This Bang Bang Shrimp (棒棒虾) is crispy and sizzling shrimp smothered in a creamy, sweet and spicy sauce. This easy recipe tastes as good as, if not better than the popular Bang Bang Shrimp at the Bonefish Grill restaurant!
After trying so many different Bang Bang Shrimp recipes, this is a true winner and the closest to Bonefish Grill’s version.
There is a special secret for making perfect crispy and crunchy shrimp — instead of coating the marinated shrimp with just cornstarch, you can add panko bread crumbs and just one teaspoon of baking soda to the cornstarch. It makes gorgeous golden browned crispy shrimp.
What is Bang Bang Shrimp?
Bang Bang Shrimp (棒棒虾) is a popular appetizer at a few restaurant chains such as Bonefish Grill and The Cheesecake Factory. It’s breaded shrimp fried up to golden brown and then smothered in a spicy and creamy sauce.
Bang Bang Shrimp is the shrimp version of Bang Bang Chicken (棒棒鸡). Bang Bang also goes by the names of Bon Bon or Pon Pon.
Originally it’s a Chinese dish even though restaurant versions today are quite different than the traditional Chinese Bang Bang Chicken, which consists of cold (often shredded) chicken drizzled with spicy, nutty sauce. Bang has many meanings in Chinese, and funnily enough one of them is “Awesome!”
Bang Bang Shrimp melts in your mouth and makes an irresistible appetizer by itself or you can serve it as a main dish with vegetables and rice.
How to Make Bang Bang Shrimp
Bang Bang Shrimp is essentially the fried shrimp mixed with Bang Bang Sauce. To re-create the delicious copycat Bonefish Grill recipe, there are a few major steps for making this dish.
- Coat the Shrimp: Make sure the shrimp is thawed properly, and then mix well with buttermilk. Soak for about 15 minutes in the refrigerator. In a separate bowl, mix together cornstarch, panko crumbs and baking soda. Remove shrimp from the buttermilk and drain excess liquid. Coat shrimp in cornstarch, bread crumbs and baking soda mix.
- Fry the Shrimp to Crispy Golden Brown: In a deep pan, add 2 inches of oil and heat to 375°F. Fry the shrimp for about 30 seconds just until golden brown. Remove the shrimp with slotted spoon and place on a cooling rack.
- Make Bang Bang Sauce: Whisk the mayonnaise, sweet chili and Sriracha sauce in a small bowl. Mix well. Taste test the sauce. Add more or less of each ingredient according to your personal preference. Add more Sriracha if you like it to be spicier. When the shrimp is ready, mix them with your Bang Bang sauce. Toss gently to coat.
Tips and Secrets for Making Bang Bang Shrimp
- Soak the thawed shrimp buttermilk for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. This is an important technique that helps to reduce the fishy flavor and make the coating stay on the shrimp while frying.
- Instead of coating the marinated shrimp with cornstarch, you can add panko bread crumbs and just one teaspoon of baking soda to the cornstarch. It makes gorgeous golden browned crispy shrimp.
- Use a deep pot to fry the shrimp if you don’t have a deep fryer. A normal sized skillet won’t work well as it’s too shallow and the coated shrimp can easily tough and stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- Make sure to bring the oil to the right temperature and work in batches. Deep fry the shrimp for only 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Avoid overcooking the shrimp, which will make them chewy.
- When the shrimp is golden brown, remove them with a slotted spoon to a wire rack. I find cooling rack works better as it keeps the shrimp from getting soggy vs. placing them directly onto paper towels.
How to Serve Bang Bang Shrimp
- You can serve it as an appetizer to pass around at a dinner party, just as in Bonefish Grill restaurant
- I also like to serve it with rice, and make it into a dinner meal with some vegetables such as broccoli
- It tastes amazing when served on warm flour tortillas as well.
How to Buy Shrimp for Bang Bang Shrimp
You need to use raw shrimp for this recipe. At supermarket, most raw shrimp are either frozen or defrosted shrimp. I recommend buying frozen raw shrimp for this recipe, and thaw them before cooking.
Key Ingredients and Where to Buy them
– Frozen shrimp: I bought frozen peeled and deveind from local supermarket. I thawed them overnight in the fridge.
– Thai Sweet Chili Sauce: getting the right sweet chili sauce makes big difference in this recipe. Mae Ploy brand is the sauce used at Bonefish Grill restaurant and you can find it in Asian grocery stores, larger supermarkets or online.
– Sriracha sauce: The Huy Fong brand is the original available everywhere and online.
Equipment for Making Bang Bang Shrimp
– Fry Thermometer: this is used to accurately track your oil temperature if using a saucepan. If the oil is too hot, your shrimp may come out dark.
– Slotted Spoon: A steel spoon will last the longest when working with hot oil.
– Deep Fryer: Strictly optional but helpful if you’re deep frying often and helps to control the oil temperature accurately.
– Mixing Bowls: Pyrex mixing bowls are very handy for many recipes including this one.
Can I Bake Bang Bang Shrimp?
Yes, Baked Bang Bang Shrimp is a healthier variation that’s easy to make too. After you coat the shrimp, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 400°F for 3-5 minutes per side or until golden brown.
Bang Bang Shrimp
This copycat Bang Bang Shrimp is mouthwateringly delicious and perfect for a party or just some comfort food.
- 1 pound raw shrimp 26-30 size, peeled, de-veined and thawed
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp baking soda
- canola oil for frying
- minced chives optional for garnish
Bang Bang Sauce
- 1 tsp Sriracha sauce
- 1/4 cup Asian sweet chili sauce
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
In a medium bowl, add thawed shrimp and buttermilk. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix sweet chili sauce, Sriracha and mayonnaise together and set aside.
Add 2 inches of oil to a deep fryer, saucepan or small skillet and heat to 375°F. Set aside a wire cooling rack.
In a soup bowl, mix together cornstarch, breadcrumbs and baking soda with a fork.
Remove shrimp from the buttermilk and dredge one-by-one in the cornstarch mixture until coated.
Shake off the excess cornstarch and carefully drop 3-4 shrimp into the hot oil.
Fry about 1-2 minutes or until golden brown (see note) and then remove with slotted spoon to prepared cooling rack. Repeat for remaining shrimp.
Place shrimp on a serving plate and drizzle Bang Bang sauce on top. Serve and enjoy!
The frying time can vary depending on the size of the shrimp, the temperature of the oil and other factors. It's best to test one shrimp, remove when golden and check the texture. Then you can adjust if needed before doing the rest.
Looking for more shrimp recipes?
- Easy Shrimp Boil
- Garlic Butter Shrimp with Parsley
- Shrimp Pad Thai
- Shrimp Fajitas
- Blackened Shrimp
- Shrimp Pasta
- Shrimp Lo Mein
- Shrimp Cauliflower Rice
Looking for more appetizer recipes?
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