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.

Did not load Widget Area 5

Comments 98

  1. Passionate Eater

    I really enjoy your take on this recipe and your step-by-step instructions! I’ve heard that this dish originates from the Southeast Asian islands, and is called “firecracker shrimp” because it looks like a firecracker!

  2. SteamyKitchen

    Passionate Eater – thank you for reminding me what these guys were called! The evening that I made them, I asked my guests if they knew what they were called. No one did, and we took a poll on naming them. Here were some of the wacky names we came up with after 2 bottles of wine: Shrimp in a blanket, Sleeping bag shrimp, Can’t stop eating one shrimp, Mummy shrimp, Shrimp logs 🙂

  3. Mae

    I am so happy that i have inspired you to make these beauties! This is my signature dish for which i am known for to make a lot of. 🙂

    I like to change the ingredients for the marinade too sometimes [keeps the guests guessing!] – and yes, they never last more than 5 minutes after they’re done cooking!

    I find the rolling process quite therapeutic, don’t you?

    They look so beautiful neatly piled waiting for impatient fingers to take them.

    Thanks for the mention. I appreciate it. 🙂

  4. Meena

    Oh my God!! These look heavenly! I can just imagine the wonderful mingling of the crunchy shrimp with the sweet chilli sauce. Yum!

  5. SteamyKitchen

    Mae- I was going to use a whole wrapper like you did and fold in half, but after quick calculation I realized I didn’t have enough wrapper. Next time I make these I’ll buy 2 packets of wrapper! 🙂

    Amy & Meena – hope you have a chance to make these. Take a look at Mae Gabriel & Rasa Malaysia’s recipe too (click on the links in the post above)

  6. Holluu

    Those look delightful. My dad makes a version of them, but with one main difference: the shrimp are rolled up with a single basil leaf for each roll. It accents the sweetness of the shrimp nicely!

  7. SteamyKitchen

    Holluu- Thats a great idea – I’ll have to try that next time. It would look so pretty if I could get the basil leave to show through the wrapper. It could possibly work if I put the leaf towards the end of the wrapper….will let you know how that turns out!

  8. Care

    The only thing better than looking at these beauties is eating them at Jaden’s house. The only thing prettier than looking at them is looking at Jaden. Thanks for another dynamite dinner at your home ~ you and Scott are truly amazing hosts and your cooking always inpsires us; Frank to eat like a chubby hubby and me to MAYBE start cooking again ;-).

    For those of you who do not know Jaden … she is the most talented woman I have ever met, and a sweetheart as well!

    So Jade … what’s for dinner next week?!?!?

  9. Blake

    Attempted to make thes last night. marinated in a “Soyaki” sauce from Trader Joe’s. Came out quite nicely, not much substance to them though. Perhaps making them a little more eggroll-like with some sprouts or carrots could spice them up. But they were quite good with little prep and quick cooking.

  10. SteamyKitchen

    Blake- when I used store bought marinade – I always boost up the flavors by adding fresh grated garlic and ginger (asian style) or fresh grated garlic & spices/chopped herbs. If a dish needs just a little kick, it sometimes means it is missing a “high” or “bright” flavor note. In your case, it could mean a dipping sauce like the tangy Mae Ploy, or adding a splash of rice wine vinegar to the marinade. When I served these last week, my friend Kelly went into my refrigerator and grabbed a bottle of what she calls “Rooster Sauce” or Sriracha, which in addition to heat, has vinegar in it. Thanks for trying the recipe and please keep me posted on your next version of the recipe!

  11. Mae

    I think it depends on the thickness of your wrapper. The last time i cooked a batch, i only did half of the wrapper triangle (just like you did) because when i did the first 2 prawns to taste for seasoning, the wrapper seemed a little too thick. I think you’ll be able to tell once you start wrapping if this is so.

    Seriously, your photo is giving me itchy fingers to roll! 😉

  12. Pingback: My Mother's Famous Chinese Egg Rolls « Jaden’s Steamy Kitchen

  13. Pingback: Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chilli Sauce « Jaden’s Steamy Kitchen

  14. SteamyKitchen

    Hey Lisa-

    I haven’t tried freezing them, but I’m sure they will freeze just as well, you’ll fry for a couple of minutes more. Make sure you freeze on a tray first so that they freeze individually.


  15. June

    Hi Jaden,
    You have a beautiful blog site. I just love to browse it. I made these firecracker prawns last night and found the flavor of the prawns bland. Are the measurements for the marinade correct? I should have adjusted it to taste. It seems very little for the 25 prawns.


  16. Pingback: Crispy Tofu with Citrus Soy | Jaden's Steamy Kitchen

  17. Phil Williams

    I live in Venice. Where is a good Chinese food market to get items for your wonderful recipes? Thanks, Phil

  18. Roman


    I made these shrimp recipe yesterday and it was so delicious !

    I would like to copy your recipe to my BLOG if you don’t mind.

    Thank you

  19. Ivan

    Hi Jaden,

    I added your blog to my LINKS, so everyone can discover your wit and great photos. Will be looking for new recipes to make-my kitchen looks too clean lately.

    I’ll write you when another tropical fruit comes into ripeness.

    You should check out the Feb South Beach Food and Wine Festival-as an instructor..hint, hint!

