Chinese Coconut Shrimp Recipe

I had a few requests for the coconut shrimp from the Chinese buffet. I have yet to actually see this on a buffet here in Michigan so hopefully I came close. This is not like your normal coconut shrimp, which is breaded but rather shrimp in a coconut sauce. The sauce has ingredients such as coconut milk, heavy cream, amaretto liquor, sugar, coconut and vanilla extracts. I know using extracts in a dish like this might seem a little strange but I thought the flavor was pretty good. With that being said, this dish is probably not for everyone. If you don’t like sweet dishes, you probably will not enjoy this. You could of course, cut back on the sugar or add none at all.  The original recipe did not call for salt and pepper but I felt it needed seasonings. Let me know what you think. Enjoy.

1lb jumbo shrimp (peeled and deveined with tails off)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 green onion (chopped)
1 tablespoon amaretto liquor
½ cup coconut milk
¼ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar (or less)
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1:
In a wok heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Add shrimp and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add green onions and amaretto liquor. Cooking for another 1-2 minutes until the shrimp begins to caramelize.

Step 2: Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside. Add to the wok- coconut milk, heavy cream, and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer (stirring occasionally) until the sauce is reduced by half (about 6 minutes).
Step 3:
Add shrimp back into the wok and add vanilla and coconut extracts. Simmer for another 1-2 minutes and serve.
(Makes 4 servings)


43 Responses to “Chinese Coconut Shrimp Recipe”

  1. recipe cooker — September 1, 2009 @ 3:09 am

    It look very easy to make. Thanks for the recipe I was looking for something like this.

  2. James Blackwell — September 1, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

    this looks really tasty!

  3. HoneyB — September 1, 2009 @ 5:40 pm

    Oh Bobby, I could just KISS YOU! We used to love this dish and the only place around here that used to make it closed! I’m going to surprise Grumpy with this and maybe I will be rewarded. 😉

  4. sugi — September 1, 2009 @ 7:16 pm

    oh I just love this at the buffet downtown!! I hardly get to go, so I definitely will have to make this 🙂

  5. Kevin — September 5, 2009 @ 11:35 am

    That coconut milk and amaretto combo sounds really good!

  6. christina diapoulis — September 6, 2009 @ 12:50 pm

    yum! coconut and shrimp are incredible by themselves, this must be just divine.

  7. Marissa — September 29, 2009 @ 2:17 pm

    I can only find this at the local Chinese buffet and it’s pricey. I ordered this at the beach one time and it wasn’t the Chinese kind and I was very dissapointed. Thank you so much for this, it’s exactly what I was looking for.

  8. HoneyB — October 3, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

    Made this tonight Bobby and it was pretty darn close to what we have had at the Chinese place. The only place that made this dish around here is closed now so its good to have a recipe. THANK YOU!

  9. HoneyB — October 19, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

    Hi Bobby- just wanted to let you know I finally got to blogging your shrimp dish :0) Thanks again!

  10. Sheri — October 27, 2009 @ 9:53 am

    I was looking for this. I live in Michigan as well. And It is served at China One in Gaylord Michigan on the Lunch Buffet only. I love it, Hopefully it tastes as good as it looks. Thanks so much

  11. Tami — December 8, 2009 @ 4:57 am

    This MIGHT be the buffet dish I’ve been looking fir that is served here in Wasilla Alaska at King Asians Buffet.
    But the shrimp here is nicely battered and I SWEAR I taste mayo in it! I will try this, and then I am just going to ask them for the recipe lol thanks much

  12. Brenda — December 29, 2009 @ 8:19 am

    I love Coconut Shrimp and i am so happy to find a recipe so i can make it at home. i am the only one that likes shrimp so now i can have it whenever i want the sauce is out of this world and would be good on a variety of SeaFood.

  13. Chad Wright — March 23, 2010 @ 9:38 am

    I hope this is the same as the ones at the chineeses restaraunts. I love coconut shrimp, and hate it when my wife wants to go during the lunch hour when they don’t have them. Will try this very soon, and hope for the best

  14. jess — April 10, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

    sheri..i luv that restauraunt..they have the best creamed spinach too (go figure)
    i just made this recipe and it was AWSOME!! not the exact taste of the restaraunt but it’s about 95% there!
    ..was wondering if this sauce could be made in advance?!? and or possibly frozen? would be a healthier fix (depending on the milk/crm used) than restaraunt version.

  15. Jessie — May 16, 2010 @ 3:02 pm

    I love this recipe! I tried it tonight and it is delicious! Thank you so much, I have been searching for a good coconut based shrimp recipe forever! This is delicious.

  16. Chad Wright — May 27, 2010 @ 6:44 pm

    Well I tried cooking this tonight. It turned out ok, but I had a difference in my recipe. When I went to the store they didn’t have coconut milk, they had cream of coconut. Well it made mine entirely to sweet. Also the sauce never thickened up because of this. They told me it would be the same, but I guess they’d rather sell me that than me go somewhere else and buy the milk. Anyone else had any good results???

  17. James K — June 16, 2010 @ 5:45 am

    great recipe. i tried this last night and was very impressed. i added a few fresh red chillies and watered the coconut milk down a bit (it is so fattening)! great stuff

  18. Thomas K — November 16, 2010 @ 11:33 pm

    i made this with battered chicken (as prepared in the sesame chicken recipe)instead of the shrimp in an attempt to recreate a menu item at a local buffet. It was fantastic, thank you!!

  19. barbara — December 20, 2010 @ 8:25 am

    You said you haddn’t found a coconut shrimp at a buffett in Michigan. We found one at the Great Wall in Bay City on Euclid next to or by the Little Ceaser’s place. They have a great spread with MANY chioces to eat from, from wings to coconut Shrimp.

