As a recipe developer, I stumble upon ideas and recipes that I feel very passionate about often. This Bang Bang shrimp recipe is one of those. It’s the kind of thing I want everyone to make because it is just so damn good. Crispy fried shrimp is tossed with spicy mayonnaise and served hot. I could honestly eat an entire plate of these delightful morsels.
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What is bang bang shrimp?
Bang Bang shrimp is shrimp or prawns that are soaked in buttermilk then coated in seasoned flour and cornstarch before being fried until crisp and golden. The fried shrimp is then tossed in a spicy mayo made with store-bought mayonnaise and sweet chilli sauce. The perfect appetizer or filling for tacos served with slaw/shredded cabbage and corn or flour tortillas.
- Shrimp: I used large shrimp/prawns and peeled and deveined them myself. You can use peeled shrimp but I find the texture of whole, unpeeled shrimp better.
- Breading: Buttermilk, flour, cornstarch and salt for the coating. Some recipes call for Panko breadcrumbs to add extra crunch. You could absolutely coat the shrimp in Panko but it’s an unnecessary step in my opinion.
- Sauce: Mayonnaise (I used a combination of Hellman’s and Kewpie mayo but use any store-bought mayo of your choice), Thai sweet chili sauce, sriracha and rice vinegar.
- Oil, for frying. I used canola oil but sunflower oil or any neutral vegetable oil will work.
How to make Bang Bang shrimp (summary)
- Coat the shrimp: Peel and devein the shrimp then place in a medium bowl. Add half cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and a teaspoon or two of salt then mix well to ensure the shrimp is coated. Leave the shrimp to marinate in the mixture for at least 20 minutes but up to 6 hours in the fridge. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining cornstarch with flour and salt. Remove the shrimp from the buttermilk, shaking off any excess, then dip in the flour. Make sure each prawn/shrimp is completely covered with flour.
- Fry: Shake off any excess flour then fry the shrimp in batches in hot oil for a few minutes until golden brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on paper towels.
- Make the bang bang sauce: Stir together the sauce ingredients then add the fried shrimp, tossing to coat in the spicy sauce. Serve immediately.
As mentioned, I like serving this shrimp recipe as an appetizer but it makes a fantastic taco filling too. To make it more of a meal you could add a side of steamed rice or noodles.
Bang bang shrimp
- 500 g (1lb) shrimp / prawns
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 4 tbsp corn starch
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tsp salt
- oil for frying
For the sauce
- ½ cup mayonnaise I used half Hellmann's and half Kewpie mayo
- 2 tbsp Thai sweet chilli sauce
- 1 tbsp Sriracha
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- Peel and devein the shrimp then add to a medium bowl.
- Add the buttermilk, one tablespoon of cornstarch and a teaspoon of salt to the shrimp then mix well. Allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes but up to 6 hours in the fridge.
- Whisk together the flour, remaining cornstarch and salt in a separate bowl.
- To make the sauce, stir together the mayonnaise, sweet chilli sauce, sriracha and rice vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Remove the shrimp from the buttermilk mixture, allowing any excess to drip off then add to the flour mixture.
- Make sure the shrimp is completely coated with the flour then shake off excess.
- Heat enough oil to fry the shrimp (approximately 4 cups) in a saucepan set over medium-high heat. The oil is hot enough when a wooden skewer pressed to the bottom of the pot results in lots of tiny bubbles. The oil needs to be hot enough for the shrimp to fry quickly as they don't need lots of time to cook.
- Add the shrimp to the hot oil in batches and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
- Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on paper towels.
- Toss the fried shrimp with the sauce then serve immediately.