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Finger Food/ Fish/ Hearty Dinners/ Summer Lovin'

Bang Bang Shrimp (+ serving ideas!)

May 16, 2024 (Last Updated: May 18, 2024) by Chris Collins

Here I’ll show you how to make the crispiest and juiciest bang bang shrimp!

Bang bang shrimp is typically served as an appetiser, but I’m here today to show it can be the main event! This dish originates across the pond, so I’m respecting the original name of ‘shrimp’. But for my fellow Brits, we are most certainly using prawns! I’ll probably use them interchangeably throughout the post, but they both mean the same thing 😅 Follow me…

close up shot of bang bang shrimp on silver fork

Bang Bang Sauce

The sauce honestly couldn’t be any easier if it tried. It’s just mayonnaise, Thai sweet chilli sauce and Sriracha. I think you’ll be surprised at just how delicious it tastes – especially with the prawns!

I do sometimes add in some soy sauce if I’ve got it on hand. This seasons the sauce with a salty flavour, instead of simply adding salt. It also fits the flavour profile of the Asian-inspired sauce too. It’s completely optional though, so if you think it’s perfect without just leave it out.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Absolutely! Just tightly store in the fridge until needed.

overhead shot of bang bang sauce ingredients on marble backdrop

Crispy Bang Bang Shrimp

Is there anything more wildly delicious than a crispy prawn? Prawns were actually the gateway to seafood for me and quite frankly I now can’t imagine my life without them.

What makes these so crispy?

We’re actually going to be double-battering the prawns. Because no, one coating is simply not enough.

  1. Batter – we’ll first coat the prawns in a liquid batter. This will essentially be the glue to the breadcrumbs, but it does also crisp up itself too.
  2. Crumb – finishing the prawns in Panko breadcrumbs is key to them coming out so crispy.

Panko Breadcrumbs

Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs which you’ll find in most supermarkets. They’re perfect as they’re relatively large and airy, meaning they crisp up really nicely.

Process shots: mix cornflour, plain flour and seasoning (photo 1), add prawns (photo 2), coat prawns then remove (photo 3), whisk in buttermilk and egg (photo 4), coat prawn in batter (photo 5), coat in breadcrumbs (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to prepare bang bang shrimp

Fried Bang Bang Shrimp

I did test this in both the oven and air fryer, but unfortunately neither came close to the crispiness when fried. Because prawns cook so quickly, to get a similar crispiness you’ll end up over-baking the prawns, even if you pre-cook the breadcrumbs. Thankfully though you don’t need much oil AND they cook very quickly.

Working in batches

It’s essential you don’t overcrowd the pan when you fry the prawns. Not only will they steam on each other and cause the batter to go soggy, but the oil temp will drop too much and they won’t crisp up as well.

How do I know when the prawns are cooked?

They’ll be visibly golden and crisp, with the centre piping hot and light pink. They won’t take long at all, so just be vigilant. A ‘C’ shape is what you’re aiming for – don’t let them curl up to an ‘O’ shape as this means they’re overcooked.

Once you’ve cooked the prawns just add them to a wire rack above a tray. This will allow excess oil to drip off.

Process shots: add prawns to hot oil (photo 1), fry (photo 2), remove and add to wire rack (photo 3).

3 step by step photos showing how to cook bang bang shrimp

Bang Bang Shrimp Noodles (serving idea)

A simple serving idea is to plonk them on some noodles. I personally love the crispiness of the prawns alongside the soft noodles. I also love the creamy bang bang sauce with the noodles too.

Here I just stir fried some beansprouts and spring onion with some fresh noodles, alongside a pre-packaged sauce. Although you can use my Chicken Chow Mein or Chicken Noodles Stir Fry for some easy sauce inspo. Go wild and use whatever kind of noodles you fancy!

For more prawn noodle ideas check out my Spicy Prawn Noodles!

close up overhead shot of bang bang shrimp noodles in large grey bowl

Bang Bang Shrimp Salad (serving idea)

If you want to go a little more healthy, then a salad is a great option. Below I just combined chopped romaine lettuce with baby plum tomatoes, cucumber and avocado, then added the prawns and sauce on top. The sauce makes the perfect dressing! Again, go wild and use whatever fillings you want.

close up overhead shot of bang bang shrimp salad in large white bowl

Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos (serving idea)

This is my favourite serving idea. Here’s what I use for my bang bang shrimp tacos:

  • Tortillas – I charred some small flour tortillas on the flame on my stove.
  • Cabbage – I use white cabbage and thinly shredded it.
  • Lime Juice – I squeezed this in with the cabbage.
  • Avocado – Thinly sliced.
  • Coriander/Cilantro – Just a tiny pinch to serve.

For another fish taco recipe check out my Fish Finger Tacos!

Let me know if you like serving crispy prawns any other way – I’d love to hear 😄

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this bang bang shrimp shall we?!

overhead shot of open bang bang shrimp taco on marble backdrop

How to make Bang Bang Shrimp (Full Recipe & Video)

close up shot of bang bang shrimp on silver fork

Bang Bang Shrimp (+ serving ideas!)

