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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.

(Makes 4 servings)

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Chinese Coconut Shrimp Recipe

  • Author: Bobby


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



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


  1. HoneyB says:

    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. 😉

  2. sugi says:

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

  3. Marissa says:

    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.

  4. HoneyB says:

    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!

  5. Sheri says:

    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

  6. Tami says:

    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

  7. Brenda says:

    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.

  8. Chad Wright says:

    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

  9. jess says:

    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.

  10. Jessie says:

    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.

  11. Chad Wright says:

    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???

  12. James K says:

    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

  13. Thomas K says:

    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!!

  14. barbara says:

    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.

  15. Sylvia says:

    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!

  16. trisha says:

    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

  17. Gr8stmom says:

    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!!!

  18. Eric Miller says:

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

  19. Bobby says:

    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.

  20. James says:

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

  21. Kristi says:

    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! 🙂

  22. Kristen says:

    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. 🙂

  23. Amanda Condry says:

    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!!!

  24. maria says:

    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.

  25. Rachel says:

    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.

  26. Alec says:

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

  27. Doreen says:

    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…

  28. Marti says:

    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.

  29. Rick says:

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

  30. Sara says:

    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.

  31. Rhonda says:

    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!!!

  32. Crystal says:

    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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