Bang Bang Shrimp

Bang Bang Shrimp have been made popular by Bonefish Grill, but the tasty appetizer is easy to make at home with our copycat recipe—and they're just as delicious as the restaurant version. The shrimp are soaked in buttermilk before being coated in a mixture of cornstarch and flour. Cornstarch creates a crispier and drier fried crust that audibly cracks when it's bitten into (it's the secret ingredient in most extra-crispy, fried Asian foods—like tempura). In addition to being crunchier than a simple flour coating, cornstarch browns beautifully in hot oil, making an appetizing golden exterior that carries its color even through a variety of sauces.The sauce that coats these crispy shrimp is made out of 4 easy ingredients: mayonnaise, sweet red chili sauce, Sriracha, and salt. Mayonnaise forms an almost neutral backdrop to carry the fruity sweetness of sweet red chili sauce and the punchy heat of Sriracha. Both the sweet and spicy contrast the richness of the mayonnaise and the residual oil carried over from frying. The juicy shrimp are delicately encased in a breading that does not fall apart when bitten into, and their gentle briny flavor is a nice contrast to the bold flavors of the sauce.The recipe calls for fresh shrimp that are peeled and deveined, but you can also use frozen shrimp that have been thawed. Just be sure to pat them dry after thawing so that the buttermilk can easily coat and penetrate the flesh of the shrimp.Lastly, these shrimp are garnished with fresh chives but they can be topped with freshly chopped scallions if you prefer a stronger onion flavor. Regardless of how you garnish the Bang Bang Shrimp, be sure to serve them with additional Sriracha on the side for those who crave a little more spice!

Bang Bang Shrimp
Photo: Micah A. Leal
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
6 servings (6 shrimp per serving)


  • ½ cup mayonnaise

  • 6 tablespoons sweet red chili sauce

  • ¾ teaspoon Sriracha

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided (1/2 in sauce)

  • ½ cup buttermilk

  • 1 pound fresh medium/large shrimp (about 36), peeled and deveined

  • ½ cup cornstarch

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying

  • Chives for garnish


  1. In a deep fryer or Dutch oven fitted with a candy thermometer, heat oil to 350°F. Line a plate with several layers of paper towels and set next to the fryer.

  2. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, chili sauce, Sriracha, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Set aside.

  3. In a medium-sized bowl, pour buttermilk over shrimp. Toss to coat. In a shallow bowl, use a fork to combine cornstarch, flour, and remaining 1 tsp. salt. Working with 5 to 7 shrimp at a time, lift shrimp out of buttermilk, allowing the excess to drip off, and transfer the shrimp to the cornstarch-and-flour mixture. Turn the shrimp in the flour to coat. Use a slotted spoon to gently lower shrimp into hot oil. Fry for 5 minutes, flipping the shrimp once halfway through cooking. Remove shrimp to paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining shrimp.

  4. Once fried shrimp have cooled slightly, gently toss them in the prepared sauce. Lift them out of the sauce, allowing the excess to fall off, and transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with fresh chives and serve immediately.

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