Coated in a crunchy panko breading and smothered with a classic sweet & spicy sauce, this Copycat Bonefish Grill Bang Bang Shrimp is an easy main dish or appetizer that can be pan-fried, air-fried, or baked! Serve it over rice or as bang bang shrimp tacos with crunchy cabbage for a tasty meal that everyone will rave about!
Shrimp is one of our favorite proteins for so lots of reasons. It's healthy, cooks quickly, and we love the flavors and textures of a delicious shrimp dish. Add a crispy coating and amazing saucy glaze like this bang bang shrimp sauce and it's a guaranteed winner. Plus, we love the flexibility of this homemade bang bang shrimp recipe that you can make in the oven, on the stovetop, or in the Air Fryer.
Pan-frying the shrimp makes it wonderfully crispy, and the oven gives you almost-as-crispy results with no oil and fewer calories involved. The Air Fryer also cooks up ultra-crispy shrimp while using hardly any oil. I'll include instructions below for each approach when making this bang bang shrimp recipe!
What is Bang Bang Shrimp?
This world-famous munchie consists of breaded shrimp that are covered in a sweet and savory "bang bang" sauce. The dish has roots in Thailand and China, but you most likely know it as a crowd-favorite menu item at Bonefish Grill. This bang bang sauce copycat recipe made with sweet chili sauce, mayonnaise, and sriracha, can be paired with any protein like chicken, fish, or even steak bites. Trust me – once you taste it on the shrimp, you'll be tempted to slather it onto everything you eat.
Ingredients You'll Need
Let's go over everything you'll need for the breaded shrimp and the bang bang sauce. As always, we're keeping it nice and simple. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.
For the Shrimp
- Medium-Sized Shrimp: Peeled and deveined. If you're using frozen shrimp, thaw it out ahead of time.
- Buttermilk: If needed, you can make your own – add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice to a ¾-cup measuring cup, then pour in milk until the cup is full. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes before you use it.
- All-Purpose Flour: This helps the breading adhere to your shrimp.
- Cornstarch: To absorb moisture, ensuring a crispy result.
- Panko Breadcrumbs: Regular breadcrumbs are too fine but the larger, crunchier Panko bread crumbs give the best texture.
- Seasonings: Some garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper perfectly highlight the subtle sweetness of the shrimp.
- Vegetable Oil: This is only necessary if you're pan-frying the shrimp.
For the Sauce
- Mayonnaise: Use full-fat mayo for the creamiest consistency. You could also substitute Greek yogurt for a healthier version.
- Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
- Sriracha: Feel free to add more or less of this according to your preferred level of heat.
How to Make Bang Bang Shrimp
Each cooking method has its own unique set of instructions, but all 3 are super simple. We'll start with the stovetop method and touch on the others afterward.
On the Stovetop
Coat Shrimp in Buttermilk Mixture: Whisk the buttermilk, flour and cornstarch together in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and stir to coat.
Make Breading: In a separate bowl, whisk together the panko breadcrumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
Bread Shrimp: Remove the shrimp from the buttermilk mixture, letting excess liquid drip back down into the bowl. Dredge the shrimp in the breadcrumb mixture to evenly coat it on all sides. Set the prepared shrimp aside.
Heat Oil: Fill a heavy-bottomed pan with 1-2 inches of oil. Set it over medium heat until the oil temperature reaches 375°F.
Fry Shrimp: Add a few shrimp at a time to the hot oil, working in batches and being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry the shrimp for 1-2 minutes, until it's golden brown and crispy on both sides. Carefully remove your cooked shrimp from the hot oil with tongs or a slotted spoon and transfer it to a wire rack set over a baking sheet while you fry the remaining shrimp.
Make Sauce: In another large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, honey and sriracha. Add the cooked shrimp and toss to coat it evenly in the sauce.
Bang Bang sauce also makes a great dipping sauce for things like egg rolls, fries, or chicken nuggets!
Enjoy! Garnished the shrimp with chopped green onions and enjoy it warm.
In the Oven
After breading the shrimp, arrange it on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Bake it at 400°F for 15 minutes. Baked shrimp won't be quite as crispy, but it will contain fewer calories than pan-fried shrimp.
