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Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp

Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp is kind of a dream come true for me. It’s easy to make (like, really easy!), delicious, and tastes like it’s really naughty but it’s not. It’s even gluten free, which means my husband can enjoy it. And my 11-year-old son loves it, too.

air fryer bang bang shrimp on a plate with a bowl of bang bang sauce and lemon wedges shot from overhead

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What is Bonefish Grill Bang Bang Shrimp?

First off, I should confess that I had never heard of Bonefish Grill until my son came home from a friend’s house and told me about amazing bang bang shrimp his friend’s mom made.

Of course, I had to look it up. I found lots of copycat recipes based on the BG dish and they were all similar. Shrimp tossed in buttermilk and then dredged in cornstarch (or panko breadcrumbs), fried in a skillet, and served with a creamy, sweet, spicy sauce.

bang bang shrimp on a black plate with a bowl of bang bang dipping sauce and lemon wedges

I love it when my son gets excited about new foods, so I made a version of the original dish a few days later. It was delicious, but cooking it was so tedious—frying all those shrimp in a hot skillet.

Talk about slaving over a hot stove. Plus, I felt a bit guilty eating it knowing that the crispy coating on the shrimp was drenched with oil. Also? My kitchen was a mess afterward with oil splattered all over the stove and counter.

Could I Make an Easier, Healthier Bang Bang Shrimp Recipe?

That’s when I got the idea to try to create an air fryer bang bang shrimp recipe. Wouldn’t it be so much easier and healthier if you could dredge all the shrimp, put them in the air fryer, and have them turn out crispy and light?

How easy is it to make Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp?

Super easy. This Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp recipe is a cinch to make. In fact, it’s even easier to make than the original/copycat versions.

  1. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels.
  2. Toss them in buttermilk.
  3. Dredge them in cornstarch that has been seasoned with salt and pepper.
  4. Place them in a single layer in the air fryer basket and spritz them with cooking oil.
  5. Brush on an egg wash.
  6. Air fry for about 6 minutes total, flipping once halfway through, until golden brown and crisp.
  7. Serve immediately with my lightened-up bang bang shrimp dipping sauce.
air fryer bang bang shrimp on a plate shot from overhead with a shrimp that has been dipped in the sauce on a fork

What kind of air fryer should you use?

I have made this recipe using both my Mealthy Crisp Lid and my GoWise Air Fryer. Both work well, but the GoWise took a little longer. Using the Mealthy Crisp Lid, I cooked the shrimp at 450ºF, but since the GoWise only goes up to 400ºF, I had to add a couple of minutes to the cooking time.

air fryer bang bang shrimp on a plate with a shrimp that has been dipped in the sauce on a fork shot from a low angle

What to serve with Bang Bang Shrimp?

Bang Bang Sauce, obviously. But seriously, Bang Bang Sauce is delicious on everything, so of course, it’s the perfect thing for these crispy Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp.

If you want to make a lighter version of Bang Bang Sauce, you can substitute low-fat Greek yogurt for mayonnaise and/or sour cream.

Is it an appetizer or a main dish?

You can serve Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp as an appetizer, but I like to serve it as an entree for my family. I serve my Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp with noodles—either lo mein or rice noodles—and a green vegetable like steamed broccoli or blanched green beans.

The sauce can be drizzled on the shrimp, noodles, and veggies, or you can serve each person a small bowl of the sauce for dipping.

More recipes you might like

If you love shrimp like I do, check out some of our other shrimp recipes like Szechuan Shrimp, Shrimp Bisque, Crepes with Shrimp, Tomatoes, and Chives, and Asparagus and Shrimp Salad.

For another great air fryer seafood recipe, try this Air Fryer Mahi Mahi!

more great air fryer recipes you’ll love

Yield: Serves 6

Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp

Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp

This Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp recipe delivers all the crunchy, creamy, sweet, and spicy textures and flavors of the original fried version with less oil, fewer calories, less mess, and best of all, less effort.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the shrimp
  • 1 cup cornstarch seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ½ to 1 cup buttermilk
  • Cooking oil spray
  • 1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water
  • For the sauce
  • 1/3 cup sweet Thai chile sauce
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha, or to taste
  • Pinch dried dill weed

Instructions

  1. Place the corn starch in a wide, shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Toss the shrimp in the buttermilk to coat.
  3. Dredge the shrimp in the seasoned cornstarch and arrange in a single layer in the air fryer basket. You’ll need to cook the shrimp in several batches.
  4. Spray with cooking oil and brush all over with the egg wash.
  5. Cook at 450ºF for 4 minutes or 400ºF for 5 minutes, until browned and crisp on top. Gently turn the shrimp over, spray again with oil, and brush with egg wash. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on the second side, until browned and crisp. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
  6. Make the sauce while the shrimp is cooking. In a medium bowl, combine the sweet chili sauce, sour cream, mayonnaise, buttermilk, sriracha, and dried dill weed and whisk until well combined and smooth.
  7. Serve the shrimp hot, either drizzled with the sauce or with the sauce on the side for dipping.

Notes

  1. I have made this recipe using both my Mealthy Crisp Lid and my GoWise Air Fryer. Both work well, but since the GoWise only goes up to 400ºF, I had to add a couple of minutes to the cooking time.
  2. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own by combining 1 cup of regular milk with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or distilled vinegar and letting the mixture stand for about 5 minutes.
  3. If you already have Sriracha Ranch Dressing (either homemade or store-bought) in your fridge, you can use it to make your sauce: Whisk together 1/3 cup Sweet Thai chile sauce,1/3 cup Sriracha Ranch Dressing, ¼ cup mayonnaise, and 1 teaspoon (or more to taste) sriracha sauce.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 415Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 363mgSodium 1874mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 1gSugar 5gProtein 38g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

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By on September 16th, 2019

About Robin Donovan


Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 40 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners, 5 Ingredient Cooking for Two, Sushi at Home, The Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other popular publications.

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