Firecracker Shrimp and Broccoli

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Firecracker Shrimp is wholesome, easy to make, and beyond delicious. Best of all? It’s ready in under 15 minutes. Serve this slightly spicy shrimp and broccoli dish with some steamed rice or quinoa for a delicious dinner.

314 CALORIES20g CARBS6g FAT47g PROTEIN
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Firecracker Shrimp is a staple for my family on busy weeknights when we’re in the mood for seafood. It’s easy to make, comes together quickly, and who can resist those insanely delicious flavors? This dish has always been one of my top picks when ordering take-out, so making a healthier version was a no-brainer.

This brings us back to this glorious Firecracker Shrimp recipe. Not only is it healthier (and just as delicious), but it’s also far lighter on your wallet than buying the meal at your favorite Chinese restaurant. The sauce is made with a simple yet delicious combination of soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, sriracha, and lime juice.

I love serving this dish as the star of easy and healthy weeknight dinners when I’ve got a lot going on. The girls love it too, so it’s a win-win situation. In fact, they’ve been begging me to make them again, so I think it’s about time I listen.

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When we are doing a big takeout spread at home, we serve this with some Baked Egg Rolls, Fried Rice, or Chow Mein

You can serve this delicious shrimp dish with cooked veggies or use it to top off Asian-inspired salads, tacos, and grain bowls. Don’t be afraid to get creative and customize this dish to suit your flavor preferences!

Firecracker shrimp in a slightly spicy sauce served with broccoli, green onions, and black sesame seeds in a white bowl.

Key Ingredients

To prepare this healthy shrimp recipe, you’ll need the following key ingredients,

  • Shrimp: The recipe calls for larger shrimp, but you can use whatever size you have on hand. Be sure to peel and devein the shrimp before using them, or find shrimp that comes pre-peeled and deveined.
  • Broccoli: I love the pop of color and crunchy texture that broccoli adds to the dish. However, feel free to swap this out for another veggie, depending on what you have. Other good options include asparagus, green beans, and zucchini.
  • Honey: This natural sweetener is what gives the shrimp that sticky-sweet texture. It also balances out the savory flavors brilliantly. Maple syrup or brown sugar work as well.
  • Sriracha: This gives the firecracker sauce the perfect amount of heat without overpowering the dish. Chili garlic paste, like sambal olek, will also work.
  • Soy sauce: I like using the low-sodium variation to keep the sodium down in my dishes. For a gluten-free alternative, you can swap it out for tamari or coconut aminos.
  • Rice vinegar: Rice vinegar imparts a delicate sweet flavor that’s extremely subtle and mellow but works as a great flavor enhancer. It’s perfect for enhancing the shrimp without overpowering it.
  • Lime juice: Similar to the rice vinegar, lime juice adds an acidity that brightens up the dish and enhances all of the wonderful flavors.
  • Garnishes: For the perfect final touches, I like to garnish this dish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions. For a little more heat, feel free to add some crushed red pepper flakes.

Firecracker Shrimp Tips & Tricks

Here are some of my top tips and tricks to help you get the best firecracker shrimp every time:

  • Make sure that the shrimp is dry before putting it in the pan. If the shrimp is wet, you might end up with steamed shrimp instead of sauteed.
  • Feel free to play around with the flavors. If you prefer something sweeter, add more honey. Want something more savory? Just increase the amount of soy sauce. Need more spice? Toss in more sriracha.
  • If you’re looking for a soy-free alternative, then coconut aminos are a great swap. Keep in mind that this will be slightly sweeter than soy sauce, so you may need to adjust the amount of honey accordingly.
  • Not a fan of shrimp? Substitute it with cubes of chicken, pork, or even tofu for a vegan take on this dish. If you’re going the tofu route, make sure to swap out the honey for agave.
  • Want a more robust sauce? Add a cornstarch slurry to the pan and mix well. The sauce should thicken up significantly, so only add a tiny amount at a time until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

Side Dish Ideas

This mouth-watering delight pairs well with just about anything. For a heartier meal, I like to serve it with some whole grains like rice or quinoa. It also works great with soba noodles and veggies! Experiment until you find your favorite combination.

