Bang Bang Shrimp Salad with avocado, pickled red onion, and cucumber is topped with crispy, creamy, sweet and spicy bang bang shrimp. It’s a healthy salad that is packed with flavor from the thai chili sauce and sriracha. You’ll love this fresh salad with a sweet and spicy punch.Jump to Recipe
Bang bang shrimp is a favorite of ours. It’s an asian inspired appetizer that I learned how to make after ordering it at my favorite sushi restaurant. I wanted to turn bang bang shrimp into a meal by placing it overtop of a salad. This turned out so good. It's perfect for a meal prepped lunch or dinner any time you're craving something fresh and delicious. I can't wait for you to try this delicious shrimp salad recipe.
- Why You’ll Love This Bang Bang Shrimp Salad Recipe
- What is Bang Bang Shrimp?
- Is Bang Bang Sauce The Same As Yum Yum?
- What You Need to Make Bang Bang Shrimp Salad
- The Best Lettuce for Bang Bang Shrimp Salad
- How to Make Bang Bang Shrimp Salad
- Can You Bake The Shrimp?
- How Spicy is The Bang Bang Shrimp Salad?
- Other Must Try Salads!
- Best Ever Bang Bang Shrimp Salad
Why You’ll Love This Bang Bang Shrimp Salad Recipe
- The famous appetizer is turned into a fresh main dish that can be eaten for dinner or lunch. By adding the bang bang shrimp to salad, we’re adding more veggies which means a healthier and more fresh version of the dish!
- This easy salad can be made in 30 minutes! Don’t spend extra time slaving away in the kitchen. Most of the time is spent prepping the salad and measuring ingredients for the sauce and batter. Once that’s done your salad will be ready in no time!
- This salad can be meal prepped. I love to meal prep this for my husband and I. We usually get about 3 days out of it. Once shrimp is cooled, place it overtop the salad and serve the dressing on the side. Everyone always asks what I'm eating because it looks and smells so good!
What is Bang Bang Shrimp?
Bang Bang Shrimp is Thai in origin. Shrimp is fried then topped with a creamy sriracha chili sauce. The bang bang part of the shrimp comes from the sweet and spicy flavor that you get with each bite. It's not overly spicy but it also has enough to keep you wanting more.
The sauce is very simple. While everyone has their own version, I decided to keep this one extremely simple with only 3 ingredients which are thai chili sauce, sriracha, and mayonnaise. The mayonnaise makes it nice and creamy while adding a little bit of tanginess to the sauce to balance the sweet.
Many people know this appetizer from being served at Bonefish Grill. This is a popular appetizer on their menu. While I personally have not had it there I've been told it’s a must try!
Is Bang Bang Sauce The Same As Yum Yum?
Some people mistake yum yum sauce for bang bang sauce. These are not the same in fact there are very strong differences. The yum yum sauce is the Japanese steak house white sauce. It too is very popular. They not only have completely different flavors, they're also from different parts of the world.
Yum yum sauce is light, sweet, and tangy! It’s made up of various ingredients like mayo, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, sugar, paprika and water for thinning the sauce. It’s not nearly as spicy as a bang bang sauce. While bang bang sauce is most commonly served with shrimp, yum yum sauce is most commonly served with hibachi rice, veggies, and meats.
What You Need to Make Bang Bang Shrimp Salad
- Raw shrimp - peeled and deveined
- All purpose flour - to coat the shrimp and give it a nice crispy layer as it’s fried
- Salt & pepper - the most basic seasoning that gives the shrimp fry so much flavor
- Garlic powder - for added flavor
- Paprika - for color and subtle flavor
- Milk - for dredging and to take away the fishy flavor
- Oil - enough for frying. The size of your skillet will determine how much oil you need. I usually fill the skillet about 1 inch on the sides. I choose a vegetable oil over olive oil because it has a lighter flavor which is great for frying
Bang Bang Sauce
- Thai chili sauce - the sweet, tangy, slightly spicy sauce that makes the bang bang shrimp
- Mayonnaise - makes the sauce creamy
- Sriracha - hot chili sauce made of chili peppers, it brings the heat
- Romaine lettuce - not too crispy, not too soft, it’s the perfect lettuce for salad. Other types of lettuce can be substituted
- Avocado - make sure to choose an avocado that’s firm but not too firm
- Baby cucumbers - you can substitute regular cucumbers if pickling cucumbers are not available
- Cilantro - probably my favorite herb for asian inspired dishes
- Pickled red onion - the homemade recipe can be followed below. This ingredient is optional in case you don’t have the time
The Best Lettuce for Bang Bang Shrimp Salad
So what is the best lettuce to use for this crispy shrimp salad? Well I’d say it all depends on personal preference. In this recipe I choose to use romaine because it's not too soft or too crunchy it’s the perfect balance between the two. However, don't feel like you have to limit yourself to romaine just because that's what the recipe calls for. Try any of the following instead!
