Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce


Ooooohhhh – these were so delicious! These Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce almost didn’t make it to the dinner table – we were eating them as they came out of the fryer – not even minding that we burnt our tongues! The reason I love this dish so much is because the ingredients are so simple and I almost always have frozen shrimp and a packet of Eggroll/Springroll wrappers in the freezer. I was inspired by these two lovely ladies – after seeing their photos and realizing, “hey, I got those ingredients!” I scurried to the kitchen to start. Note: For another recipe using egg roll wrappers, try My Mother’s Famous Egg Rolls !

Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce

Here are my secrets to Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce:

Coat the shrimp: I marinate the shrimp in garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, and sweet chili sauce. The recipe is flexible. If you don’t have all those ingredients, change it up! I promise you it will taste just as delicious. Other creative ideas for marinade: Moroccan spices, curry powder, cajun seasoning, garam masala, etc. Whats your favorite seasonings for shrimp? Ok, back to “coating”: if you use liquid ingredients in the marinade (such as soy or sesame oil) – add a little cornstarch. This does something important – it thickens the marinade so that it clings to the shrimp. Oh, and while we’re talking about marinating shrimp – don’t use wine in your marinade for seafood. If you want to use wine in a seafood dish, add it towards the end of cooking process or even in the marinade right before you cook the seafood. Wine in a marinade changes the texture of the delicate seafood, especially shrimp. It makes it a little mushy – not good!

Pat the shrimp dry: After swimming in the marinade for 20 minutes, you should pat the shrimp as dry as possible. Don’t worry about wiping off the marinade – the shrimp has already been infused with the flavors during the 20 minute soak. Plus, the cornstarch will keep some of the marinade clinging to the shrimp. Whenever you make something that involves wrapping and frying, the ingredients should be dry to prevent the wrapper from getting soggy and I’m sure you know what happens when you put something wet into hot oil.

Nick the shrimp: Taking a cue from the Japanese shrimp tempura, score or nick the shrimp several times along the inside of the “curve.” This lets you straighten out the shrimp so you don’t get a short, curly roll. Just be sure not to cut to far…three little nicks is good.

Roll tight: When you roll, try to make the roll tight and compact, like a joint ….um….er….cigar….. You don’t want the shrimp falling out when you put it in the fryer. See that wrapper corner? That is where you need to brush your cornstarch “paste.” Not too much though! Just enough to keep the wrapper in place and seal.

The sweet chili sauce that I use is Mae Ploy. Its sweet and tangy, not too spicy. Sweet chili sauce

Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce


Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce

Servings: 4-6 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes


25 large tail-on shrimp, deveined and nicked (see above)
15 eggroll/springroll wrappers, cut in half diagonally (2 triangles)
oil for frying
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp grated ginger (using rasp grater)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sweet chili sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
Cornstarch "paste" (mix well to form paste)
1 Tb cornstarch
1/4 cup water


1. Combine marinade ingredients in bowl, marinate shrimp for 20 minutes.

2. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel. Wrap each shrimp in a eggroll/springroll wrapper half. (see instructions above) Seal with cornstarch paste.

3. Fry in hot oil (375) for 3 minutes, until golden brown and shrimp is cooked through. Serve with sweet chili sauce for dipping.

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Comments 98

  1. Pingback: Deep-Fry Fridays: Firecraker Shrimp Recipe | Cooking Momofuku at home - Momofuku for two

  2. Lee

    I have made a version of this but without the shrimp being marinated. The shrimp is butterflied and stuffed with pinch of ground pork seasoned with a bit of ground ginger, minced scallion and a bit of salt and pepper. It’s wrapped like your shrimp, fried and served with the sweet chili sauce. My friends ate themselves sick. My only question: after several batches of shrimp, little blackened bits of won ton skin are in the oil and look less than perfect. I guess I need to skim the oil?

  3. Leigh


    Do you think I could roll these in the morning and fry them around dinner time? Do you think they would dry out if I did this?



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    1. SteamyKitchen

      yes! I do that all the time. Just freeze them on a plate or baking sheet in single layer. once they are frozen, gather them up into a freezer bag for storage. This prevents them from sticking to each other while freezing.