Here I'll show you how to make the crispiest and juiciest bang bang shrimp!
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Servings (click & slide): 4
Course: Appetizer / Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 18 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Calories per serving: 519kcal
Cost per serving: £4 / $5

Equipment:

  • Small Bowl (for sauce)
  • Kitchen Roll/Paper Towels
  • Large Mixing bowl & Whisk (for batter)
  • Large Shallow Dish (for breadcrumbs)
  • Large Tray & Wire Rack
  • Kitchen Thermometer
  • Large Heavy-Based Pan & Tongs (for frying)

Ingredients (check list):

Sauce

  • 120g / 1/2 cup full-fat Mayo
  • 60g / 1/4 cup Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 tsp Soy Sauce, optional (see notes)

Shrimp

  • 330g / 12oz Raw Jumbo King Prawns/Shrimp (see notes)
  • 40g / 1/4 cup EACH: Plain Flour, Cornflour (Cornstarch in US)
  • 1 tsp EACH: Paprika, Mild Chilli Powder, Salt
  • 1/2 tsp EACH: Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Black Pepper
  • 300ml / 1 1/4 cups Buttermilk, or as needed (see notes)
  • 1 Egg
  • 100g / 1 1/2 cups Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 120ml / 1/2 cup Veg Oil, or more as needed

Tacos (see notes for other serving ideas)

  • 8 Small Tortillas, warmed or lightly charred
  • thinly shredded Cabbage, as needed
  • Fresh Lime Juice, as needed
  • thinly sliced Avocado
  • finely diced Coriander/Cilantro (optional)

Instructions:

  • Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Taste for preference and adjust quantities if desired.
  • Pat the prawns dry to remove excess moisture.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk the flour, cornflour and all of the seasoning besides 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. In a large shallow dish next to the bowl combine the Panko with the leftover salt and pepper.
  • Add the prawns to the large bowl of flour and toss to coat, then shake and remove, leaving the excess flour in the bowl. Whisk in the egg and enough buttermilk to create a thick(ish) batter. I find different brands of buttermilk have different consistencies so use your best judgement. It should be able to comfortably coat the back of a spoon, but not so thick it's sludgy and firm to mix.
  • Use one hand to take a prawn and coat it in the batter (hold it by the tail), give it a shake then add to the Panko. Use your other hand to coat it in the breadcrumbs, then place it on a tray. Repeat with the remaining prawns.
  • Add enough oil to comfortably coat the base of a heavy-bottom pan and place it over medium-high heat. Once the oil hits 180C/350F (a crumb should rapidly sizzle) add half of the prawns (don't overcrowd the pan). Cook for around 3 minutes, turning once halfway, or until golden, crisp and cooked through the centre. Remove and place on a wire rack above the tray, then repeat. They won't take long so just be vigilant they don't overcook.
  • If you're making the tacos toss the cabbage in a good squeeze of lime juice (work to taste) then add to the tortillas with avocado, prawns, a drizzle of sauce and coriander if using.

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Prawns/Shrimp - This is an American dish, hence me keeping the original name of Bang Bang 'Shrimp'. In the UK you're looking for prawns though. Most pre-packed prawns will come ready to cook (deveined etc). You can use frozen, just make sure you thaw them first. They won't take long to cook and if you're wary just test with one first. I ended up with 28 prawns in total. 
b) Sauce - You can easily adjust this to suit your taste (more mayo for creamier, more sriracha for spice, more sweet chilli for more sweetness). I like a dash of soy sauce to add a touch of salty flavour, but it's completely optional. 
c) Buttermilk/Batter - You'll find buttermilk in most supermarkets. I find they're often different consistencies, meaning you'll need slightly different amounts to make the batter. For reference, I get mine from Sainsbury's and use the whole 300ml pot to make the batter.
d) Breadcrumbs - You'll find Panko in most supermarkets in the Asian section. To coat the prawns, just press the crumbs into the prawn. The batter might slide/clump a little, just make sure it doesn't come right off.
e) Serving ideas - These are typically served as an appetiser, but I love turning them into a dinner! Here are some serving ideas:
  • Noodles - To film I just stir fried some beansprouts and spring onion with some fresh noodles, alongside a pre-packaged sauce. Although you can use my Chicken Chow Mein or Chicken Noodles Stir Fry for some easy sauce inspo.
  • Salad - I combined chopped romaine lettuce with baby plum tomatoes, cucumber and avocado, then added the prawns and sauce on top. Go wild and follow your tastebuds on whatever you want to include!
  • Tacos - As discussed in the recipe.
  • Rice - If you're not looking for anything extravagant then just serve over rice!
f) Calories - Just an estimate for 1 serving of the prawns + sauce.

Your Private Notes:

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Bang Bang Shrimp (+ serving ideas!)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 519 Calories from Fat 344
% Daily Value*
Fat 38.26g59%
Saturated Fat 4.891g24%
Trans Fat 0.132g
Polyunsaturated Fat 17.319g
Monounsaturated Fat 15.056g
Cholesterol 166mg55%
Sodium 828mg35%
Potassium 355mg10%
Carbohydrates 23.04g8%
Fiber 1.3g5%
Sugar 8.1g9%
Protein 20.55g41%
Vitamin A 148IU3%
Vitamin C 1.6mg2%
Calcium 116mg12%
Iron 1.61mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

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