Not sure how to serve the dish? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Tacos and wraps. Tacos and firecracker shrimp are a perfect match for any family dinner. Simply load the shrimp into your tortillas, add some veggies, and drizzle some of the sauce from the pan on top. Voila!
  • Plate it up. Try serving this dish as the star of the show alongside some cauliflower rice or quinoa and some broccoli or green beans.
  • Noodles. This dish works great when served with your favorite noodles. Want a low-carb noodle alternative? Try these Stir-Fried Zucchini Noodles.

Spicy firecracker shrimp with broccoli florets in a bowl with a hand holding the bowl.

How to Store This Dish

It isn’t unusual for anyone to devour this dish all at once. However, in the event that you do wind up with leftovers or just want to meal prep ahead of time, you’re in luck. This dish stores incredibly well! Allow your shrimp to cool to room temperature before transferring them to an airtight storage container. Then, store them in one of two ways:

  • In the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • In the freezer for up to 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this healthy shrimp recipe

Yes, absolutely. You can store cooked shrimp safely for up to 3 months in the freezer if you’ve stored them in an airtight container. When you want to use them again, just let them thaw overnight in the fridge or immerse the bag in cool water.

Because shrimp is so small and lightweight, it cooks very quickly. In this recipe, 2-3 minutes for each side should do the trick. An excellent visual indicator of doneness is when the shrimp turns pink and opaque.

This version of firecracker shrimp is far healthier than the take-out kind you’re used to. One serving of this dish clocks in at just 314 calories per serving, with 47 grams of protein.

Traditional firecracker sauce is made from a combination of soy sauce, Asian chili paste or Sriracha, lime juice, honey or brown sugar, and rice vinegar. There is also an alternate version made with buffalo sauce combined with lime juice and soy sauce.

If you prefer more of a creamy sauce, you can add a few tablespoons of mayonnaise to the sauce. This makes the recipe similar to Bang Bang Chicken.

This recipe has a similar flavor to the popular Panda Express dish but their dish also includes bell peppers and onions and has a much sweeter sauce. You can easily add bell peppers and onions to this recipe and some extra honey to get a more similar taste.

Chinese firecracker shrimp in a spicy sauce with broccoli in a bowl with sesame seeds and green onions.
The Recipe
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Firecracker Shrimp and Broccoli

PREP TIME: 5 Min
COOK TIME: 10 Min
TOTAL TIME: 15 Min
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Ingredients

USMETRICS
  • 1.5 lbs shrimp, deveined (leave tails on)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha (or to taste)
  • 1 lime, juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (for garnish)
  • 1 tbsp green onions, chopped (for garnish)

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Instructions

(Hide Photos)
1

Prepare the shrimp, peeling and deveining them. The tails can be left on or off. Use a paper towel to pat the shrimp dry.

Peeled and deveined shrimp on a plate.
2

In a small bowl, mix together the honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, Sriracha, lime juice, and garlic. Set aside. If you like a saucier dish, double the sauce.

Firecracker sauce with garlic, soy sauce, honey, and Sriracha in a bowl.
3

Heta the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until just cooked and becoming opaque. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Shrimp cooking in a hot skillet.
4

Add the broccoli to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes until bright green and tender-crisp. If the broccoli is beginning to burn at all, add a couple of tablespoons of water. Remove and set aside.

Broccoli cooking in a hot skillet.
5

Add the sauce to the pan and simmer for 3-4 minutes until it thickens slightly. Add the shrimp and broccoli back to the pan and toss to cook. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.

Firecracker sauce being added to shrimp and broccoli in a skillet.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1.5 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 314
Calories from Fat 51
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
9%
Saturated Fat 1g
4%
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
0%
Cholesterol 365mg
122%
Sodium 962mg
42%
Total Carbohydrate 20g
7%
Dietary Fiber 1g
4%
Sugars 17g
Protein 47g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

Notes

If you like a lot of sauce, you may want to double the sauce ingredients.
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About the authorMeet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
1 Comment
On Firecracker Shrimp and Broccoli
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M.J
May 7, 2022 - 12:36
Add a Rating:
5
Spicy yum! Great recipe. Hubby loves.
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