Panda Express Chili Crisp Shrimp

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Learn how to make Chili Crisp Shrimp like Panda Express with this easy copycat recipe. Enjoy crispy tempura fried shrimp and stir-fried vegetables drizzled with spicy chili oil for dinner. Serve Panda Express Beijing Beef with steamed or fried rice for a tasty Chinese meal.

Copycat Panda Express chili crisp shrimp and white rice on a plate.Copycat Panda Express chili crisp shrimp and white rice on a plate.

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What makes Panda Express Chili Crisp Shrimp so good? 

Although Orange Chicken may be the star at Panda Express, the chain has other tasty items on its menu as well. For instance, the new, limited-time Chili Crisp Shrimp.

This flavorful dish starts off with tempura-breaded shrimp tossed with sautéed bell peppers and onions. But it’s the seasoned oil with fried chilies and onions that gives this recipe its additiveness. If you haven’t tried Chili Crisp Shrimp at Panda Express, here’s your chance to make it at home. 

Why you’ll love this recipe 

This Panda Express Chili Shrimp recipe is more involved than your typical weekday dinner. Still, it isn’t overly complicated, and it’s an ideal recipe for anyone looking to cut back on pricey takeout without boring the family with the same old dinners. No shrimp in the house? Read the recipe variation section below for alternatives.  

Chili Crisp Shrimp Ingredients 

For the tempura batter, you’ll need:

  • Flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Club soda

All-purpose flour will work in this recipe, but Wondra Flour is the better option. 

For prepping the shrimp for frying, you’ll need 

  • Flour
  • Tempura batter (see above)
  • Shrimp, peeled and deveined

Medium shrimp, sometimes labeled as 41/50, is the ideal size for recreating Chili Crisp Shrimp Panda Express style. If you need to learn how to prep shrimp, watch this video

For frying the shrimp, you’ll need: 

  • Vegetable oil for frying 

For finishing the dish, you’ll need

  • Fried shrimp (see above)
  • Bell peppers, red or yellow
  • Chili Crisp oil

Chili Crisp is a unique Asian ingredient that really gives this dish its flavor. For the authentic taste, you need it, but luckily, there are many brands available in the US. Read the notes on Chili Crisp below for more info and to learn how you can use this ingredient in other recipes.

Copycat Panda Express chili crisp shrimp ingredients on a tray.Copycat Panda Express chili crisp shrimp ingredients on a tray.

A note about the Chili Crisp

Chili Crisp is a spicy condiment made from fried chiles and onions. It’s pretty popular in Asian cooking and widely available in the US. Probably the most famous brand is Lao Gan Ma, but there are several other options. In addition, using Chili Crisp in this recipe is great for spicing up almost any other dish. Here are a few suggestions about how you may want to use it:

  • Jazz up a grilled cheese sandwich. A grilled cheese sandwich can be boring, but with some Chili Crisp spread on the bread, you have something far from ordinary. 
  • Spice up your pasta. Add Chili Crisp to just about any pasta sauce for more heat. It’s particularly good with pesto. 
  • Mix with scrambled eggs. Forget the hot sauce, a drizzle of Chili Crisp over eggs adds not just heat, but a depth of flavor. 

How to make Chili Crisp Shrimp Panda Express style

To prepare the tempura batter:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cornstarch, and club soda. If you feel comfortable handling chopsticks, use them to mix the batter for the best results. Leaving a few lumps is better than overmixing. 

To fry the shrimp:

  1. Heat the oil to 350°F. If you are not using a deep fryer, use a large, heavy-bottomed pot and attach a deep-fry thermometer to the side. 
  2. While the oil is coming up to temperature, prepare your breading station. Place a bowl of the flour next to the bowl of tempura batter. Line a baking tray with paper towels and place a wire rack on top. 
  3. When the oil is hot, dredge the peeled and deveined shrimp in the flour and shake off any excess. Dip the floured shrimp in the tempura batter and drop it directly into the hot oil. Cook the shrimp for about one minute in batches of four or five to avoid lowering the oil temperature too much. 
Collage of making tempura fried shrimp for copycat Panda Express chili crisp shrimp.Collage of making tempura fried shrimp for copycat Panda Express chili crisp shrimp.
  1. Use tongs to remove the cooked shrimp and drain it on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. 
  2. Repeat with the remaining shrimp. 