Spinach - dark green leaves that have a subtle flavor, they don't have the same crunch that an iceberg or romaine do but it is a superfood which is packed with vitamins and minerals taking this salad to a whole new level
Iceberg - crunchy, pale green leaves that resemble cabbage, we love a good iceberg salad. It’s sweet and juicy and doesn’t get soggy as quickly as spinach for example. It doesn’t have the same nutritional value but it’s a favorite in our home
Arugula - thin leaves have a spicy, peppery flavor to them that is very distinct. The leaves are slightly crispy and certainly adds to the overall flavor of the salad. You’ll see this commonly paired with spinach because the two go together perfectly making sure the salad isn’t overwhelmed by the strong flavor of the arugula. Commonly found in pastas, sandwiches, and of course salads.
Butterhead - another favorite of mine, the leaves are loose, round, and have a sweet buttery mild flavor. It’s not quite as crunchy as iceberg but not as soft as spinach. It’s perfect in this salad. Be sure to try this if you see it!
How to Make Bang Bang Shrimp Salad
Step 1. In a medium bowl add the milk and the peeled deveined shrimp. Mix together so the milk coats the shrimp. Place in the refrigerator while you prep the other ingredients or leave for a few hours to help get rid of the shrimp’s fishy flavor.
Step 2. In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika and mix together until well combined. Don’t shake or the heavier spices will fall to the bottom leaving you with an uneven flour mixture. Set aside until later.
Step 3. In a small bowl combine the thai chili sauce, mayonnaise, and sriracha and mix until well combined. Set aside.
Step 4. Add oil to a skillet, about 1/2 to 1 inch thick on the sides. Heat over medium heat. While heating, drain the shrimp from the milk and add to the flour mixture. Coat the shrimp evenly then place in the hot oil leaving space between the shrimp so they don’t touch.
Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until the shrimp is cooked and each side is browned. Keep in mind that shrimp cook very quickly and frying the shrimp for too long can result in a gummy texture.
Step 5. Once the shrimp is done, place on a wire rack to cool. While the shrimp is cooling prep the salad. In a large bowl add romaine lettuce and top with avocado, pickled red onion, carrots, cucumber, and cilantro. Set aside while we prep the shrimp.
Step 6. After the shrimp has cooled stir into the creamy thai chili sauce mixture and coat well. Place on top of the salad and serve with any extra thai chili sauce as a bang bang salad dressing or top with favorite salad dressing instead.
Can You Bake The Shrimp?
One healthy alternative to frying shrimp for the bang bang fried shrimp salad is to bake it instead. This definitely cuts back on calories and makes it a more healthy bang bang shrimp recipe. I have never baked the shrimp for the salad so I can’t tell you how it will turn out.
Crispy baked shrimp commonly calls for panko. This helps give it that crispy texture we’re going for. If you end up baking the shrimp instead of frying let me know how it works and if you stuck with the flour mixture below or added some panko.
How Spicy is The Bang Bang Shrimp Salad?
The shrimp bang bang shrimp sauce is not too spicy. The thai sweet chili sauce is more sweet than it is spicy. The biggest contributor to the heat is the sriracha. If you’re worried about too much spice, use less sriracha. Keep in mind too that we're not just making the appetizer we’re making a salad. With that, the lettuce and other veggies are going to cool down and balance the shrimp nicely.
Other Must Try Salads!
Best Ever Bang Bang Shrimp Salad
For The Shrimp
- 1/2 cup mik
- lb raw shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- oil for frying
For The Bang Bang Sauce
- 1/4 cup thai chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
For The Salad
- 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 avocado sliced or cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 Red onion pickled see recipe below
- 1/2 cup sliced carrots
- 3/4 cup chopped baby cucumber
- 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
For The Pickled Red Onion
- 1 red onion sliced thinly
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 tablespoons sugar
- In a medium bowl add the milk and the peeled deveined shrimp. Mix together so the milk coats the shrimp. Place in the refrigerator while you prep the other ingredients or leave for a few hours to help get rid of the shrimp’s fishy flavor.
- In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika and mix together until well combined.
- Add oil to a skillet, about 1/2 to 1 inch thick on the sides. Heat over medium heat. While heating, drain the shrimp from the milk and add to the flour mixture. Coat the shrimp evenly then place in the hot oil leaving space between the shrimp so they don’t touch.
- Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until the shrimp is cooked and each side is browned. Once the shrimp is done, place on a wire rack to cool. While the shrimp is cooling prep the salad. In a large bowl add romaine lettuce and top with avocado, pickled red onion, carrots, cucumber, and cilantro. Set aside while we prep the shrimp.
- After the shrimp has cooled stir into the creamy thai chili sauce mixture and coat well. Place on top of the salad and serve by itself or with your favorite salad dressing.
For The Pickled Red Onion
- Add the apple cider vinegar, water, salt, and sugar to a saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Just before the mixture reaches a boil remove from heat and pour into a mason jar. Add the red onion and let sit for a few hours or overnight before using.