Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp

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This post was first published on A Food Lover’s Kitchen. Web story version.

Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp is simple to make and full of flavor, with a crispy exterior and a spicy sweet copycat Bang Bang sauce that makes it irresistible.

Bang Bang Shrimp and rice

The first time I tried Bang Bang Shrimp was at Bonefish Grill. It’s a pretty famous shrimp appetizer that has sparked the “bang bang” revolution. Everyone needs a good copy cat recipe for this delicious appetizer.

Why You’ll Love It

  • This recipe is so simple to make. The air fryer is a crazy useful tool that cooks food super fast, but also really well, without the oil and complication of deep frying.
  • You can make amazing crispy breaded shrimp in the air fryer. Add a delicious Bang Bang Sauce to the dish once it’s cooked and you’ve got the perfect appetizer or main dish recipe.
  • The sauce is so delicious that you will want to find other things to eat it on and keep a jar of it in the refrigerator at all times!

Andrea says: 5 stars Made this for my first ever air fryer recipe and it was a huge hit! Followed the directions to a T and did not change anything!

Alisa Infanti says: 5 stars I love bang bang shrimp and made these the other night. They were delicious!

» You might also like these Frozen Crab Cakes in the Air Fryer.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients for Bang Bang Shrimp
  • Shrimp – Raw, shelled, cleaned and deveined. Any sized shrimp works fine. These are a medium sized shrimp. You may need to add a minute or two if you use bigger shrimp. Don’t use pre-cooked shrimp.
  • Flour – Coating the shrimp in flour before the egg and bread crumbs helps the coating stay on during cooking.
  • Salt and ground black pepper – Salt and pepper are added to increase the flavor.
  • Egg – The egg helps hold the breading on.
  • Breadcrumbs – The shrimp breading we are uses panko bread crumbs but you could use regular bread crumbs.
  • Mayonnaise – This is the base of the bang bang sauce.
  • Sriracha – Made from chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. This hot sauce adds flavor.  I prefer Huy Fung Foods Sriracha with the rooster on the bottle. Another brand that’s good is Flying Goose Sriracha with the goose on the bottle.
  • Sweet chili sauce – You can find this in the Asian food section of most grocery stores. If you want to try making it use this recipe.
  • Honey – Adding sweetness to something hot mellows the heat.

Equipment Information

  • Air fryer: I use this 4-quart basket-style air fryer. It’s large enough to fit a meal for 4-6. But some things need more space in the air fryer basket, so they cook evenly.
  • Kitchen tongs: It’s very easy to remove food from your air fryer with kitchen tongs. I use these kitchen tongs that are silicon coated so they don’t scratch the interior.
  • Whisk – A whisk will help mix all the ingredients into a creamy smooth sauce.
  • Small bowl – For the bang bang sauce.
ninja double air fryer

Ninja® Foodi®XL 2-Basket Air Fryer

  • 2 independent XL air fryer baskets
  • Integrated Foodi® Smart Thermometer
  • Cook 2 foods 2 ways that finish at the same time

What Shrimp To Use

Raw shrimp

I like to use a medium sized shrimp that can be eaten in one bite. I think these make the best appetizer sized Bang Bang Shrimp.

I buy fresh raw shrimp that is already shelled and cleaned (who has the time for that!) If you do have that time, it’s totally fine to get shrimp with the shells on and do the shelling and cleaning yourself.

You can use frozen shrimp, but you’ll have to thaw it first in order to bread them properly. The flour, egg and breadcrumbs won’t adhere to the shrimp when they’re frozen.

Expert Tips to Follow

  • Wait for the shrimp to cool slightly before tossing with the sauce to retain the crispy exterior.
  • Serve as an appetizer, or over rice as a meal.
  • The size of shrimp that you use will change the cooking time slightly. This recipe uses medium sized shrimp. If you are using smaller or larger you will need to adjust the cooking time up or down a few minutes.
  • Mix up the sauce before hand and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
  • Don’t over crowd the air fryer basket. The shrimp should not be touching. Cook them in batches if you have to.
Air fryer crispy shrimp with bang bang sauce and rice

How to Make Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp

Step One: Preheat the Air Fryer

Preheat air fryer to 400° F (204°C) for 3-5 minutes.

We don’t preheat the air fryer very often. If you preheat when a recipe doesn’t call for it then your food will likely cook faster then intended and might be over done. Most of the time it doesn’t really make much different but there are a few recipes where it really does like this recipe, these tuna steaks, and t-bone steak.

Step Two: Bread the Shrimp

battered shrimp in breading

Bread the shrimp in a 3-step process. For this, I like to create three different dipping stations: one for flour, one for egg and one for breadcrumbs. Dredge the shrimp through the flour, then dip it in the egg, then coat it with breadcrumbs.

Step Three: Add the Shrimp to the Air Fryer

Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil. Lay the breaded shrimp in the air fryer so they aren’t touching each other. Don’t crowd the basket. The food needs room to become crispy and you don’t want the breading to stick to each other and come off.

Spray the shrimp with a light mist of cooking oil. This will help them get golden brown and crispy.

Step Four: Cook the Shrimp

air fryer crispy shrimp

Cook the shrimp in the air fryer on 400° F (204°C) for 3 minutes, then turn the shrimp over and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Times will vary a bit depending on the size of shrimp you are using.

Step Five: Mix the Sauce

Bang Bang Sauce

While the shrimp is cooking, quickly mix up the sauce. It comes together in just one minute. Super fast.

Step Six: Prepare the Dish

coating the shrimp in bang bang sauce

Once the shrimp is done, you can toss the shrimp in a bowl with the sauce and serve it. I like to serve it over a bed of rice, but you can also serve it just as an appetizer with no rice.

