Firecracker shrimp is packed with heat and glazed with an addictive sticky sauce that is sure to light up your taste buds! Asian-inpsired flavors such as chili garlic sauce and sriracha, combine with citrus juice, and honey to make an incredible sauce that balances sweet and heat!
A few notes on choosing the shrimp
I like using 31/40 sized shrimp for this recipe, however, you can use larger or smaller shrimp that you have on hand. They will all work just as well, the main difference being in how quickly they cook. Smaller shrimp will seem a bit spicier though, as they will have more surface area for the spicy sauce to cling.
You will need to peel and devein the shrimp, however, you can purchase shrimp with this already taken care of, which I recommend. And as always, wild-caught shrimp is always the best option when available.
How to thaw shrimp
Most shrimp purchased around the country is frozen. You want to gently thaw it so you don't risk cooking it in the process, for this reason, I avoid thawing in the microwave whenever possible. Here are better alternatives:
- Set in the refrigerator - This can take an entire day, but will do a great job thawing out when given enough time.
- Setting on the counter - This is much quicker but you need to keep an eye on it to ensure the shrimp does not completely thaw out and come to room temperature prior to placing it back in the refrigerator. Left on the counter too long and you could risk food poisoning.
- Place the bag under cold water - This is the best method in my opinion. Even sealed in a bag, water will melt the ice much quicker than even the ambient air temperature will. Once again, be sure to keep an eye on it so your shrimp stays chilled and goes back in the refrigerator in a timely manner.
Ingredients for this recipe
- 1 pound shrimp - Peeled and deveined 31/40 shrimp.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil - The oil is used to saute the shrimp.
Note: I tested this recipe with the shrimp coated in cornstarch as well, and didn't find it worth the hassle.
- ¼ cup chili-garlic sauce - This is the base of the firecracker sauce.
- 2 teaspoons sriracha - Add more or less to moderate the heat.
- 2 tablespoons orange juice - Grapefruit juice could be substituted.
- 2 tablespoons honey - This adds sweetness to balance the heat.
- 1 teaspoon lime juice - Adds a bright accent flavor.
- 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers - Substitute ghost pepper flakes if you really want to crank up the heat!
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to make it
Saute the shrimp in a skillet with oil, set over medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side. Shrimp is done when it is no longer translucent.
Make the firecracker sauce by whisking all of the sauce ingredients together in a dish. The sauce can be further thickened by simmering if you wish, but this isn't necessary.
When the shrimp is fully cooked add the sauce to the skillet as well, and toss together. Serve when the sauce is heated through.
More Spicy Recipes
- Asian Hot Sauce - I personally like this sauce better than Sriracha, and use it as a substitute.
- Korean Spicy Pork Bulgogi - Easy to make and loaded with flavor!
- Grilled Tuna with Spicy Ponzu Sauce - Refined and quick!
- Brown Sugar Sriracha Chicken - Sweet and spicy!
- 1 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined, 31/40)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup chili-garlic sauce
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons sriracha
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers
- salt and pepper to taste
- Make the sauce by whisking all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
- Add oil to a large skillet set over medium heat. Once shimmering, add shrimp and saute until cooked through. Cook approximately 2-3 minutes per side.
- Pour sauce into the skillet and toss with shrimp. Serve when sauce is heated through.