This air fryer Bang Bang Shrimp is crispy and smothered in a spicy homemade bang bang sauce. Serve it for lunch or as an appetizer!
Bang Bang Shrimp
This is an awesome recipe for crispy, crunchy shrimp with a deliciously creamy, spicy sauce. Best of all, you can bake them, deep fry or air fry them, depending on your preference. Baked and air fried shrimp will probably be closer to the ones you can try at restaurants, but it’s really up to you. You’ll use less oil if you’re air frying or baking the shrimp.
What is Bang Bang Shrimp?
Bang bang shrimp is a famous dish from the Bonefish grill. It’s an Asian-inspired take on shrimp, with crunchy breading and a spicy, creamy sauce reminiscent of Japanese cuisine. Like a lot of restaurant-style food, recreating this recipe at home is surprisingly easy, and takes only a few key steps and ingredients.
Bang Bang Sauce Ingredients
The deliberate and cultivated use of contrast is something we mostly associate with Asian cooking styles. Here, we’ve got crunchy, perfectly seasoned panko coating around tender, juicy shrimp. Adding to that is the beautifully creamy sauce drizzled over the top (and in a dipping bowl for good measure).
Firstly, you’re going to make your sauce by simply mixing your sauce ingredients (see below).
Ingredients For Bang Bang Shrimp
How to Make Bang Bang Shrimp
- Pat the shrimp dry, prepare the buttermilk mixture and mix all the ingredients for the bang bang sauce in a medium bowl.
- Place Panko breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl.
- Dip the shrimp in the buttermilk mixture and coat in the panko breadcrumbs. Place on the plate.
- Preheat your air fryer. Spray the bottom of your air fryer basket with cooking oil spray or brush with oil. Place the coated shrimp into the air fryer in a single layer. Don't overcrowd the basket. Spray with a cooking oil spray, if desired.
- Air fry at 375 F (190 C) for 5-7 minutes, depending on the size of your shrimp. Flip over carefully after 3 minutes, using tongs.
We prefer to air fry them but you can deep fry them too. Simply fry them in oil, turning the shrimp once so they’re a lovely golden brown on both sides.
You can, if you like, bake the shrimp rather than air frying them. To do this, add two tablespoons of olive oil to your panko mixture. Mix this well. Dip them in your buttermilk mixture, coat in the panko, and place on a baking sheet. Finally, bake the coated shrimp for seven to eight minutes, or until the breadcrumbs take on a golden color.
You’ll want to drizzle a generous amount of your bang bang sauce over the shrimp, and have a little extra in a side dish for dipping. Chopped spring onions or cilantro are perfect garnishes for this dish. You could also use finely chopped (and deseeded) red chillies.
This bang bang sauce is also very versatile! You can use it for burgers, sandwiches, tacos, or as a dipping sauce for finger foods.
Bang Bang Shrimp tips
When air frying the shrimp, you need to spray or drizzle them with oil.
Can I Use Cooked Shrimp?
If you prefer, you can use pre-cooked shrimp. Either fresh or frozen ready-cooked shrimp/prawns are just as good. They won’t be as tender, and you’ll need to make sure any frozen shrimp is fully defrosted before preparation. Shrimp has a very short cooking time regardless, and the key with using cooked shrimp is to make sure your breadcrumbs coating is properly cooked.
Can I Make it Gluten Free?
To make this gluten free, substitute the ingredients containing gluten - such as the breadcrumbs - for gluten-free options. Carefully check the label of your sauce ingredients to see if these contain gluten if you need to.
Can I Make Bang Bang Shrimp Ahead of Time?
Like all great food, this recipe works best when it’s fresh. However, if you’re short on time, or cooking for a large number of people, there are a few things you can do.
If you want to make this recipe ahead of time, you should use raw shrimp. That way, you cook them ahead of time once, and then once more to reheat for your guests. Using ready-cooked shrimp would involve three cooking stages - once before purchase, once to prepare your recipe, and then again to reheat - and that can affect the flavor and texture of your shrimp. It’s also not great food safety to reheat things three times, especially seafood.
If you’re cooking ahead, cook your raw shrimp, cool them quickly, then cover and refrigerate. They will keep in the fridge for up to a day, or alternatively you can freeze them in an airtight container or freezer bag. A tip for freezing shrimp is to freeze them on a tray until solid, then transfer to the bag so they don’t stick together.
How to Reheat Bang Bang Shrimp?
We recommend reheating shrimp in the air fryer, oven on a baking tray rather than a microwave or frying.
Oven: Reheat your shrimp in the oven at 200C or 400F until they are piping hot all the way through. You’ll want to do this in a single layer so they don’t stick together or reheat unevenly. You want the hot air in the oven to get all over the shrimp! This should only take three to four minutes out of the fridge, or up to eight minutes from frozen. Although your shrimp will take on a darker color than when they were first fried, closer to a golden brown than the golden color when they were freshly cooked, they will be just as crispy.
Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 300°F. Spay the basket with cooking oil spray, place the shrimp in a single layer and reheat for 3 minutes.
Making Bang Bang Sauce Ahead of Time
Although you could make the bang bang sauce ahead of time, we recommend that you make it fresh. Partially, this is because it contains mayonnaise, and should be eaten as soon as possible. Mostly, it’s because the bang bang sauce is really easy to make. All you have to do is mix your mayonnaise, sweet chilli sauce, sriracha and honey in a bowl. That’s it! This simple mixture provides plenty of flavor and tastes great when fresh. If you’re really pressed for time, you could feasibly prepare your sauce while the shrimp is in the oven.
More Shrimp Recipes to Try
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