I grew up not liking shrimp. At all. It was standard fare at all our holiday parties to have shrimp cocktail. I was really good at making the cocktail sauce, but I hated the shrimp part. Then one day something changed. I remember the day, actually. My dad, sister, and I were at Bubba Gump’s in Maui and my sister ordered a cajun roasted shrimp dish (I think). It smelled so good but when offered some, I declined. I just did not like shrimp.
I kept thinking about that shrimp dish over and over again. I tend to obsess about things sometimes. I found myself regretting not trying the dish. I told myself the next time someone had shrimp, I would try some. I’m not sure exactly when that time came, but I do remember eating my weight in shrimp at the next holiday party.
From that moment on, I was in love with shrimp. Shrimp cocktail, grilled shrimp, fried shrimp, shrimp in a salad or soup, shrimp ice cream…ok, maybe not the shrimp salad. 😉 Needless to say, I found myself turning into Bubba himself!
I tried all sorts of dishes, but then I went to Bonefish Grill. I had heard their appetizer Bang Bang Shrimp was really good, so we ordered it. Oh. My. Gosh. It was so yummy! Crispy, sweet, spicy, and so flavorful! I was in love. Every time I go to Bonefish, I order it. The last time I went with Chrissy and Jeff, we only got one and I panicked a little because I thought I wouldn’t get my fill. Jeff, being the wonderful husband he is, only ate a few and let me have more than my share. Such a great guy!
Several months ago, I was flipping through my copy of Food Network Magazine when I came across their “Copy That!” article. Every month, they pick a dish from a restaurant that has had some fame associated with it in the past. One month they did the Cheddar Bay biscuits from Red Lobster, one month was the Cinnamon Rolls from Cinnabon, and so on. April’s dish, however, was my beloved Bang Bang Shrimp. I immediately texted Chrissy and told her we’d have to make them some day!
Last weekend, while going through my recipes and organizing them, I came across the article again. I quickly scanned the recipe to see if I had all the ingredients. I was only missing one thing, albeit one of the most important ingredients, but I thought I’d try it anyhow. I gathered my things and away I went…
Bang Bang Shrimp
(from Food Network Magazine’s April 2010 issue)
For the sauce:
1/2 cup mayonaisse
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp Asian chili sauce (I would have used chili garlic sauce if I’d had it, but this was the one ingredient I was lacking)
2 tsp honey
For the shrimp:
Vegetable Oil, for frying
2 large eggs
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1.25 pounds small shrimp, peeled and deveined
First thing’s first. Heat up your oil in a heavy bottomed skillet. You want your oil temperature to be at 350°. I’m sure you could do this without the aide of a candy/oil thermometer, but I wouldn’t suggest it.
Next, make the sauce. Mix together the mayonnaise, Asian sauce, honey, 1 tbsp water, and 1/4 tsp salt. Set aside.
On to the shrimp. If you’ve ever pan fried something before, you’ll be familiar with this process. In one bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, and 1 tsp each salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk your eggs until they are nice and smooth.
Working in batches, dredge your shrimp in the flour mixture, then coat in the eggs, then coat once more in the flour. The first bout of flour is so the eggs will stick to the shrimp. The second bout of flour is to create the yummy, crispy crust.
Drop your shrimp, one at a time, in the hot oil.
Fry for 1-2 minutes or until lightly golden. The cleaner your oil, the lighter the color will be. I think I ended up leaving my shrimp in the oil for about 3 minutes to get the warm, rich color I was looking for.
Move the shrimp to some paper towels to drain. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Repeat the process with the rest of the shrimp.
Toss the shrimp with the sauce and serve over a bed of bibb lettuce if you so desire.