  20. Sylvia — January 15, 2011 @ 10:45 am

    This recipe is very similar to the chines recipe my neighbor has made. However if you are looking for a thicker creamier sauce dissolve 1 tbs. of cornstarch to your cold cream before adding it to your sauce. And mix peanut oil with a drizzle of sesame oil to fry up your shrimp that should be tossed with rice flour prior to frying them!

  21. trisha — January 22, 2011 @ 7:44 pm

    i am so excited. this is one of our favorite dishes. i can’t wait to try it at home. yeah i almost gave up on finding it. none of the other coconut shrimp recipes even came close to what i was looking for

  22. Gr8stmom — January 23, 2011 @ 7:02 am

    The recipe looks delicious!!! By the way there is a fabulous buffet in Southfield, MI at the Tokyo Lounge Buffet that does serve an amazing “Chinese” style coconut shrimp amongst an array of a variety of Japanese and Chinese food. Lunch is$9.95 and dinner is $16.95. Very reasonable considering how much they have… They even have a “stir fry” station and full dessert area including ice cream!!!

  23. Eric Miller — February 4, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

    I will make this tomorrow…dont know where you are in Michigan, but Old China buffet in Battle Creek makes this all the time’

  24. Bobby — February 4, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

    Eric Miller- I live in the Upper Peninsula, there are not many buffets around here. Hopefully someday I will be able to try this dish on the buffet selection. Enjoy the recipe.

  25. *neets* — February 5, 2011 @ 9:16 pm

    You can find this delicious “coconut shrimp” at CHINA BUFFET in beautiful Manistee,MI. ENJOY !!!

  26. James — February 20, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

    The recipe I was looking for!
    Chad, and the rest of you, if you can’t find coconut milk, look in the spice section.

  27. Kristi — May 18, 2011 @ 11:24 pm

    Thanks I love this stuff! so I am going to try yours! However the one I am use too seems to be breaded and then tossed in the sauce…but you can also find this dish in Flint, MI! 🙂

  28. angel — August 9, 2011 @ 4:35 pm

    Very good thank you. Been trying to find this love it!

  29. Kristen — September 3, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

    Thank you for posting this! I am going to try to make it later this week! There are 2 Chinese restaurants in Grand Rapids that offer a similar item on their buffet, with the exception of using fried shrimp. 🙂

  30. Amanda Condry — September 25, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

    THANK YOU! I have been looking EVERYWHERE for this recipe with absolute zero luck. I first tried it in a tiny New Mexican town and we have since moved. There is a buffet nearby that has the same thing but the rest of their food is not up to par so we don’t go there. Now I’m pregnant and I MUST have this. You are the best!!!

  31. maria — September 30, 2011 @ 6:26 am

    I try this at the buffet where i live in mass but was looking for the recipe to make it for my mom thank you i had an idea now i know the entire recipe.

  32. Rachel — December 12, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

    I am a mom of 5 kids ages 16, 12, 11, 7 and 5 finding a new recipe that they will all eat is sometimes next to impossible. We all love to eat Chinese but going out to the buffet gets costly.
    I made this recipe tonight and all the kids loved it. Even my hubby enjoyed it. Thank you so much for this recipe.

  33. Alec — January 1, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

    Thank you…..i have been searching for this recipe oh for some years now….finally found….Ahhhh..feel like i found some buried treasure

  34. Doreen — February 24, 2012 @ 4:16 am

    Oh Thank You so much, I am going to buy the stuff to make it today. Sounds so good we have a chinese buffet here in Tampa, Fl. They have it but the place is not so good anymore since new owners took over but that’s my favorite dish besides sushi that’s all I get to eat the shrimp over rice noodles this looks and sounds so good. Thanks for the recipe…

  35. Marti — March 28, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

    I am addicted to coconut shrimp from the Chinese buffet in Inverness, Fl. They only serve it on weekends in the evening. Was there today for lunch and asked them for the recipe. They laughed and then said NO! Family seclet. Thanks for this recipe.

  36. emily — April 8, 2012 @ 7:44 am

    What is heavy cream?

  37. Bobby — April 9, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

    emily- it is sometimes called whipping cream.

  38. iamsofaking — April 11, 2012 @ 6:54 pm

    I am pretty sure it is palm sugar they use in this recipe at the restaurants

  39. burnbrighter — June 11, 2012 @ 4:44 pm

    i LOVE this dish. i actually made it, and it was the best.

  40. Rick — July 14, 2012 @ 11:13 am

    Thanks for the recipe. Me and my mom wanted to make this for my brother since our buffet stopped serving it.

  41. Sara — December 31, 2012 @ 6:56 pm

    for the sauce on the coconut shrimp on the buffet is just a mixture of mayonaise n honey..its very good i make it all the time…n i love getting it at the restaurant…i would like to know what they use as a batter though..all the ones i use usually just fall off.

  42. Rhonda — February 13, 2013 @ 6:48 pm

    I am going to make this tomorrow, have been looking for this recipe all the other have breaded shrimp with coconut flakes in breading, not the one I wanted. I will try to dip shrimp in egg bath then toss in rice flour, before I fry in the oil, on the sauce I am going to add a little cornstarch to thicken. I am also going to try the mayo and honey mixture who knows I might combine the two sauces to taste. Thanks for all the great info!!!

  43. Crystal — April 8, 2014 @ 2:59 pm

    This recipe was exactly what I was looking for! I made it tonight for my family and it was delicious. The only change made was cream of coconut for the coconut milk. Cream of coconut is presweetened so I omitted the sugar. It was fabulous. Tasted just like the “Chinese buffet stuff” and I live in New York. Thank you.

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