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16 December 2019

Use this homemade bang bang shrimp recipe to make the famous restaurant appetizer at home – succulent grilled or lightly fried shrimp tossed in a creamy, sweet and spicy sauce.

Bang Bang Shrimp is the party appetizer you’ve been looking for, my friends. You’ve probably had it, or some variation of it, at certain restaurants. It’s been made famous as Bonefish Grill Bang Bang Shrimp where they serve it up over a plate of greens, though I’ve seen it under other names like “Firecracker Shrimp” or “Boom Boom Shrimp”.

Same thing, really. But if you haven’t heard of it…

What is Bang Bang Shrimp?

Bang Bang Shrimp is a dish of grilled or fried shrimp tossed in a creamy, sweet and spicy sauce that is primarily made from mayo and chili sauce. It’s an addictive dish, one you’re sure to love, particularly if you’re a spicy food lover like I am. It is mostly served as an appetizer, though I see it increasingly served as a main course as a filling for tacos, as the star of a pasta dish and more.

There are two main components to making the perfect bang bang shrimp: The Bang Bang Sauce and the Shrimp.

Let’s discuss.

Bang Bang Shrimp on a plate

About the Bang Bang Sauce

Bang Bang Sauce is mostly a mixture of mayonnaise and chili sauce, though you can easily vary it up with different ingredients to suit your own personal tastes. It is very similar to a creamy remoulade or popular sriracha mayo

Popular additions include sriracha, chili-garlic sauce, honey, citrus or vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and/or spicy seasonings, such as cayenne or Cajun seasonings. I like to make an extra spicy version, of course. 

See my Bang Bang Sauce Recipe here with more discussion on how you can customize it to make it your own.

Bang Bang Sauce Recipe

The Shrimp

The shrimp is usually very lightly coated and fried in oil until nice and crispy, though you can also grill or saute them instead for an even lighter version of the recipe. Deep frying the shrimp is more common. I will include different shrimp cooking options in the discussion and recipe card below. Smaller shrimp work best for this recipe, making them more bite-sized, though it will work with any type of shrimp.

Shrimp in a bowl

Let’s talk about how we make bang bang shrimp, shall we? It is basically a copycat bang bang shrimp recipe, with a few alterations to make it my own and more pleasing to the spicy food lover in us all. Though not TOO spicy. 

Bang Bang Shrimp Ingredients

  • FOR THE SAUCE
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chili-garlic sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (or use smoked paprika for a milder version)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • FOR THE SHRIMP
  • 1 pound small to medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or use milk)
  • 3/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (use smoked paprika for a milder version, or use both!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • FOR GARNISH: Fresh chopped parsley, spicy chili flakes

How to Make Bang Bang Shrimp – the Recipe Method

FOR THE BANG BANG SAUCE

First, add all of the bang bang sauce ingredients to a small bowl – mayo, chili-garlic sauce, sriracha, honey, lemon juice, cayenne and some salt and pepper.

Whisk together all of the ingredients until smooth and creamy.

Bang Bang Sauce whisked together in a bowl

Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. 

FOR THE BANG BANG SHRIMP

Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a wide pot to 375 degrees F. Do not let the oil boil. If you do not have a thermometer, test the oil with a tiny drop of flour. It will immediately sizzle up.

Next, add the shrimp and buttermilk to a large bowl. Toss to coat the shrimp. Soak for a few minutes while the oil is heating.

Shrimp coated with buttermilk

Whisk together the cornstarch, cayenne (or paprika) and a bit of salt and pepper into a separate medium bowl.

Seasoning for our fried bang bang shrimp breading

Remove the shrimp and shake off any excess buttermilk. Coat the shrimp in the seasoned cornstarch mixture.

Coating the shrimp for frying

Fry the shrimp for 1 minute per side, or until they are cooked through and start to lightly brown.

Remove and drain the shrimp on paper towels.

Fried bang bang shrimp, draining the oil

Toss the shrimp with the bang bang sauce then garnish with fresh parsley and spicy chili flakes.

Boom! That’s it, my friends!  Or should I say “Bang”. Easy enough, isn’t it? The sauce is crazy easy to make, and the shrimp only requires a bit of frying. Toss it all together and bang! Bang Bang Shrimp is ready to serve.

