Am I the only one who is not familiar with the Chinese restaurant staple known as Bang Bang Shrimp? Never heard. But when I was channel surfing one day, I happened upon a daytime talk show called The Kitchen (I was home sick!) and the hosts were working their way through “cheat” recipes. This recipe for Bang Bang Shrimp was the first I caught and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since.
This is a “cheat” recipe because it starts with packaged frozen popcorn shrimp. Not something I ever bought–or ever considered buying–before, hence the reason why the recipe lingered in my mind long before it came to fruition. Yes, I could have breaded and fried my own shrimp (and if you do, no doubt the dish will be greatly elevated) but part of the recipe’s appeal was its simplicity. The other attraction was the sweet and spicy sauce that was made with a handful of ingredients that are always in my kitchen.
With this nagging desire for Bang Bang Shrimp, I eventually found myself in the frozen seafood section of my supermarket studying the packages of popcorn shrimp. I was looking for the largest shrimp with the most natural ingredients and I settled on the Legal Sea Foods brand of “Supersized Oven-Ready Popcorn Shrimp, Whole Natural Shrimp with Crispy Golden Breading.”*
Armed with the box of shrimp in my freezer, I just waited for that last minute happy hour invitation. 😉 When the call came, I pre-heated my oven and mixed up the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Once the shrimp were cooked, I tossed them with the sauce and placed them on a lettuce-lined platter with a drizzle of sliced scallions. Seriously, a party appetizer in mere minutes.
But I wouldn’t be sharing this recipe, or the fact that I love a good cheat, if I didn’t think that the Bang Bang Shrimp turned out delicious and they weren’t a huge hit. Let’s just say that from here on out you are more than likely to find a box of popcorn shrimp in my freezer just waiting for that last minute invitation. Give me a call!
*The second time I made this recipe (on our one and only Snow Day of the year) I doubled the recipe and used a family-sized box of just plain ole popcorn shrimp. The shrimp were smaller but the extra-large platter of these sweet and spicy morsels was gone long before the party was drawing to a close. The moral of the story, use whatever popcorn shrimp you like.
- 1 package frozen popcorn shrimp (mine was 10 ounces)
- 1/4 c Thai chili sauce
- 2 Tbls mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 Tbls honey
- 1 Tbls sriracha
- lettuce leaves, for lining platter
- sliced scallion, for garnish
- Cook the shrimp according to the package instructions.
- Meanwhile, combine the Thai chili sauce, mayonnaise, honey and sriracha in a bowl and whisk until fully combined.
- Toss the cooked shrimp in the chili sauce mixture while it's still hot.
- Put the lettuce leaves down on a plate and spoon the shrimp over the lettuce.
- Sprinkle with scallions and serve.
- This recipe can be easily doubled.