Easy, delicious, and full of flavour, this Bang Bang Shrimp is a great Paleo, Whole30 and low-carb weeknight meal. It’s a cleaned up riff on one of my favourite dishes at The Cheesecake Factory – the Bang Bang Chicken and Shrimp!
What You Need for Bang Bang Shrimp
Feel free to use any size shrimp you like. Here, I opted for large Tiger shrimp because I prefer the texture. Keep in mind that shrimp will shrink in size significantly as they cook.
I used red bell pepper, onions and garlic, but feel free to experiment with different varieties of peppers, or add things like fresh, sliced ginger. Lemongrass would also be great here.
You won’t find anything fancy here. Just some garlic powder, paprika and cayenne pepper for a bit of heat. The dried spices don’t just add flavour, they also help to thicken the sauce a bit.
Dried Shredded Coconut
Not to be confused with coconut flour, or desiccated coconut, which are more finely ground. Look for a dried, shredded coconut with short, but identifiable strands. Toasting them is key to maximizing flavour and texture.
Coconut milk is an integral part of this Bang Bang Shrimp and, depending on the brand you use, it will make or break the dish. I recommend two brands: Aroy D and Savoy. Aroy D comes in tetrapaks which is very convenient because they’re resealable. Savoy is a bit thicker because it’s a coconut cream, but it’s delicious and works very well in savoury recipes.
But What if I have a Coconut Allergy?
If you have an allergy to coconut or just can’t stand the taste, you can try substituting an unflavoured nut milk creamer, like Nut Pods, which is thicker than other brands. Using something like a regular almond milk will not give you the same creamy, rich texture.
If you can’t get Nut Pods, you can try using your favourite unflavoured nut milk and thickening the Bang Bang Shrimp sauce with an arrowroot starch slurry. Simply whisk together one teaspoon of arrowroot starch with one teaspoon of cold water in a small bowl until dissolved. Then, add it to the sauce at the end to thicken it. The water should be cold or the arrowroot starch can clump.
If you are not worried about keeping the dish dairy-free, you can just use regular table cream (18%) or heavy cream (35%).
Not a Fan of Shrimp?
If you don’t like shrimp or maybe have an allergy, you can substitute chicken or scallops.
Bang Bang Shrimp - Paleo, Whole30
- 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
- Add 2 tbsp shredded coconut to a cool non-stick skillet. Set over medium-low heat and dry-toast the coconut until golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Rinse and devein the shrimp. Pat them 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 medium-high heat. Carefully lay the shrimp flat in the hot oil and sear them until golden brown, around 2 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked shrimp to a bowl and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the ghee to the skillet. Add the garlic and onions and stir-fry for 2 minutes, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the bell pepper and stir-fry until slightly softened, around 3 minutes.
- Add the stock and simmer until slightly reduced, around 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk and simmer until reduced by 1/4 in volume, around 4 minutes. Add the toasted coconut, stir to combine and cook an additional 2 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt as desired.
- Return shrimp the skillet and toss to coat in the sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley and slivered almonds. Serve immediately.