This post may contain affiliate links.
In this amazing Boom Boom Shrimp recipe, juicy shrimp is lightly fried until crispy, then coated in the most delicious sweet and spicy sauce. Not only is it exploding with flavor, but it’s also a quick, easy recipe that you can whip up in no time.
Why You’re Going to Love This Recipe
- Imagine crispy shrimp coated in a creamy, tangy, sweet and spicy boom boom sauce – irresistible, right? I bet you can’t have just one!
- Easy and quick: Even on a busy weeknight or when entertaining guests, you’ll be able to impress everyone by putting this amazing dish together in minutes.
- Versatile: You can customize the level of spiciness or presentation to take it from appetizer to a well-rounded, delicious meal.
Gather Your Ingredients and Equipment
What you need to make Boom Boom Shrimp
- Large raw shrimp: star of the recipe, succulent jumbo shrimp are the perfect vehicle for the crispy, seasoned coating and the spicy boom boom sauce (and if you love crispy shrimp, you must also try my crispy honey orange fried shrimp). Frozen shrimp work fine, just thaw in the fridge overnight or in a bowl of cool water for 30 minutes.
- Buttermilk: A key ingredient in Southern-style cooking, buttermilk adds tang, acidity and tenderness to the shrimp. The lactic acid in buttermilk also helps to tenderize the protein and enhance the flavor. Plus, it’s a classic pairing with fried foods.
- Canola or peanut oil: Choose a neutral oil with a high smoke point for frying the shrimp. Canola oil and peanut oil are both good choices because they have a mild taste, a high smoke point, and are relatively affordable.
- Flour: The base of the dredging mixture, flour helps to coat the shrimp evenly and crisp up nicely in the hot oil. All-purpose flour is best for this recipe, although you can also use self-rising flour for a slightly puffier texture. I make my Boom Boom shrimp without cornstarch, although you can swap that in for the flour if you prefer a gluten-free version.
- Onion powder: A subtle but essential flavor booster, onion powder adds a slightly sweet, pungent and savory note to the coating.
- Garlic powder: Plenty of garlicky goodness.
- Mayonnaise: The creamy base of the boom boom sauce, mayonnaise provides a smooth texture, a tangy flavor, and a richness that helps to balance out the heat.
- Thai sweet chili sauce: ubiquitous condiment in Southeast Asian cooking, Thai sweet chili sauce is a sticky, sweet and slightly spicy sauce made from red chilies, garlic, vinegar and sugar (you must try my thai pork meatballs with sweet chili sauce!) . It adds sweetness, tang, and heat to the sauce, and complements the crunchy shrimp perfectly.
- Sriracha hot sauce: Not for the faint of heart, Sriracha is a fiery chili sauce made from red chillies, vinegar and garlic. It adds a bold, complex and pungent heat to the boom boom sauce, and also has hints of sweetness, sourness and umami.
- Ketchup: A classic condiment that adds a touch of sweetness, acidity and richness to the sauce. It also helps to balance out the spiciness of the other ingredients.
- Cayenne: Optional but recommended if you want to dial up the spiciness of the sauce (Psst. if you love a sticky-spicy sauce, you must also try this delicious Chicken 65 recipe!). Cayenne powder is a type of chili pepper that has a bright red color, a medium-hot heat, and a slightly sweet flavor. A pinch is all you need to add some zing to the boom boom sauce.
The cooking tools and utensils you need
- You’ll need a few key tools: a couple of bowls, a wok or Dutch oven for frying, and a cooking thermometer.
How To Make Boom Boom Shrimp: Step-by-Step Directions
- Mix the sauce: Because the shrimp takes just a minute to cook, start by preparing the boom boom sauce. In a small bowl, mix together the mayo, Thai sweet chili sauce, Sriracha hot sauce, ketchup, garlic powder, kosher salt, and a pinch of cayenne if desired. Mix until fully combined and set aside.
- Preheat your oil: Heat the canola or peanut oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet or deep fryer at a depth of 1-2″ until it reaches 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix the coating: In a shallow dish or container, mix together the flour, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. This will be used to coat the shrimp and give it a crispy texture.
- Soak the shrimp: Place the large shrimp in a separate bowl or container and generously coat them in buttermilk. The buttermilk will help tenderize the shrimp and add a slight tang to the overall taste.
- Coat the shrimp: Take each shrimp out of the buttermilk and thoroughly coat them with the flour mixture. Make sure to shake off any excess flour before frying.
- Fry the shrimp: Once the oil is hot, carefully place each shrimp in the skillet, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry each side for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. When finished, transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to cool.
- Coat the shrimp in the sauce: Once the shrimp has cooled, transfer them to a separate bowl and drizzle the boom boom sauce over the top. Toss the shrimp in the sauce until fully coated.
- Serve and enjoy: Plate your boom boom shrimp and serve them as an appetizer, main dish, or party snack. Enjoy the crispy, spicy, and flavorful goodness!
How to Serve It and Choose the Perfect Side Dishes
- For a fantastic presentation, you can serve Boom Boom Shrimp on a bed of lettuce, garnished with thinly sliced chives or scallions/green onions. Black pepper and/or sesame seeds also make a nice finishing touch.
- To make it a complete meal, try pairing it with steamed rice, a fresh cucumber salad, some vegetable stir-fry, or even flour tortillas and slaw for a spicy shrimp taco.
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
- You can make the boom boom sauce in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- If you have any leftover shrimp, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. I recommend reheating them in the oven or an air fryer to maintain their crispiness (speaking of crispy air fryer recipes, try my crispy air fryer eggplant recipe – it’s so good).
Make Boom Boom Shrimp in the Air Fryer instead
If you’d prefer to make boom boom shrimp in the air fryer, you’ll need to do an additional step to get the crispy exterior. Add to the ingredient list:
- ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup avocado oil (or vegetable oil)
Stir together panko and oil to evenly moisten and toss the shrimp in this mixture after dredging in the flour. Press it on to ensure it sticks to the batter, then arrange in the air fryer basket in a single layer (working in batches). Air fry at 400ºF for about 4 minutes or until opaque, flipping once.
My Favorite Air Fryer
Boom Boom Shrimp consists of buttermilk-marinated, crispy-fried shrimp coated in a deliciously tangy and slightly spicy boom boom sauce.
The sauce is a combination of mayonnaise, Thai sweet chili sauce, Sriracha hot sauce, ketchup, garlic powder, kosher salt, and a pinch of cayenne for extra heat.
You can serve the shrimp with steamed rice, a fresh cucumber salad, or a vegetable stir-fry for a complete meal.
Simply whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a large bowl until they are well combined. These include mayonnaise, Thai sweet chili sauce, Sriracha hot sauce, ketchup, garlic powder, kosher salt, and a pinch of cayenne if desired.
Other Shrimp Recipes You’ll Love
If you love Shrimp dishes as much as I do, I have some recommendations for you!
For a light and refreshing option, I highly recommend the Shrimp, Corn & Avocado Ceviche. It makes for a perfect appetizer or party dish and features a delicious combination of fresh shrimp, creamy avocado, sweet corn, lime juice, garlic, onion, and chile.
If you’re looking for something with a little more depth of flavor, you can’t go wrong with my Shrimp Korma recipe. This authentic Indian shrimp curry is easy to make and bursting with aromatic spices. For a bold and flavorful Caribbean-inspired dish, try my Jamaican Curry Shrimp.
Boom Boom Shrimp
- 1 ½ lbs large shrimp
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Canola or peanut oil for frying
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
For boom boom sauce:
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 3 Tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
- 1 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- *pinch of cayenne if you like more heat
- Make the boom boom sauce by whisking together all the ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add the shrimp to a large bowl with the buttermilk and let stand for 10 minutes while you heat the oil.
- Preheat 1-2” of cooking oil to 375ºF in a large, heavy-bottomed dutch oven or a wok.
- Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk the flour with the salt, onion powder and garlic powder.
To fry the shrimp and assemble:
- Remove shrimp from the buttermilk and let excess drip off.
- Dredge the shrimp in the flour mixture and fry in batches of a few at a time for 1-2 minutes, until opaque and an internal temperature of 145ºF is reached.
- Toss the hot fried shrimp in the boom boom sauce. Enjoy!
Last Updated on April 22, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD
Loved that I could make this in the air fryer. The buttermilk was a really nice addition in this recipe.
Crunchy yet smooth!! I love these orange shrimps! A definite must-try this summer! Yum!
So hard to share when they are so yummy and addictive!
This shrimp recipe was so easy to make and so delicious. I will definately make it again!
Fried shrimp? You are speaking my love language. That sauce was bang on too!
Made this last night and it is SO GOOD omg.