Believe it or not, one of my guilty pleasures (alongside listening to Justin Bieber songs) is indulging in the Bang Bang Chicken and Shrimp at The Cheesecake Factory. I don’t eat it often, mainly because there is no Cheesecake Factory in Toronto! Of course, things are about to change as the restaurant chain is setting up to open a location not far from my home in the GTA! Not gonna lie, I’m already planning a cheat day for when the restaurant opens!
Bang Bang Shrimp!
Until that day, I will happily settle for this (presumably) healthier (and possibly more delicious?) Whole30 and Paleo version! It’s a bold statement, I know. But I assure you, this recipe is so good! It’s very easy and might just be as close as I’ve come to recreating the flavours and textures I love so much from the original dish. No, this post is not sponsored by The Cheesecake Factory. Heck, I don’t even know if I can call it Bang Bang Shrimp without incurring some sort of legal ramifications! So, in an attempt to avoid restaurant plagiarism, I’ve omitted the chicken and gone full-out shrimp. That doesn’t mean you can’t add some thinly sliced chicken breast to the recipe! I’ve made this with chicken, chicken and shrimp and even Scallops (my personal favourite)!
I actually made this recipe by complete accident. I set out to make a Cajun-style shrimp dish and somewhere along the way ended up improvising with what I had in the fridge. When I tasted the saucy-shrimp concoction I had created I instantly recognized the flavours. I may or may not have let out a shriek of excitement. Who am I kidding? I damn near jumped through the ceiling of my kitchen! It took me another two tries to get the measurements right. It actually only took one more try but I am so addicted to this dish that I convinced myself it needed another round of testing! Also, big thanks to my sis-in-law, Seira, for the amazing personalized chopsticks that she brought back for me from Japan!
I hope you like this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!
Bang Bang Shrimp – Paleo, Whole30
INGREDIENTS: (serves 3)
12 tiger shrimp – peeled with tails intact
1 red bell pepper – diced
½ red onion – diced
4 cloves garlic – minced
½ tsp cayenne pepper (or more depending on preference)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp shredded dried coconut
salt and pepper
2 tbsp avocado oil
1 tsp ghee
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup stock (chicken or fish)
fresh parsley – finely chopped – for garnish
slivered almonds – for garnish
lime wedges – for garnish
- Rinse and devein shrimp. Pat shrimp dry with paper towel and season with paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Heat avocado oil in a stainless-steel or non-stick skillet over high heat. Carefully lay the shrimp flat in the hot oil and sear 2-3 minutes per side or until slightly blackened.
- Transfer cooked shrimp to a bowl and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium and add ghee to the skillet. Add the garlic and onions and stir-fry 2 minutes while scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add red pepper and stir-fry an additional 3 minutes.
- Deglaze the skillet with stock – simmer 2 minutes. Again, be sure to scrape any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet.
- Add coconut milk and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until sauce has reduced by 1/4. Add shredded coconut and stir to combine. Cook an additional 2 minutes.
- Return shrimp the skillet and toss with the sauce. Garnish the skillet with chopped parsley and slivered almonds. Serve directly in the pan alongside cauliflower rice and lime wedges (See Cauliflower Rice Recipe Here)