Have you ever been to a Bonefish Grill and had their Bang Bang Shrimp? It is one of my favorite appetizers of all time. Wednesday is Bonefish Grill bang bang shrimp day.
$6.00 for an order. (Used to be $5.00!) Mary Jo and I like to get an order for each of us and get a side salad and call it supper. Add to that a happy hour priced chardonnay, (4 pm until 6:30 pm in Florida). Yummy eats. I’ve been wanting to try to re-create this and finally got around to it. This recipe is pretty darned close to the original.
Copycat Bang Bang Shrimp Recipe
What Does Bang Bang Sauce Taste Like?
One of the keys to this is getting the sauce right. It’s spicy but not terribly hot. It’s creamy, but not a heavy cream. It tastes Asian inspired and is a good blend of spicy and sweet. The best thing about it is that it compliments the slight crunchiness of the pint sized shrimp so well.
I made mine with mayonnaise, Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce, and Huy Fong chili garlic sauce. These particular ingredients were mentioned in a comment section of another blog by a guy who said he worked at Bonefish Grill. Hey, if he makes it, he should know. It ends up tasting like Bonefish Grill. The proportions could be a little different. The chili garlic sauce is made by the Huy Fong company who makes the famous Rooster brand sriracha sauce and it is plenty spicy. I added 2 tablespoons to the sauce but you can add less if you don’t like it so spicy. I just ended up adding a teaspoon at a time then tasted it. I got all the way to 6 teaspoons but by that time, my taste buds were pretty much accustomed to the heat. Mary Jo thought the heat was about right!
Frying the Bang Bang Shrimp
Another thing is the frying method. I’m sure Bonefish has nice deep fryers to use. For the home cook, it can be a little harder. I first tried to fry the shrimp in a skillet with about 3/4 inch of oil. I dropped the coated shrimp into the oil and the cornstarch would touch the bottom of the skillet and a lot of the breading stuck to the bottom. It just didn’t work very well. Thinking about a deep fryer, I thought that a basket might be the solution. I couldn’t find a separate basket, but picked up a kitchen spider. This made dropping the shrimp into the oil really easy.
Lower the basket into the oil and fry for about 2 minutes or so, it’s easy to check how brown the shrimp are getting when using the kitchen spider. Then dump the fried shrimp onto a cooling rack set over a layer of paper towels. The cooling rack keeps the shrimp from getting soggy like they would if placed directly on paper towels.
Bang Bang Shrimp Ingredients
I bought the shrimp at Walmart. It was 60-80 size, frozen, shelled and deveined…and it was $5.00 for 12 ounces. I thawed them, then soaked the shrimp in buttermilk for 30 minutes. Marinating in buttermilk is a step that can be used for other fish, for chicken, for mutton, or even liver to eliminate any fishy or gamey flavors.
Bonefish Grill bang bang shrimp has a distinct crunch, and this was a little harder to recreate. I tried breading with all-purpose flour, straight cornstarch, flour/cornstarch combined, then cornstarch with a little panko breadcrumbs. Straight cornstarch is pretty good, but adding some panko breadcrumbs gave the shrimp a nice crunch that was closer to the Bonefish Grill shrimp.
*After making the recipe again, I added 1 teaspoon of baking soda to the cornstarch dredge and the shrimp browned much better. It makes a really nicely browned shrimp.
What do you Serve with Bang Bang Shrimp?
Bang bang shrimp is an appetizer but it sure could be the main course of a light meal. Fix a leafy greens salad of romaine, arugula, and spinach. Then add an olive oil, vinegar vinaigrette. Creamy dressings such as blue cheese, ranch, or French would be too heavy tasting. Throw on some tomatoes and cucumber if you’d like also. A dry white wine or a not too sweet rosé wine would be perfect too. For a non-alcoholic drink, have some water with a wedge of lemon.
This is the type of appetizer to make if you are having an informal gathering with friends. Once all the ingredients are laid out, the frying goes quickly and you want to eat these soon after they’re done. Serve on a bed of chopped lettuce and garnish with some green onion. This is delicious!
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Bonefish Grill Bang Bang Shrimp
This recipe comes pretty close to the taste and texture of the original Bonefish Grill bang bang shrimp.
- 12 oz . shrimp , 60-80 size, raw, shelled and de-veined, thawed
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 3 to 4 cups sunflower oil (or other high smoke point oil)
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
- *1 tsp baking soda
- green onions
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise , (or Miracle Whip for slightly sweeter sauce)
- 3 tbsp Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce
- 2 tbsp Huy Fong chili garlic sauce
- Place thawed shrimp in a bowl and cover with buttermilk, soak for 30 minutes or more
- Mix cornstarch, panko crumbs and baking soda in a shallow bowl.
- Place cooking oil in a 2 quart sauce pan and heat oil to 375°
- Remove 10 to 12 shrimp from the buttermilk, pat dry on paper towels, coat with cornstarch/panko mixture, place shrimp in a spider mesh basket and lower into hot oil. (You can also carefully lower the shrimp into the oil one at a time, fry and remove from the oil with a spider).
- Fry for 2 minutes, or until the shrimp is medium browned.
- Remove the shrimp and place on a cooling rack.
- Repeat for the remaining shrimp.
- Coat the shrimp with the sauce, serve on a bed of chopped lettuce, garnish with chopped green onion.
- Mix ingredients well in a small bowl, set aside