These Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos are a copycat of the ones from Bonefish Grill. Plump fried shrimp gets tossed in a spicy sriracha and chili garlic sauce. Consume immediately—you won’t want to wait, anyway!
Life as a military spouse has taught me some important lessons. The most important? One must always be creative.
Whether it’s arranging a bedroom closet in Europe, or figuring out the best way to ship my homemade pico de gallo to my husband in South Korea, I have learned how to get what I need (or want) when it’s not always available.
The double-edged sword of life as a military spouse is that you can travel the world, but you’re away from the comforts of home. We were living in Germany when I fell in love with Bonefish Grill’s Bang Bang Shrimp®.
I first tried it on a visit back to the States, but guess what Germany doesn’t have? You guessed it!
I craved that shrimp the most when I was pregnant with our twins, so I put on my culinary cape and set about creating my version of the dish.
What Is Bang Bang Shrimp?
The first star of this dish is the plump, crispy shrimp. For these tacos, I like to use extra-large shrimp, sometimes labeled as “26-30,” which refers to the number of shrimp in a pound. To make this easy and time-friendly, I buy them peeled and deveined with tails removed. Fiddling with shrimp tails gets in the way when you’re trying to enjoy these tasty tacos.
The other star of this recipe is the mildly spicy mayonnaise-based sauce—the bang in the bang bang, I’d call it. The crispy shrimp is tossed in this creamy sauce just before serving. You can adjust the heat by reducing (or increasing!) the amount of sriracha in the mixture.
HOW TO GET EXTRA-CRISPY SHRIMP
You can’t get around frying for the crispiest version of this shrimp.
- Flour + Cornstarch: Use a combination of flour and cornstarch for an extra crispy breading. It holds up under the sweet and spicy sauce.
- Dry then fry: Set the shrimp onto a cooling rack after breading, before frying. This gives the breading a chance to “dry out” and gives the shrimp even more crunch.
- Maintain your temp: Use a thermometer to make sure that you’re frying at the right temperature. Maintaining that temperature throughout the cooking time is important, too. The shrimp is deep-fried at 350°F, so using a deep-fat frying thermometer to keep your oil right around that temperature is recommended.
- Deep fry in batches: Crowding the pan is a sure-fire way to drop your oil’s temperature (which results in a soggy, oily breading). Try to keep batches on the smaller side to maintain the proper temperature. One handful at a time (about 7 or 8 shrimp) is generally good.
You can make the bang bang sauce a day or two in advance. Keep it covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Allow the sauce to sit at room temperature while the shrimp is frying to give it a chance to warm up. This way you’re not left with tepid shrimp after tossing them in the cold-from-the-fridge sauce.
How to Serve Bang Bang Shrimp
I like to add shredded cabbage to my tacos to give a contrast of textures and to temper the heat of the sauce a bit. The shrimp is served in warmed flour tortillas; but, if you want to cut down on carbs, you can serve them in lettuce leaves instead.
I garnish my tacos with thinly sliced radishes and jalapeños, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, and green onions. Letting my crew customize their tacos is always a hit.
OTHER GREAT TACO RECIPES TO TRY!
- Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa
- Beef Tacos de Lengua
- Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos
- Spicy Grilled Chicken Tacos
- Grilled Fish Tacos with Strawberry Pineapple Salsa
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