Bang Bang Shrimp and rice

What Oil & Oil Sprayer is Best for the Air Fryer?

The biggest issue most air fryer lovers face is finding the right oil and oil sprayer to use on food cooked in the air fryer. A fine mist of oil will help the entire piece of food crisp evenly, so it’s very important.

My personal preference is to use canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil. I use both a refillable spray bottle like the Evo one pictured below and non-propellant extra virgin olive oil, which has no harmful aerosols or chemicals.

Evo Oil Sprayer Evo Glass Trigger Sprayer Bottle, Non-Aerosol for Olive Cooking Oils, 6-Ounce Capacity, 6 oz, Yellow/Black/Red
Pompeian USDA Certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Non-Stick Cooking Spray, Full-Bodied Flavor, Perfect for Salads and Pasta Drizzling, Naturally Gluten Free, Non-Allergenic, Non-GMO, No Propellants, 5 FL. OZ., Single Bottle
Tenlary Oil Sprayer for Cooking - 210ml Glass Olive Oil Dispenser Bottle Spray Mister-Reusable Food Grade Oil Vinegar Spritzer Sprayer Bottles,kitchen Gadgets Accessories for Air Fryer,BBQ (Orange)
Bang Bang Shrimp and rice

How to Store and Reheat

These crispy shrimp are always better eaten right as they come out of the air fryer but if you find that you have leftovers store them separately from the sauce for the best results.

Storage

Refrigerate: Allow the shrimp to cool to room temperature, then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Store the sauce separately in a jar. They can be kept for up to 2-3 days.

Freeze: While it’s possible to freeze Bang Bang Shrimp, keep in mind that the texture may change slightly upon thawing. It isn’t advisable to freeze the sauce. Place the shrimp in an air tight container or freezer bag. Use them within 2-3 months for the best results.

Reheating

The reheating instructions are going to vary based on whether your leftovers have the sauce mixed with the shrimp or whether they are separate.

Air fry: If the shrimp has no sauce on it reheat them in the air fryer at 350° F (176°C) for 2-3 minutes until warm. Start small and add more time so that you don’t overcook the shrimp.

Microwave: If the shrimp and sauce are mixed together cook in a microwave safe bowl until heated through.

Bang Bang Shrimp on a plate

Questions About the Recipe

How long does it take to cook breaded shrimp in the air fryer?

Lightly spray air fryer basket with oil and place shrimp in the basket leaving space between each shrimp. Lightly spray the tops of the shrimp. Cook for 3 minutes. Flip shrimp over and cook an additional 3 minutes. Cook for 4 minutes per side for larger shrimp.

What is bang bang sauce?

Bang bang sauce was made popular because of a shrimp appetizer by the Bonefish Grill. It is a flavorful sauce made with mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, sriracha and honey.

Why is it called bang bang shrimp?

Bang bang shrimp became popular as a dish from a restaurant called Bonefish Grill. The ingredients include Thai sweet chili sauce and Sriracha and gives the sauce a sweet, spicy, bold kick or bang.

Why Use an Air Fryer

An air fryer is an incredibly easy way to cook just about anything. You place the food in a fryer-style basket and hot air rapidly circulates all around the food, making the food crisp – much like deep-frying, but without the oil. You can cook anything you’d make in the oven.

Ninja Max XL

More Air Fryer Shrimp Recipe to Try

Once you find out how easy it is to cook shrimp in the air fryer you will want more shrimp recipes!

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Bang Bang Shrimp and rice

Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp

Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp is simple to make and full of flavor with a spicy sweet copycat bang bang sauce.
4.8 from 26 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 181 kcal

Equipment

  • Kitchen Tongs
  • Small bowl to mix the sauce in
  • Whisk

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound (454 g) shrimp shelled, deveined, cleaned
  • 1/4 cup (31 g) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup (30 g) panko breadcrumbs

For the sauce

  • 1/4 cup (56 g) mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sweet Thai chili sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon (7 ml) Sriracha
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) honey

Instructions
 

  • Clean and dry the shrimp.
  • You need three shallow bowls. Add flour, salt, and pepper to one bowl, egg to another bowl, and breadcrumbs to the third bowl. Start by coating the shrimp in flour, then dip it in the egg mixture, then coat it with breadcrumbs. Bread all the shrimp this way.
  • Preheat air fryer to 400° F (204°C) for 3-5 minutes.
  • Lightly spray air fryer basket with oil and place shrimp in the basket, leaving space between each shrimp. Lightly spray the tops of the shrimp.
  • Cook for 6 minutes, turning the shrimp over at the halfway point. Large shrimp may need more time to cook through. Continue until all shrimp are cooked.
  • Mix the sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Once shrimp are cooked, toss the shrimp in a bowl with the sauce to fully coat.
  • Serve over rice, if desired.

Notes

  • Wait for the shrimp to cool slightly before tossing with the sauce to retain the crispy exterior.
  • Serve as an appetizer, or over rice as a meal.
  • The size of shrimp that you use will change the cooking time slightly. This recipe uses medium sized shrimp. If you are using smaller or larger you will need to adjust the cooking time up or down a few minutes.
  • Mix up the sauce before hand and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
  • Don’t over crowd the air fryer basket. The shrimp should not be touching. Cook them in batches if you have to.

All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.

Nutrition

Calories: 181kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 4gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 538mgPotassium: 46mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 79IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Air Fryer, Shrimp
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7 thoughts on “Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp

  1. Andrea says:

    5 stars
    Made this for my first ever air fryer recipe and it was a huge hit! Followed the directions to a T and did not change anything!

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