With crispy fried shrimp coated in a sticky sauce that’s irresistibly sweet and savory and spicy, this Firecracker Shrimp is ready in just 30 minutes. Enjoy as an appetizer, or serve with rice as an easy weeknight family meal or a fun weekend dinner with friends!
Spicy Firecracker Shrimp Recipe
I love a good spicy shrimp recipe, and this Firecracker Shrimp is an explosion of flavor! This easy recipe is a riff on one that Panda Express removed from their menu awhile back, and I miss it. It combines sweet, savory, and spicy flavors in the most delicious way. We like to eat this shrimp over white rice or cilantro lime rice, with a side of super greens. It’s easy enough for weeknight family meals, fun enough for a weekend dinner with friends!
Why You’ll Love This Easy Shrimp Dish
Here are a few reasons we love this takeout copycat recipe.
- Quick & easy. You can pull this recipe together in under 30 minutes!
- Ideal for any occasion. Firecracker Shrimp is a perfect appetizer or main dish for any occasion, whether it’s a party, a family dinner, or date-night-in.
- So much flavor! With sweet chili sauce and sriracha, this dish features a sticky, sweet, and spicy sauce – which you can easily customize to your preferred spice level!
What You’ll Need
This spicy shrimp dish is made with a few classic Asian cuisine ingredients, plus basic kitchen staples.
Scroll down to the printable recipe card below for exact ingredient measurements.
- Sweet chili sauce – The base of the spicy firecracker sauce.
- Tamari – You could use soy sauce instead.
- Honey – Sweetens the sauce and gives it a sticky texture.
- Sriracha – Adds extra spice to the sauce.
- Lemon juice & zest – Both of these add a brightness to the sauce.
- Water – Helps to thin the sauce a bit.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic adds a pungent kick of flavor.
- Shrimp – Use large raw shrimp that are peeled and deveined. I like to use tail-on shrimp.
- Salt & pepper – To season the shrimp
- Flour & cornstarch – This combination creates a crispy outside on the shrimp.
- Egg – Helps the batter stick to the shrimp.
- Vegetable oil – For frying the shrimp in the skillet. Any neutral frying oil will work.
Can I Make This With Other Protein?
Absolutely. If you don’t like shrimp, you can use chicken, pork, tofu, or even cauliflower instead. It’s really the firecracker sauce that makes this dish stand out and it tastes great on almost anything!
How to Make Firecracker Shrimp
Here’s how to make this shrimp recipe, in just a few steps:
- Make the firecracker sauce. Whisk together all firecracker sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Prepare the shrimp. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, then coat them in a mixture of flour and cornstarch.
- Fry the shrimp. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk the egg in a small bowl, then dip the shrimp in, making sure they’re well coated. Fry the shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to remove any excess oil, then carefully wipe out the hot skillet.
- Cook the firecracker sauce. Return skillet to medium-high heat. Pour in the firecracker sauce and bring to a boil.
- Add the shrimp back in, stirring to ensure they’re all coated with the sauce.
- Enjoy. Top with sesame seeds and chopped chives if desired, and serve immediately.
Tips & Variations
Here are a few helpful suggestions to keep in mind when making your firecracker shrimp recipe.
- Adjust the spice level. You can adjust the level of spiciness of the dish by adding more or less Sriracha, depending on your preference. For a lot of heat, sprinkle in red pepper flakes.
- Keep an eye on the shrimp. Shrimp cook quickly. Just 2-3 minutes per side will give you golden shrimp that’s perfectly cooked.
- Add some veggies. To make the dish more nutritious and filling, you can add some vegetables such as broccoli, bell peppers, green beans, or snap peas. I like to do this if I’m serving this as the main course, with no other sides. I recommend first steaming or sauteeing the veggies, until they’re crisp-tender, then removing them to a plate while you make the firecracker shrimp. Then fold the veggies into the sauce when you add the cooked shrimp back in at the end.
If I’m serving firecracker shrimp as an appetizer, I like to top it with some sesame seeds and fresh chives. Then I offer toothpicks or party picks, for easy shrimp-stabbing.
If I’m serving this for dinner, I always add some rice to the table. Brown rice, white rice, cilantro lime rice – it’s all good. Fried rice and chow mein or lo mein noodles would also work.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Store any leftover firecracker shrimp in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Reheat the leftovers in the microwave in 30-second intervals, until hot. Or on the stovetop, over medium-low heat.
More Easy Shrimp Recipes:
- Honey Walnut Shrimp
- Shrimp Pad Thai
- Grilled Shrimp
- Shrimp Tempura
- Air Fryer Shrimp
- Shrimp Ceviche
- Grilled Shrimp Cocktail
- Shrimp & Corn Chowder
- Mom’s Shrimp Dip
For the firecracker sauce
- ⅓ cup sweet chili sauce
- 2 tablespoon Tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
For the shrimp
- 1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail on
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Sesame seeds
- Fresh chives, chopped
- For the firecracker sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients until well combined. Set aside.
- For the shrimp: Season shrimp with salt & pepper to taste. Whisk the flour and cornstarch together in a small bowl, then coat the shrimp in this mixture.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add enough oil to just cover the surface.
- Beat the egg in a small bowl, then dip each shrimp in the egg to coat well.
- Once oil is shimmering, transfer shrimp to the skillet and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
- Transfer cooked shrimp to a plate lined with a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
- Carefully wipe out the hot skillet, then place it back over medium-high heat.
- Pour the firecracker sauce into the skillet and bring it to a boil.
- Add the shrimp back into the skillet and fold with a spatula to thoroughly coat with the sauce. Season with a bit more salt and/or pepper, if needed.
- Serve firecracker shrimp immediately, with sesame seeds and chopped chives if desired. We like to eat this over white rice or cilantro lime rice, with a side of super greens.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 189mgSodium: 1500mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 2gSugar: 20gProtein: 20g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.