Bang Bang Shrimp Serving Suggestions

  • Appetizer. Serve bang bang shrimp over spinach or other leafy greens as a simple appetizer or as the starter for your main course.
  • Over Rice. Make it a meal by serving the shrimp over steamed rice or cauliflower rice.
  • Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta. Toss the shrimp with your favorite boiled noodles for a quick and easy pasta dinner.
  • Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos. Serve your bang bang shrimp over warmed tortillas with a few of your favorite toppings, like sliced avocado or chopped tomato.

Bang Bang Shrimp on a plate, ready to serve

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • The Heat Factor. Skip the sriracha and cayenne powder to tone down the heat of the bang bang sauce. Use a sweet chili sauce instead of the chili-garlic sauce. If you’d like to up the heat factor, add some of your favorite hot sauce to the sauce, and/or spicy chili flakes or powder. 
  • Grilled Shrimp. Skip the frying and grill the shrimp instead. Heat your grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grates. Season the shrimp with a bit of salt and pepper (or use your favorite seasoning blend), then grill the shrimp 1-2 minutes per side, until cooked through. Then, toss them with the bang bang sauce.
  • Sauteed Shrimp. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a saute pan. Season the shrimp with a bit of salt and pepper (or use your favorite seasoning blend), then saute the shrimp 1-2 minutes per side, until cooked through. Then, toss them with the bang bang sauce.

I hope you enjoy it! Time to get cooking! How are you going to serve yours? With shrimp? Chicken? Any other fun ideas? Let’s hear it!

Try Some of My Other Popular Shrimp Recipes

Creamy, spicy Bang Bang Shrimp, ready to serve

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Bang Bang Shrimp Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Bang Bang Shrimp Recipe

Use this homemade bang bang shrimp recipe to make the famous restaurant appetizer at home - succulent grilled or lightly fried shrimp tossed in a creamy, sweet and spicy sauce.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fried, recipe, shrimp, spicy
Servings: 6
Calories: 302kcal

Ingredients

FOR THE SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chili-garlic sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne or use smoked paprika for a milder version
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

FOR THE SHRIMP

  • 1 pound small to medium shrimp peeled and deveined, blotted dry with paper towels
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or use milk
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper use smoked paprika for a milder version, or use both!
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • FOR GARNISH: Fresh chopped parsley spicy chili flakes

Instructions

FOR THE BANG BANG SAUCE

  • Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, or serve right away.

FOR THE BANG BANG SHRIMP

  • Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a wide pot to 375 degrees F. Do not let the oil boil. If you do not have a thermometer, test the oil with a tiny drop of flour. It will immediately sizzle up.
  • Next, add the shrimp and buttermilk to a large bowl. Toss to coat the shrimp. Soak for a few minutes while the oil is heating.
  • Whisk together then cornstarch, cayenne (or paprika) and a bit of salt and pepper into a separate large bowl.
  • Drain the shrimp and shake off any excess buttermilk. Coat the shrimp in the seasoned cornstarch mixture, then fry them for 1 minute per side, or until they are cooked through and start to lightly brown.
  • Remove and drain the shrimp on paper towels.
  • Toss the shrimp with the bang bang sauce then garnish with fresh parsley and spicy chili flakes.
  • For Grilled Shrimp. Skip the frying and grill the shrimp instead. Heat your grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grates. Season the shrimp with a bit of salt and pepper (or use your favorite seasoning blend), then grill the shrimp 1-2 minutes per side, until cooked through. Then, toss them with the bang bang sauce.
  • For Sauteed Shrimp. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a saute pan. Season the shrimp with a bit of salt and pepper (or use your favorite seasoning blend), then saute the shrimp 1-2 minutes per side, until cooked through. Then, toss them with the bang bang sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 201mg | Sodium: 1248mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 531IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 2mg
Bang Bang Shrimp

5 comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner with stuff I had on hand- this was EXCELLENT.

    Was out of the chili garlic for the Bang Bang sauce, so used a few drops of Bravado’s Black Garlic Carolina Reaper instead. Worth it.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      There you go! Nice substitution. I love this recipe.

  2. If you choose to use either saute or grill cooking methods, would you omit the buttermilk/cornstarch step? Thank you. Love your site and recipes.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hi, Barbara. Yes, omit the buttermilk/cornstarch step and just grill or saute the seasoned shrimp. Let me know how it turns out for you! Enjoy.






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