Boom boom shrimp is an easy homemade appetizer of fried shrimp tossed in delicious boom boom sauce. The batter is light and airy and the crunchy shrimp get coated in a slightly spicy, creamy, and sweet sauce. These tasty shrimp are great as an appetizer, or make them into a meal by adding them to steamed rice, a crusty roll, or a tortilla!
Shrimp and seafood appetizers are a delicious, and oftentimes light way to enjoy an hors d'oeuvre. Try these Grilled Chimichurri Shrimp, Crab Pretzel, Imitation Crab Dip, or Hot Crab Spinach Artichoke Dip for more options!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Crispy - These crunchy shrimp have a light and airy batter similar to tempura. The batter is extra crispy on the outside and the shrimp inside remains nice and juicy.
Saucy - Boom boom sauce is creamy, sweet, and spicy! It's made with sweet chili sauce, mayonnaise, and sriracha and coats the crisp fried shrimp all over for deliciousness in every bite.
Simple - This recipe is really easy to make. You'll mix up the sauce, mix up the batter, and fry the shrimp. That's it!
- Shrimp. Look for frozen jumbo shrimp at a 21-25 count or 16-20 count. They will need to be thawed and peeled (leaving the tails on or removing).
- Sweet chili sauce. This is the flavor base of the sauce and can be found in the international aisle of grocery stores.
- Sriracha. This produces a small amount of background heat. More or less can be added to suit your taste preference.
- Cornstarch. This helps the batter fry up nice and crispy and light.
- Soda water. Unflavored carbonated water also helps to lighten the batter to produce a light batter.
- Rice vinegar. This helps to cut through some of the fat and sweetness in the boom boom sauce. Lemon juice or white vinegar can also be used.
See recipe card for full ingredients list and quantities.
Substitutions and Variations
- Boom boom shrimp are delicious in tacos topped with the asian slaw from my Braised Pork Belly Sliders.
- Make a poboy on a crusty roll.
- Add the shrimp to skewers, then batter and fry.
- Use the same process but with other protein like chicken or tofu.
- Use lemon juice or white vinegar in place of rice vinegar.
How to Make This Recipe
One: Whisk together the sweet chili sauce, peanut butter and vinegar until smooth.
Two: Add the remaining sauce ingredients and whisk again. Set aside.
Three: Whisk together the dry ingredients.
Four: Add the liquid and whisk until no lumps remain.
Hot tip! Peel the shrimp, leaving the tails on, and pat them very dry prior to battering and frying. This helps the batter adhere best, and makes for easy eating.
Five: Dip the shrimp into the batter from the tail (or drop the entire shrimp in) and let some of the batter fall off.
Six: Deep fry the shrimp (don't overcrowd the pot) until golden. About 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and repeat with all shrimp.
Seven: Toss the shrimp with some of the boom boom sauce.
Eight: Garnish on a platter wish scallions, chopped peanuts, and lemon slices.
Hot tip! The shrimp can become soggy with too much sauce added, so only add as much as needed. Alternatively, plate the shrimp without any sauce and set a bowl of boom boom sauce on the platter for people to dip their own.
- Use a thermometer to make sure you keep the frying temperature consistent.
- Don't overcrowd the shrimp in the oil, which can lower the oil temperature. Fry in batches for crispy shrimp.
- It's best to place the freshly fried shrimp on a wire rack when you take them out of the fryer, or you can place them on a paper towel lined plate.
- Allow some of the batter to slide off the shrimp before adding them to the oil.
- Don't over-sauce the shrimp or else they will become soggy.
This dish is called boom boom shrimp because of the sauce, which hails from Sheetz gas stations where it's served with fried pickles. It is similar to bang bang shrimp from Bonefish Grille and uses the same process to make it. The shrimp get coated in a batter similar to tempura, so they are light and crunchy and pair perfectly with the creamy, spicy boom boom sauce.
Boom boom shrimp is not overly spicy, but it does have a touch of background heat. You can reduce the amount of sriracha in the sauce if you prefer it less spicy.
Rice, slaw, wonton chips are all delicious with boom boom shrimp. Or eat them as tacos or a poboy.
It only takes about 2-3 minutes depending on the size of the shrimp. It's important not to overcook the shrimp, however, to keep them succulent and tender.
The boom boom shrimp is best enjoyed hot or warm after making. Store covered in the fridge for on additional day. Reheat on a sheet pan in a 375℉ oven, turning occasionally, until hot and somewhat crispy.
Note they will not crisp up as they did immediately after frying. The shrimp will store and reheat best if no sauce has been added.
Boom Boom Shrimp
Boom Boom Sauce
- ⅓ cup sweet chili sauce
- ½ tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar or lemon juice
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- scallions and peanuts for garnish
- 1 lb Shrimp 21-26, peeled (tails can be left on or removed)
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 12 oz unflavored soda water
- 24 oz vegetable or canola oil for frying
- Whisk together the sweet chili sauce, peanut butter, and vinegar until smooth. Add the mayonnaise, ketchup, and sriracha and whisk again. Taste to see if any salt is needed. Set aside.⅓ cup sweet chili sauce, ½ tablespoon creamy peanut butter, 2 teaspoons rice vinegar, ¾ cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1 tablespoon sriracha
- Pat dry the shrimp with paper towels and set aside.1 lb Shrimp
- Add oil to a large pot (at least 2 inches deep) and turn to medium heat until the oil reaches 375℉.24 oz vegetable or canola oil
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, garlic powder and onion powder until combined. While whisking, drizzle in the soda water and mix until smooth and no lumps remain.1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, ⅔ cup cornstarch, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 12 oz unflavored soda water
- Add the shrimp to the batter and toss to coat completely.
- Using a pair of tongs, lift the shrimp from the tail and let some batter fall off, then add to the oil and quickly continue with more shrimp, not overcrowding the pot (only 5-6 at a time).
- Fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Remove to a wire rack to drain excess grease (or add to a pan lined with paper towels). Repeat until all the shrimp are fried.
- Add the fried shrimp to a platter and drizzle with boom boom sauce. Garnish with chopped peanuts and sliced scallions. Serve the extra sauce in a cup alongside the shrimp with lemon wedges.scallions and peanuts