 
  • Lemon juice 

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Shrimp – The terms “jumbo” and “extra jumbo” and “colossal” used to refer to shrimp size actually aren’t standardized terms within the industry. Rather than looking at the key word, look at the numbers of shrimp per pound. The shrimp should be peeled and deveined with the tails removed before beginning the recipe. When the recipe says (26/30), it means there will be 26 to 30 shrimp per pound. I prefer smaller shrimp for this recipe so they are similar to popcorn shrimp. 
  • Cornstarch –  The naturally gluten-free starchy powder works to absorb any moisture, and prevents gluten development, keeping the outside crisp and perfect. 
  • Flour – I use all-purpose flour in addition to the cornstarch to create the perfectly crispy exterior on the shrimp. 
  • Panko – Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs make a great crust on fried foods and, because they are lighter, they absorb less oil than other breadcrumbs, keeping the shrimp crispier.
  • Sweet chili sauce – Thai sweet chili sauce, sometimes referred to as Asian sweet chili sauce, is a sweet, sticky and tangy sauce made from pickled chilies, garlic, ginger, sugar and vinegar. 
  • Sriracha – Sriracha is a hot sauce condiment made from crushed chilies, garlic and vinegar. It’s made with red jalapeños which give it the bright red color. It rates fairly low on the Scoville scale, at about 1,000-2,500 SHU. If you like your sauce on the spicier side, add an additional tablespoon of sriracha.

How to Make This Bang Bang Shrimp Recipe

Step 1: Make the bang bang sauce
Step 1: Make the bang bang sauce.

In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, chili garlic sauce, sriracha, vinegar and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. The sauce can be made up to 4 days in advance.

Step 2: Make the dredge
Step 2: Make the dredge. 

Combine the beaten egg yolk with milk in a shallow bowl. Set aside. Combine flour, cornstarch and panko in another small, shallow bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Step 3: Dredge the shrimp in the coating
Step 3: Dredge the shrimp in the coating.

Working a few shrimp at a time, coat the shrimp in the egg mixture then toss in the breading.

Step 4: Fry the shrimp
Step 4: Fry the shrimp.

Add enough oil to reach 1” (2.5cm) up the side of a medium cast iron pan. Heat oil to 350ºF (180ºC). When the oil is hot, fry shrimp, working a few at a time, cooking  until golden brown on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes total. Drain on a cooling rack or a paper towel-lined plate.

Step 5: Toss the shrimp in the sauce
Step 5: Toss the shrimp in the sauce.

Once all the shrimp are fried, add to a large bowl. Spoon about ½ cup of the sauce over the shrimp and toss to coat them evenly.

Step 6: Garnish and serve. 
Step 6: Garnish and serve. 

For serving, arrange the shrimp on a bed of lettuce and garnish with the green onions. Serve immediately.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

Serving Ideas 
  • I simply serve over green leaf lettuce leaves in this recipe though butter lettuce is also great. 
  • Add the creamy shrimp over finely shredded green cabbage tossed in rice wine vinegar and sesame oil for a simple slaw. 
  • For a more complex salad, massage kale with sesame oil and rice wine vinegar (to tenderize it). Then toss with cilantro, diced avocado, sliced green onions and shredded carrots for a delicious, healthy-ish lunch or dinner. 
  • Serve as tacos with cabbage and sliced avocado on warmed corn or flour tortillas.
How to Defrost Frozen Shrimp

I love keeping a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer for easy last minute appetizers or dinners.  If you have the foresight, I recommend moving the bag of shrimp to the refrigerator overnight. For same day use, submerge the bag of shrimp in lukewarm water, changing the water every 10 minutes or so until the shrimp have thawed, about 30 to 40 minutes. 

How to Make the Shrimp in an Air Fryer

These crispy shrimp can easily be made in an air fryer! Since the egg wash helps the coating stick, this dry batter is perfect for the air fryer. Simply batter the shrimp according to the recipe then add to the basket of the air fryer. Heat the air fryer to 400ºF (200ºC) and cook the shrimp for 6 minutes. I recommend cooking the shrimp in batches so they have room to spread out.

Bang Bang Shrimp Recipe

Other Recipes to Try 

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out these:

Bang Bang Shrimp

Bang Bang Shrimp Recipe
Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the spicy mayo sauce:

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the fried shrimp:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ¾ Panko breadcrumbs, crushed
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 1 pound 26/30 shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
  • Vegetable oil, as needed, for frying

For serving:

  • Green lettuce leaves, butter lettuce or shredded green cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

Instructions:

For the spicy mayo sauce:

  • In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, chili garlic sauce, sriracha, vinegar and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. The sauce can be made up to 4 days in advance.

For the fried shrimp:

  • Combine the beaten egg yolk with milk in a shallow bowl. Set aside. Combine flour, cornstarch and panko in another small, shallow bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Working a few shrimp at a time, coat the shrimp in the egg mixture then toss in the breading.
  • Add enough oil to reach 1” (2.5cm) up the side of a medium cast iron pan. Heat oil to 350ºF (180ºC). When the oil is hot, fry shrimp, working a few at a time, cooking until golden brown on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes total. Drain on a cooling rack or a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Once all the shrimp are fried, add to a large bowl. Spoon about ½ cup of the sauce over the shrimp and toss to coat them evenly.

For serving:

  • For serving, arrange the shrimp on a bed of lettuce and garnish with the green onions. Serve immediately.

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