To finish the dish:

  1. Heat a skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
  2. Chop the bell pepper and onions and set aside.
  3. Pour a tablespoon or so of the oil you used to cook the shrimp into the hot pan.
  4. Add the chopped bell peppers and onions. Saute the vegetables until the onions are translucent. 
  5. Add the cooked tempura shrimp to the pan and drizzle in the Chili Crisp oil.
  6. Stir to coat the ingredients in the oil and serve hot.
Collage of making copycat Panda Express chili crisp shrimp.Collage of making copycat Panda Express chili crisp shrimp.

What to serve with Panda Express Chili Crisp Shrimp

For an Asian-inspired dinner, try serving Chili Crisp Shrimp with these side dishes:

Copycat Panda Express chili crisp shrimp and steamed rice on a plate.Copycat Panda Express chili crisp shrimp and steamed rice on a plate.

Panda Express Chili Crisp Shrimp recipe variations

Not into seafood? You can swap almost any protein for the shrimp in this recipe. Chicken and fried tofu are delicious substitutes, but you can use thinly sliced beef or pork as well.  

How to store the leftovers 

Keep any extras in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. 

What is the best way to reheat chili crisp shrimp?

Hands down, you’ll get the crunchiest results by reheating your shrimp in an air fryer. But, if you don’t have an air fryer, you can use an oven:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F. If you are using an oven, increase the temperature to 375°F. 
  2. Spread the Chili Crisp Shrimp on a perforated tray and cook in the air fryer for three minutes or reheat for five minutes in the oven. If you don’t have a perforated tray, use a standard baking tray. 
Copycat Panda Express chili crisp shrimp and rice on a plate.Copycat Panda Express chili crisp shrimp and rice on a plate.

More Panda Express copycat recipes

Favorite Asian food recipes

Check out more of my easy recipes for Chinese food and the best copycat fast food recipes on CopyKat!

Copycat Panda Express chili crisp shrimp and white rice on a plate.Copycat Panda Express chili crisp shrimp and white rice on a plate.

Panda Express Chili Crisp Shrimp

Panda Express chili crisp shrimp is a tasty Chinese meal to make any day of the week.

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Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Chinese

Keyword: Panda Express Recipes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 4

Calories: 866kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour for tempura batter
  • 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
  • 2 cups club soda
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour for dredging
  • 1 ½ pounds medium-sized peeled shrimp
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil for sautéing vegetables
  • 1 medium medium yellow onion chopped into large pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped into large pieces
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fried chilis and onion in oil
  • 4 cups cooked rice for serving

Instructions

  • Prepare tempura by mixing together in a large bowl, 1 ⅔ cups of flour, cornstarch, and club soda. Mix until well blended.

  • Add enough oil in a large pot to fill the pot at least 4 inches deep. Heat the oil to 350°F.

  • Pat shrimp dry, dredge in flour, and dip in tempura batter.

  • Drop a few battered shrimp a few at a time into the hot oil and fry for about 1 minute. Cook shrimp until they are golden. Gently drop the shrimp into the oil, so they do not stick to the bottom.

  • Remove cooked shrimp from the oil, and drain on a wire rack resting on a baking sheet.
  • In either a wok or a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and heat over medium heat. Add chopped onion and chopped red bell pepper. Cook until the onion has softened.

  • Add cooked shrimp, and drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons of the chili oil over the shrimp and vegetables. Stir to blend the vegetables, shrimp, and chili oil.

  • Serve with rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 866kcal | Carbohydrates: 146g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 214mg | Sodium: 997mg | Potassium: 427mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1238IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 4mg



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