Firecracker Shrimp Rolls are a handheld appetizer with a sweet and spicy flavor and crunchiness that keeps you coming back for more!
Shrimp appetizer recipe
A perfect method and just a handful of ingredients are all that’s between you and this easy shrimp appetizer.
Simply handheld fried spring rolls, based on Filipino shrimp lumpia, these single serve bites are flavorful marinated jumbo shrimp wrapped in egg roll or wonton wrapper and fried until crispy with the tail still on peeking out as a cute little handle.
With a spicy sweet flavor and shape that’s reminiscent of a firecracker tube Firecracker Shrimp are the perfect finger food for the 4th of July! Or serve them to your love on Valentine’s Day or your next date night in to start the night off with a spark 😉 They really are delicious starter for so many occasions.
And the best part is these delicious crispy shrimp appetizers can be made completely ahead of time. Simply freeze up a whole batch and pull a few out whenever the craving for something sweet and spicy hits!
- Jumbo shrimp – raw, deveined and shelled with the tail on. Look for Colossal, Extra Jumbo or Jumbo sized shrimp or prawns with a ‘shrimp count’ of around 12/15, 16/20 or 21/25. Shrimp count is simply a standardized way to size shrimp by how many of that size you can get per pound, with 12/16 averaging around 14 shrimp per pound. For this recipe you will need 12 shrimp, 3 servings of 4 per person. But you can easily make a double or triple batch to serve more.
- Egg Roll Wrappers – Either 6 of the large egg roll wraps cut in half or 12 smaller wonton wrappers.
- Spicy Chili Onion Jam – an amazing versatile condiment for adding a sweet and savory bite to all sorts of dishes. If you can not find chili onion jam substitute jalapeño jelly, sweet chili sauce, or even grape jelly mixed with your favorite hot sauce.
- Lime juice – 2 tablespoons from roughly 1 whole lime.
- Sesame oil
- Red chili pepper flakes
- Seasoned rice wine vinegar – or substitute white vinegar mixed with a good amount of sugar and a pinch of salt.
- Thai chile – or substitute any fresh spicy chili pepper of your choice.
- Granulated sugar – or substitute with your favorite sweetener.
Step by step instructions
This simple method uses the same homemade dipping sauce to do double duty as a flavorful marinade too.
- Mix lime juice, sugar, sesame oil, chili peppers, red pepper flakes and seasoned rice wine vinegar. Divide in half and mix one part with spicy chili onion jam to make marinade. Make dipping sauce by mixing the other half with cold water.
- Prepare shrimp by peeling and deveining if necessary, leaving the tail on. Then nick the curve of each shrimp to allow them to lay straight instead of curling when cooked much like with shrimp tempura.
- Season shrimp with marinade and allow to sit for no longer than 20 minutes. Any longer than that and the lime juice will cook the shrimp and causing it to change texture.
- Pat shrimp dry and wrap. Slice each egg roll wrapper in half to make two triangles then fold one edge in slightly. Place shrimp on folded edge with tail sticking out and roll tightly one roll. Fold top down over shrimp, moisten edge with a bit of water and continue tightly rolling until sealed. Place seam side down and continue.
- Fry in hot oil, or freeze for later.
- Serve with dipping sauce, spicy chili onion jam or whatever your heart desires.
This recipe yields 12 Firecracker Shrimp from roughly ¾ pound of “16/20” Jumbo shrimp. A generous amount of 4-6 pieces per serving for two as a meal. Or for more if serving as an appetizer. But this simple recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to serve more or to freeze for later.
To make Firecracker Shrimp ahead of time freeze on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Once frozen to freezer bag or vacuum seal. When ready to serve cook from frozen adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time. No need to defrost.
Alternative cooking methods
Don’t want to fry? Cook Firecracker Shrimp in the air fryer or oven instead. Spray with cooking spray or dip in oil to get the same crispy results without frying. Then airfry at 375 degrees 6 minutes per side or bake at 425 5-10 minutes per side.
- ¾ pound jumbo shrimp 18-24 per pound
- 6 each egg roll wrappers or 12 wonton wrappers
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1 small thai chili sliced
- ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons chili onion jam
- ½ cup water
- Mix lime juice, sugar, sesame oil, chili peppers, red pepper flakes and seasoned rice wine vinegar in a medium bowl. Divide into two smaller bowls and mix one part with chili onion jam to make marinade. To make the dipping sauce mix remaining with cold water and store for later.2 tablespoons lime juice, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar, 1 small thai chili, ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil, 2 tablespoons chili onion jam, ½ cup water
- Peel and devein shrimp if necessary, leaving the tail on. Then nick the inside curve of each shrimp cutting shallow cuts with a sharp knife which will allow shrimp to lay straight instead of curling when cooked. Then toss shrimp in marinade and refrigerate no longer than 20 minutes.¾ pound jumbo shrimp
- When ready to assemble discard marinade and lightly pat shrimp dry. Prepare wraps by slicing egg roll wrapper in half to make two triangles, then follow the video to fold. Start by slightly folding one edge in and placing shrimp on folded edge with tail sticking out. Roll once then fold the top of the wrapper down over shrimp. Fold again then moisten edge with a bit of water and continue tightly rolling until sealed. Place seam side down and continue until all shrimp are rolled.6 each egg roll wrappers
- Heat canola oil in a large pan until 375 degrees and carefully add firecracker shrimp to oil in a single layer to not reduce the temperature of oil. Fry until golden brown and crispy, about 4 minutes total, turning as needed.
- Drain on rack or towel lined plate and serve with reserved dipping sauce.