Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp

I wanted to use the barbeque. It was way too hot outside and my shrimp were, well, shrimpy. Not the smallest shrimp by any means, but guaranteed to lose half of them through the bars of the grill. Shrimp is spendy, so that was for sure not an option.

Not using the oven – way too hot in the house for that action. When we got our windows done in September last year, our landlord said perhaps we wouldn’t have to use our air conditioner any more because the windows are tinted and insuated. He was sooooo wrong. This house holds heat in the summer like the coals in the bottom of a firepit. Definitely not the oven.

Air fryer it is. My mancub bought me the air fryer for my birthday and it’s quite the all around beastie. I see plenty of people using theirs online but they have deep baskets. Mine has trays – almost like a toaster oven, a rotisserie and a rotisserie basket. I haven’t used even a quarter of its features. There are buttons I’ve not touched – all I really mess with, at this point, is the temperature and the cook time. I should probably read the manual….but not today. 🙂

The nice thing about this is that I use it plugged into my stove, and then I turn on the fan which vents the heat from the back of this to the outside instead of into my kitchen.

Make the sauce first, so the flavours have some time to blend together.

Sauce Ingredients:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 TB sriracha (or more if you like your Bang Bang sauce to have more Bang)
  • ¼ cup sweet chili sauce

Mix the ingredients in a bowl. Taste. Adjust as necessary. I would advise letting the sauce sit for at least 15 minutes before adding any additional heat. Sometimes it develops over time and if you overspice at the beginning, you’ll have to try to bring the spice level down. If you really like spice, ignore me and spice to your hearts’ content!

Shrimp Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lb shrimp, shelled & deveined (I just buy them this way at Costco)
  • ½ cup buttermilk (or ½ cup of milk and 2 TB of vinegar/lemon juice – mix & let sit)
  • ¾ cup cornstarch or rice flour – don’t use regular flour. If you don’t have cornstarch or rice flour, skip this
  • 1 cup panko (you may need more, depending on how many shrimp you coat)
  • spray oil – to spray the basket of your air fryer if needed

Get three shallow, wide bowls. Put the cornstarch in one, buttermilk in another and panko in the third.

Dip your shrimp in the cornstarch, on all sides. Move the shrimp to the buttermilk bowl and coat, then move to the panko bowl. Obviously, you do this in batches, depending on the size of your bowls.

I found, rather than using my hands, using a pair of chopsticks is frighteningly efficient for moving & coating the shrimp from bowl to bowl. Every once in a while, you’ll need to clean the ends, but otherwise they don’t hold the much like your fingers do. I was using metal chopsticks which, I’m sure contributed to the non-stickiness of the whole endeavour, but wooden should still work pretty well.

Once your shrimp are all coated (or do in batches if your air fryer is smaller than mine), load up your air fryer however you do. I loaded the skewers for the rotisserie and two trays I cooked as a second batch.

Set your fryer to 400F and for about 10 minutes. If you are cooking your shrimp in a basket, laying down, flip them at the 5 minute mark. They will be curled and pink under the crumbs when they are done.

How cool is this thing?!

Put the shrimp on rice, eat as an appetizer or do like we did and put them onto a salad, with the Bang Bang sauce on the side.

If you changed the panko to crushed pork rinds and either used almond flour or skipped the cornstarch layer altogether, you could be quite low carb. I’m not sure how to make the Bang Bang sauce lower carb, unless there is a sweet chili sauce that is low carb. I don’t know of one offhand, though.

If you don’t like or can’t eat shrimp, swap out for chicken pieces. This will adjust your cooking time, but totally worth it for the bang bang sauce.

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