In the Air Fryer
Arrange the breaded shrimp in a single layer in your Air Fryer basket and spray it with cooking spray (you may need to work in batches). Air fry the shrimp at 400°F for 8-9 minutes, flipping it over halfway through the cook time and spraying it again with cooking spray, until the shrimp is golden brown and cooked through.
Can I Make It in Advance?
Yes, bang bang shrimp is easy to prepare a day ahead of time! Make the sauce and bread the shrimp, then store both in the fridge in separate airtight containers. When you're ready to dig in, fry the shrimp and toss it in the sauce.
There really isn't much room for error in this recipe. Follow the guidelines below to ensure that the process goes smoothly.
- Don't Forget to Devein the Shrimp: After you peel each shrimp, you'll want to remove the slimy black vein running along the back (which is actually the shrimp's intestine). If you're struggling to peel it off, slide the edge of a knife underneath the top end to loosen it.
- Avoid Overcrowding: If you try to pan-fry too many shrimp at once, the temperature of the oil will get too low. Work in batches to make sure everything cooks properly. Overcrowding your Air Fryer basket will make for less crispy shrimp.
- Serve Immediately: As your breaded shrimp spends time sitting in the bang bang sauce, it will become less and less crispy. For this reason, it's best to serve it right away.
- Consider doubling the sauce: If you really love bang bang sauce, you might want to double the amounts below so you have extra sauce.
We like to serve this shrimp over rice, pasta, or a bed of butter lettuce. It's also amazing in tacos! If you're serving it by itself as a snack or appetizer, why not wash it down with a Virgin Piña Colada?
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Leftover bang bang shrimp should be cooled to room temperature before it's stored in the fridge. Keep it in an airtight container and enjoy it within 3 days. If you expect to have leftovers, hold off on adding all of the sauce so you can store it separately from the shrimp.
We recommend reheating the shrimp (on a wire rack set over a baking sheet) in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes, or until it's heated through. You can also warm it up in a 320°F Air Fryer for about 5 minutes. Toss the shrimp in the sauce after you reheat it if the two were stored separately.
Does Shrimp Freeze Well?
You bet – you can store your bang bang shrimp in the freezer for up to 3 months. Place the cooled shrimp into a heavy-duty freezer bag or airtight container, then freeze it. If you're using a bag, squeeze out the excess air before you seal it. Thaw out frozen shrimp in the fridge prior to reheating it.
Try These Seafood Dishes Next
Craving more seafood goodness? Check out the following recipes.
Did you make this recipe? Leave a star rating and I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.
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Bang Bang Shrimp
- Air Fryer
For the Shrimp
- 1 pound raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2-3 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- Chopped green onion, for garnish
For the Sauce
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sweet chili sauce
- 2 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
Bread the Shrimp
- Whisk buttermilk, flour, and cornstarch together in a large bowl. Add shrimp and stir to coat.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the panko breadcrumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- Remove the shrimp from the buttermilk mixture, letting excess coating drip back into the bowl, and dredge in the breadcrumb mixture to evenly coat on all sides. Set aside on a plate.
- Fill a heavy bottomed pan with 1-2 inches of oil. Set over medium heat until the oil temperature reaches 375°F.
- Add a few shrimp at a time to the hot oil, working in batches and being careful not to overcrowd the pan which can cause the oil temp to drop. Fry for 1-2 minutes until golden brown and crispy on both sides.
- Carefully remove the shrimp from the hot oil with tons or a slotted spoon and transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet while repeating with the remaining shrimp.
- After breading the shrimp, arrange them on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and bake them at 400°F for 15 minutes. They won't be as crispy, but you will have less calories than frying.
Air Fryer Method
- You may need to work in batches to cook all the shrimp. Arrange the breaded shrimp in a single layer and spray with cooking spray.
- Air fry for 8-9 minutes at 400°F, turning once halfway through and spraying again with cooking spray, until golden brown and cooked through.
Make the Sauce & Serve
- In another large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, honey, and sriracha. Add the cooked shrimp and toss to coat.
- Serve garnished with chopped green onion over rice, pasta, or on a bed of butter lettuce. It's also great in tacos or with roasted veggies.
- Make-Ahead: You can prepare the sauce and bread the shrimp, then store both in the fridge the night before. Then when you want to serve, fry the shrimp and toss in the sauce.
- Storage: Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
- Reheating: We recommend reheating on a wire rack set over a baking sheet in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes until heated through or in a 320°F Air Fryer for 5 minutes.