  5. Sherry

    Can I used precooked shrimp? My store only carries raw shrimp with the shells on and I refuse to peel them! (Lazy)

  6. Precious

    What is the background n this dish? I have had them from a coworker that no longer is with us & I would love to go get some from a restaurant but I have no idea who makes then(thai, janapese, chinese etc.)

  7. Ed Comfort

    I didn’t like to peel raw shrimp, either, but I got a “Shrimp Butler” and have had a complete change of mind! Easy to use and clean; does a great job of getting these guys ready! Another way is to use a table fork; run under the shell and lift. Not as easy as the Butler, but it’s pretty easy to do and it doesn’t cost anything.

  8. Gayle

    Can these be made in advance and oven heated on party day? The recipe sounds delicious. My daughter is getting married and we won’t have access to a deep fryer that day.

    1. kuntear

      Actually you can. Bake it at 375 for about 15 to 20 mins. For a golden look spray some olive oil or brush it with melted butter. But I still preferred deep frying.

  9. Troy

    I test made them for an all girl Chinese New Year party I’m catering for my girlfriend. They came out awesome. I’m making a double batch and freezing them today. Big boyfriend points..Thanks.

  10. Saipan Ed

    Hey Gary,
    It sounds like you’re trying to cook FROZEN shrimp; since thawed shrimp is cooked nearly instantly. Just to the “pink” stage is is usually perfectly done!

  11. Gary Willson

    Thanks, Saipan Ed. The shrimp were thawed and marinated for a couple of hours. I’m thinking it’s because either the shrimp were jumbo shrimp and didn’t have time to cook through or maybe I had the oil too hot. I’ll try them again because they’re too good.

    Thanks for the reply.

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  13. Helen M

    Gary, I’m guessing your oil was too hot. It’s shrimp season here in SC, so I just tried this using 21-25 ct.(XL) fresh shrimp. Oil at 350 when I started frying, all the ingredients were at room temp when I wrapped ’em all up. Cooked perfectly. They are great, aren’t they?! Good luck next time and try it some fresh Carolina shrimp!

  14. Gary Willson

    Thanks Helen,
    Yes. I’m convinced that the oil was too hot. I cooked them on my Big Green Egg (outdoor cooker) and I’m sure now that my fire was way too hot. Going to try it again.

  15. Susan

    Sounds great. I have made one similar but without the cornstarch in the marinade, this sounds much better. Question – do you think these would go over well at room temperature. I’m planning a party at a gallery and would have to fry them at home, cover and bring them to the location. By the time guests dig in they may have been at room temperature for about an hour or so. Any thoughts? THanks!

  16. Helen M.

    Without a doubt, Susan, you cannot cover them when they’re hot or even slightly warm–they’d get mushy almost immediately. Food safety-wise, no worries for an hour or 2. Can you cook some for yourself and test how well your idea works or if there’s anything you need to fine tune?

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  18. john mooney

    Are the quantities for the marinade correct? I had to double it to handle 8 shrimp. Thanks, John

    1. Kim

      I doubled it too, then shoved all into a zip lock bag and then worked the bag to get everything covered and tightly sealed the bag. They are amazingly good and easy otherwise. 🙂

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  20. Colleen

    Hi I am in Australia and I was wondering if u know the correct brand of spring roll wrappers to buy here? I have only seen one frozen brand at the supermarket . Tried them even kept covered with a damp cloth but they still dried out.. Disaster.. Thanks Colleen

    1. Post
  21. Cindy Long

    thank you for a delicious sounding recipe have you tried cooking them before her party and then reheating in the oven?

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  22. Cecilia wauschek

    So if im understanding right, U can marinate shrimp put in egg rolls and freeze. When ur ready to fry do u defrost, or put frz shrimp in 325 pan and fry for a couple min. help plz im going to a pot luck party, thinking of preparing and frz and before i go, fry them put on plate and cover with foil, they sit a buffet table for 1 hr. should that be fine. thanks

    1. Post

      Hi Cecilia- Don’t defrost, they’ll just turn out mushy. Go from freezer to fryer, add a couple of minutes more time to account for the rolls being frozen. Yes, they’ll be fine on the table. Cover loosely with foil.

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