Is bonefish Bang Bang Shrimp gluten free?

Bonefish Grill’s Bang Bang Shrimp is one of their most popular appetizers. This crispy shrimp dish is tossed in a creamy, spicy bang bang sauce. With its bold flavors and crunchy texture, it’s easy to see why Bang Bang Shrimp is a fan favorite. But for those avoiding gluten, a key question arises: Is Bonefish’s popular Bang Bang Shrimp gluten-free?

What is Bonefish Bang Bang Shrimp?

Bonefish Grill describes their Bang Bang Shrimp as “Crispy shrimp, tossed in our signature creamy, spicy sauce.” It consists of shrimp that have been breaded then fried until golden and crispy. The shrimp are then tossed in Bonefish’s bang bang sauce.

This signature sauce has a creamy texture and bold, spicy flavor. According to Bonefish Grill, it contains mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, rice wine vinegar, Sriracha sauce, and sesame oil. The blend of creamy mayo, sweet chili sauce, tart vinegar, spicy Sriracha, and nutty sesame oil creates the complex, addictive flavor that fans love.

Gluten Concerns with Bonefish Bang Bang Shrimp

So what about this popular appetizer could potentially contain gluten? Here are the key points of concern:

  • Breading – The shrimp are breaded before frying, which creates that crispy coating.
  • Sauce thickener – The creamy bang bang sauce could potentially use a wheat-based thickener like wheat starch.
  • Soy sauce – Some sweet chili sauces contain soy sauce, which is typically made with wheat.

Each of these components would need to be made without gluten-containing ingredients in order for the overall dish to be gluten-free.

Identifying Gluten Ingredients

To determine if a menu item contains gluten, it’s important to understand what counts as a gluten ingredient. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

Here are some of the key ingredients to look out for:

  • Wheat – wheat flour, wheat starch, wheat bran, etc.
  • Rye
  • Barley – malt, malt extract, malt flavoring, malt vinegar, etc.
  • Oats – oats are inherently gluten-free but are often contaminated with wheat, barley or rye
  • Bread crumbs
  • Soy sauce – contains wheat unless labeled gluten-free
  • Teriyaki sauce – often contains soy sauce or wheat
  • Thickeners – roux, wheat starch, flour

Any ingredient listing that includes these items on the label would mean the product is not gluten-free.

How Bonefish Grill Handles Gluten-Free Menu Items

Those with celiac disease or severe gluten intolerances have to be very careful when dining out to avoid cross-contamination. How does Bonefish Grill handle this issue? Here are some key points about how they address gluten-free needs:

  • Gluten-free menu – Bonefish Grill provides a separate gluten-free menu featuring dishes that are prepared safely for gluten-free guests.
  • Kitchen protocols – According to Bonefish, they have specific protocols in place for prepping gluten-free dishes separately to avoid cross-contact.
  • Staff training – Employees receive training on safely handling gluten-free orders and ingredients.
  • Ingredient sourcing – Bonefish reports that they source gluten-free items from reputable suppliers who provide documentation on ingredients.

These measures help provide assurances that menu items listed as gluten-free are safe choices for gluten-free diners. With the proper processes in place, the risk of cross-contamination can be significantly reduced.

Official Response from Bonefish Grill

According to Bonefish Grill’s allergen information page, Bonefish Bang Bang Shrimp is officially gluten-free.

Here is the direct quote from the Bonefish Grill website in response to whether Bang Bang Shrimp contains gluten:

“Bonefish Bang Bang Shrimp does not contain gluten. The breading is made from a gluten-free rice flour blend. Our kitchens also take precautions to avoid cross-contact and safely prepare this gluten-free menu item.”

This provides confirmation directly from the source that this fan favorite appetizer can be enjoyed gluten-free.

Key Takeaways on Bonefish Bang Bang Shrimp

Here are the key takeaways based on Bonefish Grill’s official response:

  • The shrimp are breaded with a gluten-free rice flour blend rather than a wheat-based breading.
  • The bang bang sauce does not contain soy sauce, wheat starch or other gluten-containing ingredients.
  • Bonefish Grill follows gluten-free preparation procedures to prevent cross-contact.
  • The menu item is confirmed gluten-free on their allergen information page.

Based on this information from Bonefish Grill, patrons with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can feel comfortable ordering Bang Bang Shrimp. It is designed to be gluten-free.

What to Do If You Have a Reaction

Those with celiac disease know even confirmed “gluten free” menu items can sometimes cause a reaction. Here are some tips if you eat Bang Bang Shrimp but still experience symptoms:

  • Inform restaurant staff – Talk to a manager in case something went wrong with kitchen protocols.
  • Call corporate – Follow up with the Bonefish Grill customer service line to investigate the issue.
  • Check other possibilities – Review medicines, body care products or other factors that could be affecting you.
  • Try again later – Give it another try at a future visit and see if symptoms reoccur.
  • Stick to dedicated fryers – Order it only at locations that have separate gluten-free fryers.

While Bonefish takes steps to avoid cross-contact, mistakes can happen. If you react, it’s important to help the restaurant identify where the process broke down so they can improve. Over time, continual training and diligence helps reduce errors.

Other Bonefish Grill Gluten-Free Choices

Beyond Bang Bang Shrimp, Bonefish Grill offers a range of gluten-free appetizers and entrees. Some other choices reported to be gluten-free include:

  • Ahi Tuna Sashimi
  • Imperial Dip
  • Wonton Crispy Shrimp
  • Seasonal Salad
  • Chilean Sea Bass
  • Harpoon-Caught Swordfish
  • Atlantic Salmon

There are also gluten-free sides and dessert options. Be sure to review the separate gluten-free menu to identify all the choices. And if in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask your server for assistance identifying safe menu picks.

Dining Tips for Gluten-Free at Bonefish Grill

Here are some key tips for safely navigating gluten-free dining at Bonefish Grill:

  • Study the menu – Stick to items clearly marked gluten-free.
  • Ask about prep – Inquire about separate fryers, prep areas, etc. for your particular location.
  • Specify gluten-free – Make sure your server understands your needs.
  • Avoid cross-contact – Request clean gloves and utensils to prevent contact with wheat-based menu items.
  • Check labels – Scan ingredient lists on packaged sauces, dressings, etc.
  • Communicate issues – Notify staff immediately if you have any reaction so they can address.

By being proactive, you can increase the chances of having a safe gluten-free experience. It may take a little extra care, but the indulgent flavors of appetizers like Bang Bang Shrimp make it worthwhile.

The Bottom Line

According to Bonefish Grill, their popular Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer is gluten-free. The shrimp are breaded with a gluten-free rice flour blend rather than a wheat-based one. And Bonefish Grill reports that they take measures to avoid cross-contact when preparing gluten-free dishes. So based on information direct from the source, Bang Bang Shrimp can be considered a gluten-free menu item. Those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance can enjoy this signature appetizer as long as they follow standard precautions for dining out gluten-free.

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