Thai Firecracker Shrimp

Thai Firecracker Shrimp Recipe

You’ll learn:

  • Deceptively simple 5-ingredient appetizer, can be made ahead and frozen
  • Pad Thai sauce + fresh basil + peanuts + shrimp
  • Ingredients are pantry/freezer friendly, whip up last minute!
  • Step by step video: roll tight, pretty rolls

The most popular appetizer that I make on television is Firecracker Shrimp, with only 3 main ingredients that are pantry and freezer ready, it’s an impressive appetizer that you can make last minute. I’ve changed up the recipe to add a Thai flavor, with prepared Pad Thai Sauce (from jar), shrimp, chopped peanuts, fresh basil and spring roll wrapper.

Thai Firecracker Shrimp Recipe

It’s so easy to make, that my son helps me make the Firecracker Shrimp too. We recently did a chef demo at the Sarasota Food and Wine Festival. Nathan was my sous-chef and in charge of rolling. I was the fry-master.

Okay, truth be told, I was his sous-chef. Nathan was definitely the star, explaining to the long line of people waiting for a sample, how easy it is to roll the Firecracker Shrimp.


We brought 5 pounds of shrimp, but ran out (the Firecracker Shrimp were a hit!) Nathan cozied up to the chefs at the next booth, and scored us a big bucket of slow-cooked pork belly that they brought extra. Nathan ended up rolling up the pork belly in the Pad Thai Sauce and we fried those for mini egg rolls!

Thai Firecracker Shrimp Recipe

These Thai style Firecracker Shrimp can be prepared ahead of time, frozen then fried (direct from freezer to fryer) in 5 minutes. We make a big ol’ batch and freeze them for easy homemade appetizers.

Thai Firecracker Shrimp Recipe Video


Thai Firecracker Shrimp

Servings: 6-8 Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes
thai firecracker shrimp recipe featured-1500

For best results, go to an Asian market and buy the spring roll (sometimes called egg roll) wrappers. They are in the freezer. These Asian branded wrappers are so much better than the thick, pasta-like, starchy wrappers that you can get at standard grocery stores (usually found refrigerated, next to tofu). However if these are the only wrappers you can find, the will work fine.

To defrost the Asian spring roll wrappers, do NOT open package. Place in refrigerator overnight - or leave on counter for 1 hour. Do not microwave or submerge in water to defrost. If you open the package, place a damp towel over the package to prevent wrappers from drying out.

You can serve these Thai Firecracker Shrimp with prepared Sweet Chili Sauce, Sriracha or any other type of Asian chili-garlic sauce! The Sweet Chili Sauce is our favorite - you can find it at most grocery stores


1 package frozen Asian spring roll wrappers, defrosted, cut in half diagonally (make triangles)
1 pound raw tail-on shrimp
3 tablespoons prepared Pad Thai sauce
1/4 cup water + 1 teaspoon cornstarch (or other starch) in small bowl, whisked
1/2 cup unsalted, shelled roasted peanuts, chopped
handful fresh basil, chopped
cooking oil, for frying (about 3 cups)


1. Shell the shrimp, leaving the tail on. Pat the shrimp very dry with a towel or paper towel. With a small knife, make three shallow, parallel slits along the inside curve of shrimp, just nicking the shrimp in place to "straighten" out the natural curve of shrimp. This will help keep the shrimp nice and straight when frying.

2. Line up the shrimp on a plate, tails all facing one direction. We're going to marinate the shrimp, without getting the tails wet. Spoon the prepared Pad Thai sauce over the shrimp, avoiding the tails. Let marinate for a few minutes.

3. In the meantime, let's prepare to wrap and roll. Cover the defrosted spring roll wrappers with damp towel. Have your water + cornstarch ready. Place a shrimp on the wrapper, add a sprinkle of peanuts and basil and roll the shrimp up in the wrapper (see pictures for rolling instructions). Keep the wrapped Firecrackers under plastic wrap while wrapping the rest to prevent drying.

4. When ready to cook, heat oil in wok, deep fryer or pot to 375F. Carefully slide a few Firecracker Shrimp into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain.

 More Asian Appetizers

The original Firecracker Shrimp Recipe (Steamy Kitchen)

My Mother’s Famous Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe (Steamy Kitchen)

Thai Lettuce Cups (Steamy Kitchen)

Chicken Wonton (Rasa Malaysia)

Sweet Thai Chicken Wings (Taste and Tell)

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Comments 38

  1. Pingback: Thai Firecracker Shrimp |

  2. Bonnie G

    These look amazing! Thanks so much for sharing! I might have something new to add to dinner rotation with some rice and veggies on the side 🙂

  3. Joyce C

    Can I bake the firecracker shrimp instead of deep frying? If so, how long and at what temperature should i set the oven to? Thanks!

        1. Mary Bourdon

          That sounds right. To spray them with peanut oil or canola oil on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, ensuring they do not touch each other, and baking them at 375 or 400 degrees until lightly browned should make for scrumptious snacking!

      1. Crystal talbert

        Hi there! I was wondering if you have a specific dipping sauce recipe for the firecracker shrimp?

        1. Post

    That was a great instructional video! Thank you for detailed recipe, well done!
    Will definitely try these at home!

  5. The Art of Doing Stuff

    I had these on my last night in Thailand about a month ago. I loved them so much I took a pic with my iphone and made a note to make them when I got home. And then promptly forgot all about them. Until now. THX! ~ karen

  6. Barbara

    I predict that cute, adorable Chef Nathan will work for free next time because he had so much fun with Mommy Jaden and the other chefs! What fun that must have been for you to have him by your side!

    I will look for the Asian spring roll wrappers (wrap and roll sounds like it ought to be a dance craze) and some pad Thai sauce, but since I also live in Florida, can you recommend which store might carry those? And a brand name for the Pad Thai sauce? We have Win Dixie, Publix, and Wal-Mart, and rarely, Hubs has a biz trip to Orlando or Jax, so he could look around for me and take a cooler. Don’t worry; I’ve asked for stranger things to be brought home from his trips. Most recently it was non-homogenized, but pasteurized without being ultra pasteurized, cream-on-the-top milk from Gainesville! (Boy, was it ever good!) These firecracker shrimp look way too good to not try! Thanks!

  7. Ann

    Jaden, Did you use shrimp that was frozen or fresh. My reason for asking is most people don’t have access to fresh and if you wanted to make and freeze the fire cracker, it may not be wise to have defrosted frozen shrimp and then refreeze prepared cracker. What’s your take on that? Thanks.

  8. Shashi @ RunninSrilankan

    Yum! I would have had to adopt Nathan’s “One for you….one for me” policy if I were serving these fire cracker shrimp!! I would have had a hard time resisting these!

  9. phoebe

    I absolutely LOVE these shrimp!!! So much better than regular fried shrimp, and so easy to assemble. I’ve made many variations of these using different sauces on the inside. Another favorite of mine is to skip the sauce completely, and just give the shrimp & wrapper (still unrolled) a healthy shake or two of Old Bay seasoning. Next time I’m gonna add a small amount of fresh crab meat w/ the shrimp to mimic stuffed shrimp. MMMM!!!!

  10. Lani

    Hi Jaden,

    These look yummy! Thank you for the recipe and video.

    What is the dipping sauce they are served with? The same Pad Thai sauce?

    Thank you and Happy Cooking!

  11. Bill Ethan

    I love shrimps, making a tasty fire cracker out of shrimps makes it sound even more delicious. The Thai firecracker shrimp looks really tasty, i feel like having a bite, as soon as i go to the Asian market to get the spring roll, i’ll give this a trial.

  12. Vicki Porter

    Made these last weekend and they were a big hit. They look exactly like the picture, are easy to make, and absolutely delicious! I used 16/20 shrimp (16-20 shrimp per pound) and Thai basil instead of regular basil. The Thai basil added just a hit of anise to the basil which worked really well with this recipe. I am also super thrilled to learn about the wrapper for these. I will never use anything but these ever again for egg rolls and such. Such a superior product that fried up super crispy and stayed that way. Awesome recipe and the tutorial was wonderful for all kinds of tips–loved it!

  13. Pingback: Firecracker Recipes for 4th of July - Moms & Munchkins

  14. Lyn

    I’m having dinner party this Sunday night….May I make these the day before (fry) and just heat in oven before serving? I’m trying to do in advance as much as possible….I get it that I can freeze…but I won’t have time to make these until the weekend…Advise please! Thanks

    1. Jaden

      Hi Lyn, so sorry I couldn’t get back to you earlier. I’m currently traveling, filming a cooking video.

      Yes, you can make is the day before and heating the oven before serving. Put the firecracker shrimp on a baking sheet with
      a rack to allow for air circulation. 375° for about 15 minutes should crisp them right up.

  15. Terry

    Can I prepare the shrimp a day or two before I fry them or will they dry out too much? Can I keep them covered or in plastic to retain moisture. I am trying to prepare ahead for a party

    1. Post

      Terry – That should be fine. Cover very well with plastic – squeeze out as much air as possible (air + wrapper will dry out)

    1. Post
  16. Omar

    How tasty! I have had these at so many restaurants and I know they don’t have all that tasty stuff inside the wrapper. I think I am going to be in heaven when I make these on Monday. We are heading to the Gulf Coast and the shrimp there is off the chain!!! #BP

  17. james spatz

    Great video! It was my first time on your site and I love it.
    I like SPICY Thai food! What might a add to the filling to give it some kick?
    Thank you.

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