    Carambolically yours,


  20. blondee47

    Two words for this dish: FABULOUS FABULOUS…i had to vary in that i could not find such big shrimp so i used smaller and quickly did a turn or two of the Magic Bullet and then made them more into eggrolls…….my 22 yr old wants to invite his new girlfriend over for the first time and i must make these he said to have with drinks….the seasoning, the dip, even the oil heat was spot on…..

  21. Rebecca

    Instead of deep frying these, is there a recommended way of ‘baking’ them somehow? trying to see if I can make these a bit more ‘healthy’ 🙂

  22. SteamyKitchen

    Hey Rebecca,

    Baking might not work – the spring roll wrapper really is meant to be fried. You could try using filo dough instead…actually… come to think of it…what a great substitute! Use the same chili sauce and wrap in filo and bake.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    xo, jaden

  23. diane

    made your shrimp for my son’s B-day party last was a BIG hit . everyone loves it. thanks a bunch. i am looking for a good orange beef recipe. try a few , some how I find the sauce a little lacking .do you have any good ones to share . I was eyeing your ribs with orange glaze, would that work do you think? by the way , my son went to buffalo U for 5 years . very cold up there.

  24. Pingback: » Blog Archive » Asian Goodness

  25. greasemonkey

    haha.. seems like college skills _do_ come in handy sometimes! i think i’ll call mine dovetailed shrimp fatties.. = ) thanks for another well written post!

  26. Madeline

    Soooo, it’s cool if I send you the bill for the weightloss program I’m going to have attend, right? It’s just that I made these the other night and they are ridiculously good! I’m going to have show major restraint to make sure I don’t make these every night. Delicious!

  27. Crazzy about Asian- Didi

    This recipe came to me during Culinary School 2 years. I have changed it up a bit and made it my own. I am always looking for new ways to marinade the shrimp. Everyone loves these Firecrackers when I make them. Yummmmmmy

  28. Crazzy about Asian- Didi

    This recipe came to me 2 years ago while in Culinary School.Over the years I have changed it up and made it my own. Everytime I make this dish it disappears. I am always looking for new ways to marinade my shrimp. Actually I am making it tonight for Ladies Bible Study. That should start it off with a kick :)) YUUMMMMMMMY

  29. New To Cooking

    I am new to cooking and only know how to cook breakfast food. I read the directions for this recipe and it was easy and fast to make. Everyone I have made it for has loved it and asked for the recipe. Nice dish.

  30. Cynthia

    Wow, this looks great. I was looking for a recipe for sauted shrimp with hot chili oil. I can’t wait to make these. I am on Weight Watchers so after I loose the 10 pounds I want, I will make this recipe to celebrate.

  31. carl

    Awesome….you did great on your recipe and presentations, i would like to make one also…and your instructions are so easy…i think i can make it fast in rolling..coz its like a joint ….um….er….cigar…..hahahahaha, just kidding…but it was great…thanks again

  32. gleinnek

    Love, Love, Love this recipe. I make it all the time and every loves it and asks for the recipe. My only question, why not 30 shrimp as you will have 30 wrapper halves? Loved your cooking class I took at the Rolling Pin. Gene

    I give you extra wrapper just in case you mess up (it’s hard to reuse a wrapper once it’s wet. ~jaden

  33. Gourmet Mama

    Wow that is some wrapping you did there. I usually just do the one end and the other end stays open. I haven’t experienced any leaking doing it that way. But yours do look extremely divine and well-made. They look similar to Chinese spring rolls just with a tail at one end. Is this a variation of it?

    Thanks Gourmet Mama!
    Firecracker Shrimp are pretty popular – not the same as Egg Rolls or Spring Rolls – as both of those fillings are a mixture of meat/veg. But the same wrapper is used! ~j

  34. Kara

    Oh. I’m making these tonight and I’m so excited. I was surprised to find the Sweet Chili sauce here in this little redneck town! :O

    When you roll, try to make the roll tight and compact, like a joint

    Oh. I’m good then.

    LOLLLL take pics when you’re done! I wanna see how good your joint rolling skils are. ~jaden

  35. Meileng

    A favourite with our “Ladies Potluck Party”. Our Thai friend slips in thinly shredded kaffir lime leaves before rolling up, not too much though, can be over powering. Very popular and quickly scoffed up each time.

  36. Justin

    These look awesome. I can’t wait to make them for my girlfriend tonight…she’s s a crazy shrimp fan! Hopefully I can pull it off and make them look as good as they do in these pictures! Thanks for the recipe!
    Justin from Bitchin’ Kitchen

  37. Pingback: The Monday Menu: November 16, 2009 | Food for My Family

  38. Pingback: Holiday 2009: Know Thy Limit | Zomppa - Food, Meet People

  39. Pingback: A Kung-Fu Master’s Journey Book Launch party « Mechow's Blog

  40. Ebon

    I am crazy about shrimps!
    Just made this for my sister’s b’day and eveybody (including the picky kids in our household) went crazy for your firecracker shrimps. They kept asking for more. It was a good thing I marinated extra batches of shrimps and bought several packs of spring roll wrappers…..Well, I had anticipated this would be a big hit. The only downside of it: They didn’t give me a break! I was in the kitchen all the time, minding the shrimpies.
    Thank you for the recipe.

  41. Pingback: Firecracker Shrimp | Everyday Home Cook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *