Taste Test: Trader Joe’s Firecracker Shrimp

The flavor’s great, but the final product is a little mushy
Dan Myers

Trader Joe's Firecracker Shrimp taste great but are a little mushy.

We were quite intrigued when we saw firecracker shrimp as an option in Trader Joe’s frozen food section. Advertised as “lightly battered and fried shrimp with a fiery sweet chili sauce,” it comes with frozen fried shrimp and a separate pouch of sauce which needs to be thawed under hot water before being tossed with the shrimp, which needs about 10 minutes in a 450-degree oven. The finished product was quite attractive-looking, with the shrimp taking on a nice golden brown color (another option is to pan-fry them in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil).

The frozen shrimp were of high-quality, and the sauce was incredibly flavorful. Sweet, spicy, and tangy, it hit all the right notes and the finished product was a supremely tasty dish. The only issue was with the texture: the batter became instantly mushy when tossed with the sauce, and with no crunch or crisp the whole dish took on a rather slimy, mushy consistency.

We’d most likely recommend preparing these shrimp in a pan with some oil, because that would most likely help them become as crispy as possible, and then serving them with some sauce on the side to dip the shrimp in immediately before eating. It’s the sauce that’s the real star of this dish, so the whole dish would be even better if it was served with fresh grilled shrimp as opposed to frozen battered shrimp.

There were about 25 shrimp in total in the package, which is divided into three servings. Each serving contains 190 calories, 12 grams of fat, 740 milligrams of sodium, 9 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of protein.  

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