One of my fondest memories of living in New York was watching the July 4th fireworks from the Brooklyn Bridge.

This easy recipe for July 4 firecracker shrimp can be prepared a day ahead of time and then deep-fried just after your guests arrive.

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Firecracker Shrimp

Makes 12 pieces


12 large shrimp, in the shell
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic salt, divided
4 sheets spring roll wrappers
24 carrot strips (3 X 1/4 inch)
1 egg, beaten

Dipping Sauce:

¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
{you can also use sweet chili sauce that is available in most Asian markets}
3 cups vegetable oil for deep-frying


Removing the shells and leaving the tail intact, make a deep cut lengthwise down the back of each shrimp; wash out the sand vein. Place warm water in a bowl and add the salt; stir to dissolve. Place the shrimp in the salt water and swirl. Leave the shrimp in the salt water for 5 minutes, then rinse with cold water, drain, and pat dry on paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt.

Cut each spring roll wrapper into thirds, making 3 long narrow strips.

Place the carrot strips in a small bowl, sprinkle with remaining ¼ teaspoon garlic salt, and set aside.

Brush the egg at the top of the shrimp. Place 2 carrot strips in the slit of each shrimp. Brush each spring roll strip with egg and roll each shrimp up tightly in the spring roll strip, with the egg holding it together. The tail of the shrimp should be protruding from one end and the carrots from the other - to resemble a firecracker! Continue the process until all the wrappers are rolled with the shrimp and carrots.

To make a dipping sauce, in a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise and hot pepper sauce. Set aside.

In a wok or saucepan, heat the vegetable oil to 350 degrees F.

Fry the shrimp rolls until golden brown, about 2 minutes, turning 2 to 3 times. Drain on paper towels. Serve with the dipping sauce.

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Here’s also a smashing drink to celebrate the holiday, I like to call it…

Drunk on the 4th of July


1-ounce watermelon schnapps
1 big splash cranberry juice
1 very thin slice jalapeno or serrano pepper
1 slice lemon
1 slice lime
1 ½ ounces tequila
¼ ounce blue curacao
½ ounce simple syrup
Watermelon wedge, for garnish


Mix the schnapps and cranberry juice in a shaker; pour into an ice-filled glass.

Muddle the jalapeno pepper, lemon and lime slices, tequila, blue curacao and simple syrup (to make a batch, dissolve sugar in equal parts hot water and chill) in the shaker. Slowly strain into the glass over the red layer. Garnish with watermelon, if desired. 

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* Originally published in July 2011.

July 4th recipe - Firecracker Shrimp.