It’s hard to decide if the best part of this Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp recipe is the shrimp… or the bang bang sauce. The breaded shrimp are light and have a nice crunch while the sauce is creamy with just a touch of sweet heat.
If you’ve owned your Air Fryer for a while, chances are you’ve made shrimp in it. But I’m going to bet you haven’t tried it quite like this.
In the copycat recipe below, the shrimp are first coated in buttermilk and a layer of breadcrumbs, then air-fried until they’re perfectly crisp and ready for sauce. They’re seriously addictive!
Bang Bang Shrimp is an iconic appetizer at Bonefish Grill, and probably the most popular item on their menu. Apparently, they also soak the shrimp in buttermilk before breading and frying them, so if you love that dish, you’ll definitely get the same satisfaction from this “lightened up” version.
Not only does the dish make great party food, but you could also easily enjoy the shrimp as a main meal on a bed of rice (or cauliflower rice) or even with some noodles or zoodles!
Air fryer shrimp ingredients
- Shrimp- the recipe uses frozen cooked shrimp to speed up the process, but feel free to use fresh if you prefer. Just increase the air-frying time until shrimp are fully cooked and golden.
- Cornstarch- seals in moisture and protects the shrimp from overcooking
- Buttermilk – gives the shrimp their signature flavor and adds volume to the breading
- Panko breadcrumbs – a flavor-neutral coating that adds an amazing crunch
- Minced parsley – for added color and freshness
Bang bang sauce
- Mayonnaise – you can lighten the sauce by replacing part of the mayo with plain Greek yogurt or replacing it with Avocado mayonnaise which is made of a healthier oil than traditional mayo but taste just as delicious.
- Sweet chili sauce- for a more authentic taste, use a Thai brand called Mae Ploy, which is the same sweet chili sauce used for the dish at the restaurant
- Sriracha-to add a little heat
- Honey -feel free to swap with sugar according to taste
- Minced fresh garlic- for an added layer of flavor
- Sea salt
How to serve
- Air fryer bang bang shrimp on their own as an appetizer as well as part of a larger meal. Serve with steamed rice, crispy potatoes, or mashed cauliflower as a low-carb option.
- Use as filling for tacos or toss with your favorite noodles for a creamy and flavorful pasta dish.
- The shrimps are best enjoyed freshly cooked so I suggest making just enough for a meal. If you do end up with leftovers, transfer into a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Air-fryer Bang Bang Shrimp
- 1 pound frozen cooked shrimp, thawed, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees. Spray the air fryer tray or basket well with cooking spray.
- Dredge the shrimp in cornstarch, dip in buttermilk, and then coat in the breadcrumbs. Arrange the breaded shrimp in a single on the air fryer tray.
- Cook in the preheated air fryer for 5 minutes. Flip over and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes until the crust is a light golden brown color.
- While shrimp are cooking, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, Sriracha, honey, garlic, and salt.
- Remove cooked shrimp from the air fryer and transfer into a large serving dish. Add the bang bang sauce and toss until shrimp are well coated. Add the minced parsley and toss.
- Serve as is or drizzle with extra sriracha.