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Bang Bang Shrimp a Little Lighter

Posted Jun 22 2010 5:34am

For quite a while I have been looking for a baking pan that has a rack above it for broiling or oven "frying" foods.  The theory is that this way the crispy coating doesn't get stuck to the bottom when you try to flip the food (which usually happens to me). 

I finally found the pan at Bed, Bath and Beyond and knew now was the perfect time to try my Bonefish Grill Bang Bang Shrimp remake. 

Have you heard of Bonefish Grill and/or Bang Bang Shrimp ?  The menu simply states this starter as "Tender, crispy shrimp tossed in a creamy, spicy sauce."  But oh, it's so much more.  The crispy fried shrimp must be breaded with panko as it has this light and super crunchy texture that doesn't taste bready or oily.  The creamy spicy sauce has the bite of chilies and the tang of vinegar.  I love the bed of cool lettuce and topping of sliced green onions as a counterpoint to the heat of the spicy shrimp.

To make it a little lighter I'm baking rather than frying.  For the sauce, I thought the base from a rustic mustard sauce I did recently would go really well if I made a few additions to it.  One review said they used Sriracha sauce which is sort of a chili hot sauce and rice wine vinegar was what took it over the edge.  I have recently discovered just how integral a splash of vinegar is to taking a dish from good to spectacular in such an understated way.

Bang Bang Shrimp a Little Lighter
Serves 3-4

1 pound of medium peeled and deveined shrimp, tails on
Coarse salt and ground pepper
½ cup cornstarch
2 large egg whites
1 cup skim or reduced fat milk
1 ½ cups of panko
Cooking spray
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1/3 cup sliced scallions
3 cups lettuce


1 Tbsp coarse ground mustard
3 Tbsp low fat mayonnaise
1 Tbsp water
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp hot sauce


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Spray a baking rack and sheet with cooking spray.

3. Whisk eggs and milk together in medium bowl.  Place corn starch in a second bowl and panko in a third.

4. Season shrimp with salt and pepper.  Dredge 3 or 4 shrimp at a time in cornstarch, shake off excess, coat with egg, dredge into panko, and transfer to prepared baking rack.
(Note: if preparing earlier in the day cover and refrigerate at this point.)

5. Spray shrimp with cooking spray.  Bake for 20 minutes or until browned and crispy.  Season with salt and pepper.

6. Whisk sauce ingredients in a small bowl. 

7. Toss crispy shrimp with sauce.  Top with scallions and sesame seeds.  Serve on bed of lettuce.

**When prepping the shrimp, the panko got a bit saturated with the egg/milk mixture so part of the way through I added some additional panko.
**Next time I will remove the tails.
**I tried both ways, tossing the shrimp in the sauce and just dipping.  Next time I will simply dip to maximize crunchiness rather than saturating.
**For those that don't like spice, the cayenne and hot sauce can be eliminated.
**I ran out of space on the pan with the bake rack and used a baking sheet with foil.  It worked fine but I did have some panko loss when I went to remove the shrimp.  So no biggie if you don't have the pan though.

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