The first time I ever ordered Bang Bang Shrimp from Bonefish Grill, I sang “She Bangs” (you know, the song by Ricky Martin– but I sang it like William Hung) for about a week. It was a silly association, but it was so severely stuck in my head that it was driving me crazy. I actively tried to replace it with other songs, to cut myself off when I started whistling it, I even tried some old fashioned aversion therapy by pairing things I hate with every instance of even thinking about the lyrics. Nothing worked. That’s how bad it was stuck in there.
And just talking about this is making me think of it again. Damn you, American Idol, for taking that song to a new level of unforgettable infamy.
Anyway, after I finally stopped breaking out in song at random points in the day, do you know what I did? I went back to Bonefish Grill, and I ordered the Bang Bang Shrimp again. I got the song stuck in my head again. I tried at lengths to get it out of my head again. I could not for the life of me get it out of my head, AGAIN. But overall, it was worth it… because that shrimp is insanely good.
If you’re thinking right now that you should Youtube “William Hung- She Bangs”, stop right now. Don’t do that to yourself. If you’re thinking you should continue reading so you can get the recipe for those delicious-looking shrimp, then by all means, proceed.
Obviously, I decided at some point that I wanted to recreate Bang Bang Shrimp at home, but I also had this nagging opposition to frying things. I was under the impression that I’d burn down my house or light myself on fire somehow or do something equally destructive. I’m a tad bit paranoid.
Luckily, I overcame that fear when I forced myself to make Fried Stuffed Olives and realized that it is really freakin’ easy to fry stuff. I honestly don’t have the slightest clue why I thought otherwise. I now fry foods quite often, and I’m happy to say that I’ve never caused a fire. Also, I make some bangin’ shrimp. (Get it? “Bangin'”? Ok, I never claimed to be a comedian.)
So, truthfully, this shrimp isn’t identical to Bang Bang Shrimp. It’s better. I know I’m tooting my own horn there, but hear me out. It’s a bit crunchier, it’s more flavorful, and the sauce… well, the sauce pretty much tastes exactly the same, but that’s a good thing. I prefer to serve the sauce on the side in order to make these more share-able for parties, but feel free to toss your shrimp in the sauce Bonefish style if you’d like. Oh, and I made these awesome curly green onions to garnish with, which I will now use on everything for the rest of forever. I’ll teach you how to make those too– it’s insanely easy.
This Spicy Fried Shrimp recipe is based off of the Bonefish Grill Bang Bang Shrimp, but– dare I say it?– even better.
- For the Shrimp:
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- ~4 cups vegetable oil, for frying
For the Sauce:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon sriracha chili garlic sauce (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon creamy peanut butter, optional.
For the Green Onion Garnish:
- 1 bunch of green onions
- Ice water
- In a wide, shallow dish, combine the milk and egg. Add the shrimp and turn to coat well.
- In a separate large bowl, combine the panko, flour, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, dried basil, and chili powder. Whisk to evenly distribute.
- Pour the shrimp into the bowl of breading and toss to coat evenly. Then remove the shrimp from the breading mixture and dip them in the egg again. Add them back to the breading bowl once more and toss again to coat. The double-coating really gives a delicious, crispy exterior to the shrimp. Refrigerate the shrimp on a lined baking sheet for 30 mins to help the breading stick.
- In the mean time, slice your green onions vertically in half, and then halve them again, and again until they are very thin. Then drop them in a bowl of ice water. stir them around a bit to separate them, and then place the bowl in the refrigerator.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large, deep walled skillet or wok over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot enough (it should lightly bubble when the end of a wooden spoon is pressed into the middle of the pan), add a few shrimp at a time. Fry them until they become a nice, golden brown color, about 3 minutes. Be sure to flip them half-way through to evenly fry.
- Remove the fried shrimp and set them on a paper-towel lined plate to drain excess oil. Continue until all of the shrimp are fried.
- In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, and sriracha. This is basically the base they give you at Bonefish. I like to add a teaspoon of creamy peanut butter, but that’s totally optional. Mix well.
- Pour the sauce over the shrimp or serve it on the side. Remove the bowl of green onions from the fridge. Garnish with the ones that have curled up to your liking, and serve immediately.
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