Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos
You can give me any number of reasons to dine at Bonefish Grill, but we both know it’s really about the Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos.
Crispy battered shrimp tossed in that illustrious, creamy, and impossibly addictive “bang bang sauce,” they’re a signature dish on the Bonefish Grill’s menu and every reason I’ll ever need to eat there.
In fact, the Bang Bang Shrimp are so popular that the menu includes both an appetizer version and a taco version, which wraps the shrimp inside of fluffy tortillas.
Whenever I’m back in my hometown, my family and I usually end up at Bonefish one of the nights, a destination we readily admit selecting purely for the Bang Bang Shrimp (we place two orders).
A few weeks ago, I had a hankering for Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos—meaning I saw an ad for Bonefish Grill that immediately turned into an emergency Bang Bang Shrimp Taco craving—so I decided to see if I could make a healthy version of them at home. Bingo!
Why I Love These Shrimp Tacos
Like my classic Shrimp Tacos (which are one of the all-time most popular recipes on my site!), these Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos have a kick, and the heat is balanced by a cool, crunchy taco slaw.
And like other favorite restaurant copycat recipes on my site—Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps, Asian Lettuce Wraps (both dead ringers for PF Chang’s), Cajun Shrimp Pasta (my Chili’s go-to order in high school), and Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad (still yum)—these Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos keep the spirit of the restaurant original for a fraction of the calories.
In addition to being better for you, making these tacos at home delivers more bang bang for your buck. At Bonefish Grill, a single order of bang bang shrimp tacos costs about $13.50. Multiply that by a family, and it adds up quickly.
Bonefish also excludes the Bang Bang Shrimp from its happy hour pricing (how did they know I was going to order it anyway?), so if you want a deal, this homemade recipe is the way to go!
Tips to Make Healthy Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos at Home
To make a more healthy version of a restaurant’s Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos, this recipes uses a few quick tricks.
- Pan Fried, Not Deep Fried. I prefer to save the deep fry in quarts of oil for when I eat out (and someone else cleans up!). Instead, I tossed the shrimp in cornstarch, then sautéed them over high heat. They’re still crisp on the outside, without the heft and mess of deep frying.
- Greek Yogurt Instead of Mayo. Bonefish’s bang bang sauce is made of mayo, Thai sweet chili sauce (which you can find in the Asian food section of most grocery stores), and sriracha. This recipe swaps the mayo for Greek yogurt. It’s just as creamy and only a fraction of the calories, and Greek yogurt offers nutritional benefits like protein too.
- Veggie Slaw. While the restaurant Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos don’t have a slaw, I found this recipe absolutely benefits from it. It’s cool and crunchy, makes the tacos more delicious, and is good for you too!
For the taco slaw, I like to use a bagged broccoli coleslaw, but shredded cabbage works nicely too.
What to Serve with Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos
- Pinto Beans: Crock Pot Pinto Beans and Instant Pot Refried Beans are my favorite easy ways to cook them.
- Instant Pot Black Beans
- Healthy 7-Layer Taco Dip
- A cool Skinny Margarita. It’s the right thing to do.
Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos
For the Slaw & Bang Bang Sauce
- 2 1/2 cups shredded cabbage - about 5 ounces (I like to use a broccoli coleslaw mix)
- 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small clove garlic - minced
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Zest and juice of 1 large or 2 very small limes - about 2 teaspoons zest and 3 tablespoons juice
- 3 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sriracha, Frank’s Red Hot, or similar hot sauce - plus additional to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
For the Shrimp Tacos:
- 1 pound large or jumbo shrimp - peeled, deveined, and tails removed (fresh or frozen and thawed)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Corn or flour tortillas
- Chopped green onions
- Prepare the slaw and sauce: Place the cabbage in a medium mixing bowl. In a separate large bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, oil, garlic, and salt. Scoop about half of the yogurt mixture into the bowl with the cabbage. To the cabbage bowl, add the lime zest and juice. Stir to combine, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To the bowl with the remaining Greek yogurt mixture, add the Thai sweet chili sauce, sriracha, and vinegar. Set aside.
- Prepare the shrimp: Pat the shrimp dry and place in a large ziptop bag. Sprinkle in the cornstarch, then seal the bag and toss the shrimp to coat.
- In a high-sided skillet, wok, or dutch oven, heat the 3 tablespoons oil over medium high. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, carefully add the shrimp, shaking off as much excess cornstarch as you can. Sauté, stirring almost constantly, until the shrimp is cooked through and the cornstarch is no longer white, about 4 minutes. Do not overcook, and if the shrimp looks dry, drizzle in extra oil as needed. Transfer the shrimp to the bowl with the Greek yogurt/Thai chili mixture and toss to coat the shrimp in the sauce.
- Warm the tortillas (optional) and assemble the tacos: If you like, warm the tortillas in the microwave (put them in a stack and cover them with a lightly damp towel) or a 250 degree F oven. To serve, fill the tortillas with your desired number of shrimp and the slaw, then top generously with the slaw and green onions. Enjoy immediately.
- Bang Bang Shrimp are best enjoyed the day they are made, so I recommend only sautéing the amount of shrimp you plan to eat that meal. The slaw can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days, so you can make a larger batch of it in advance, then cook the shrimp just before serving.
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