Trader Joe’s Firecracker Shrimp

Trader Joe’s Firecracker Shrimp

Trader Joe’s Firecracker Shrimp. If you’ve been following along for any length of time,  you’ll know that I’m a freak for all things Asian. Any time that Trader Joe’s releases something even remotely Asian in flare, I have to snarf it up! When I saw the Trader Joe’s Firecracker Shrimp in the frozen seafood section the other day I said I gotta get home and make this! The picture on the bag looked very enticing!

The subtitle to this product said: “lightly battered & fried shrimp with a fiery, sweet chili sauce” I’m thinking… hmmm more batter. I think people must really like battered Asian food! (See reviews on Manadarin Orange Chicken and Tempura Chicken). Oh well, I’ll give it a shot cuz I’m a sucker for anything remotely Asian… I got it home and looked at the back and it called for baking the shrimp in the oven until they crispy. Hmmm… I didn’t really want to heat up the oven on a hot day so I looked at the secondary preparation instructions and it called for cooking them in a skillet with a fair amount of oil. I remembered the conversation I had with the Trader Joe’s checker when I was checking out and he said that he really loved them, but use a lot of oil to cook them. But, seeing that I am reviewing these products, I wanted to follow the instructions as closely as possible.

So, I heated up the pan and oil and then dumped the shrimp in there and started to cook them. It took a while for them to look like they were crispy. Took them off the burner and, per instructions, drained them on paper towels to soak up the oil. Then I dumped the thawed chili sauce on the shrimp and proceeded eat them.

I’m thinking maybe it would’ve been better to cook them in the oven because these shrimp were pretty oily. The only saving grace was the chili sauce, which was sweet and pretty spicy but in a nicely balanced way. I really liked it! I wish they would put that in a bottle and sell it separately. Back to the shrimp… There was a third preparation method on the back of the bag and that was to deep fry them. I didn’t really want to break out the deep fryer just for this but I think that is the only way this product would be saved. If I was going to buy these again, I would do the oven method and make sure you put down a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat (which I can’t live without them) so the shrimp doesn’t stick to the pan.

If you can nail down a cooking method that doesn’t produce oil shrimp, let me know, but the way I cooked them up they were way too oily! The only thing I liked was the sauce. I am going to rate the Trader Joe’s Firecracker Shrimp 6 Bells!


  1. I thought I was contacting Steve… Maybe I did, I have no idea.

    I wrote:
    Interesting and fun blog. Glad that you also cook, I do too (or used to). I’m pretty picky too, and you are extremely generous with your Bell awards!

    Turkey gravy? Salt lick. You’ll appreciate this:

    Heinz used to have a breakfast/sawmill gravy in a jar. I miss that sometimes.

    About the mandarin chicken, tempura chicken and breaded shrimp, of which I’ve only tried the first, I sautee the pieces WITH ZERO OIL. No way these products need more! The few times I’ve had mandarin chicken I just put it in a non-stick skillet and heat it for a long time, shaking and flipping a lot, trying to enhance the crust. I don’t even use the sauce and I peel off bits of breading as I eat. I bought it for its fried nature, to appease a savory fried batter craving.
    You are Brave.

    It’s like frozen hash brown patties; there’s enough oil in these products to cook 10 servings of same.
    I got TJ’s tater tots recently and of course baked them on a rack and they filled a craving. And taught me to swear off the skinny, oil slick hash brown patties. It’s all the same extruded scrap potato stuff, made in a factory that processed french fries. (The tots were good with TJ’s somoked Gouda on the side!)
    Fun site, Thanks! I found it by googling TJ’s Indian Fare, which, along with TJ’s frozen brown rice, feeds me almost half the time for the past month or two.

  2. I baked these and they weren’t too bad. I didn’t lose all the batter. I thought the sauce was pretty good as is, but when I added a little sirachi it became AMAZING. If they bottled it I would definitely buy it!

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