Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bang-Bang Shrimp Recipe

I recently pinned a recipe for Bang-Bang Shrimp that we were just drooling to try. It was well worth the time & effort and simply delicious. We easily found the Sriracha garlic-chili sauce and the Panko bread crumbs in the Asian food aisle (at the Food Lion next to the YMCA for my Holly Springs' friends), see photo below for easy recognition.  :)

While making the originally pinned recipe in our kitchen, we took notes and made adjustments. After enjoying the mouth-watering shrimp, my adoring taste-testers, (hubby and teenage sons), sat down with me to do some tweaking so it was even closer to the authentic dish we all dearly {{LoVe}} from the restaurant.  They suggested a little more of this and absolutely none of that. In the end, I think this version is even closer to the original! 

{{Please}} do yourself a favor: Read through the ingredients and the directions before starting. I provided a shopping list at the bottom to copy and paste for your convenience. The directions may look long, but don't be intimidated, I tried to include extra information for first-timers. You'll be making it with just a glance the second time around!

*My advice?  Buy medium-sized raw shrimp. I know what you're going to think because it was my first thought too... If Medium shrimp are good, then Large must be incredible, right? Large end up taking longer to fry and are quite a mouthful. I purchased a 1-lb frozen bag of medium raw shrimp and they worked just fine. We felt they must be the size the restaurant uses.
Use real mayonnaise.  Don't scrimp on taste, texture, to create a really good coating: without real mayonnaise you just can't provide the right flavor, thickness or adhesion.
Do use Japanese Panko bread crumbs. It's their light texture and crispness that you love at the restaurant, so don't scrimp here.

Here's our beloved rendition of the well-loved recipe:

Bang-Bang Shrimp

1 lb Medium Raw Shrimp (Peeled shrimp saves time)
1 carton of Buttermilk (Enough to cover thawed shrimp)

Mix SAUCE ingredients and immediately chill in your refrigerator:

5-6 tsp. Sriracha Sauce, or to taste
1 tsp. white vinegar or rice vinegar
1/2 cup real mayonnaise, (Not Miracle Whip, not olive oil, not reduced fat.)

Mix BREADING ingredients in a large bowl:

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

If using frozen shrimp, follow thawing directions carefully, and place shrimp in a large mixing bowl. Cover with buttermilk for 1-2 minutes, then pour shrimp into a large strainer. 
Pour seasoned flour over shrimp and coat each shrimp carefully!  Refrigerate dredged shrimp for 20 minutes, don't skip this part, it helps the coating stay on the shrimp while frying. 
Pour a cup or two of oil into a large skillet (I used a cast iron skillet), carefully allow oil to heat.  (When water flicked onto the surface sizzles, you're ready to fry.) 

Place shrimp in hot oil by hand, (do not crowd them), and fry 2-3 minutes -- and flip.  The key is they should have golden edges, think crispy, or you'll be sorely disappointed with your limp shrimp.  It may require 3 or more batches to fry all shrimp.  Place fried shrimp in a large metal bowl. (Metal because it will conduct heat & keep them warm while you are frying the next batches.)

After all shrimp have been fried, take your well-chilled Sriracha-Mayo sauce out of fridge and pour over hot shrimp. This is important: the chilled sauce over the hot fried shrimp.  Gently fold with a spatula till well-coated. Serve over a bed of chopped romaine lettuce. Sprinkle with chopped spring onions if desired.  Best eaten with chopsticks. :)

1 lb of medium shrimp serves 4 as an appetizer.

Shopping List:
1 lb bag fresh or frozen {{Medium}} peeled shrimp
1 carton buttermilk
1 bottle Sriracha Asian Garlic-Chili Sauce
1 tsp white vinegar or rice vinegar
1/2 cup real mayonnaise
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup Japanese Panko breadcrumbs
1-2 cups vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 head of romaine lettuce
1 bunch spring onions

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