Creamy Coconut Shrimp Buffet Style [HD Video]

Creamy Coconut Shrimp Buffet Style

It’s around the time of Thanksgiving again. While the traditional turkey-and-the-sides are a must the same Thanksgiving meal can get unexciting year after year. If you would like to add a unique twist to this year’s turkey dinner you can definitely include today’s recipe on your menu.

Since I posted my original coconut shrimp recipe sometime ago I’ve gotten enormous amount of feedback. Upon popular demand for another Amercing Chinese style coconut shrimp that features a sweet creamy white coconut sauce, I embarked on a journey to uncover this dish.  After tweaking with the ingredients based on the comments from all the readers I’ve come up with a recipe that tastes like the one at your local Asian buffet.

Today, I’d like to share this creamy coconut shrimp recipe with all of you. Since this is going to be my only post before the Thanksgiving, I would like to thank all the readers out there for supporting this project and tolerating my slow update in the past few weeks. I hope you’ll enjoy this yummy shrimp dish and as always please feel free to leave some suggestions and questions.

Creamy Coconut Shrimp Buffet Style

P.S. As a bonus to the this Thanksgiving special post, I am excited to announce that the first ever Yi Reservation cooking video, which featu

res the creamy coconut shrimp dish,  is on the way.  I will add the video to this post as soon I finish all the editing. Please check back soon.

P.P.S. One more thing, since the sweetness varies from region to region you have the discretion to add sugar to your own taste.

Let’s get started!

Video Recipe

Step by Step Recipe

Shell and devein the shrimp. Rinse the shrimp and pat dry the shrimp with paper towel and season with salt

Creamy Coconut Shrimp Buffet Style

In a measuring cup, combine and mix well the coconut cream, cream or milk, and vanilla extract

Creamy Coconut Shrimp Buffet Style

Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add shrimp and pan fry until both sides are golden brown. Around 2 minutes for each side. Splash some rum and cook the shrimp for another minute. Set aside the shrimp in the same pan

Creamy Coconut Shrimp Buffet Style

In a separate pan, add the coconut cream mixture and cook over low heat. Add condensed milk and stir to mix

Creamy Coconut Shrimp Buffet Style

When the coconut mixture starts to bubble, add additional sugar to taste. Let the mixture simmer for about 3 minutes until the liquid gets reduced by 1/3. Add some diluted corn starch to thicken the cream if necessary. Optionally, you can add Mayonnaise in place of corn starch to create a richer flavor

Creamy Coconut Shrimp Buffet Style

Transfer the cream mixture to the shrimp. Turn on the heat and stir the shrimp to incorporate the coconut cream. Turn off the heat when the coconut mixture reaches the boiling point. Plate and serve the dish hot

Creamy Coconut Shrimp Buffet Style

Creamy Coconut Shrimp Buffet Style

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 2 Servings

Creamy Coconut Shrimp Buffet Style


  • 1lb medium or large shrimp
  • ½ cup coconut cream
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream or whole milk
  • 2 tbsp condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp rum
  • 1 tsp salt
  • corn starch


  1. Shell and devein shrimp. Rinse the shrimp and pat dry the shrimp with paper towel and season with salt
  2. In a measuring cup, combine and mix well the coconut cream, cream or milk, and vanilla extract
  3. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add shrimp and pan fry until both sides are golden brown. Around 2 minutes for each side. Splash some rum and cook the shrimp for another minute. Set aside the shrimp in the same pan
  4. In a separate pan, add the coconut cream mixture and cook over low heat. Add condensed milk and stir to mix
  5. When the coconut mixture starts to bubble, add additional sugar to taste. Let the mixture simmer for about 3 minutes until the liquid gets reduced by 1/3. Add some diluted corn starch to thicken the cream if necessary. Optionally, you can add Mayonnaise in place of corn starch to create a richer flavor
  6. Transfer the cream mixture to the shrimp. Turn on the heat and stir the shrimp to incorporate the coconut cream. Turn off the heat when the coconut mixture reaches the boiling point. Plate and serve the dish hot

Happy Thanksgiving!

Creamy Coconut Shrimp Buffet Style


  1. 46

    Tried this recipe today and it didn’t turn out anything like what I expected. I followed the recipe exactly, and it barely tasted like coconut at all; I tasted the vanilla moreso than the intended coconut flavor.
    Oh well, though. Everyone has their own version of dishes.

    • 46.1

      hi Ashlie, sorry the dish didn’t turn out the way you wanted. If the coconut flavor was too light for your preference, I’d suggest replacing the additional 2tbsp of milk with coconut cream as well. Also please make sure you are using coconut cream instead of coconut milk which has less coconutty flavor. Hope this helps.

  2. 45

    Does anyone have the nutritional values on this recipe?

  3. 44

    Can I bread and fry the shrimp first then mix it in this sauce? Going to make this tomorrow night.

  4. 43

    I am in fact glad to read this web site posts which includes tons of useful information, thanks for providing
    these data.

  5. 42

    I’m looking for a Coconut Shrimp recipe where the shrimp is breaded and I believe deep fried.

  6. 41

    I was wondering if you can use chicken instead of shrimp. I go to a buffet that serves coconut chicken and I love it.

  7. 40

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I tried it out today and it came out great. The key for mine was about 2 tbsp of mayo. I also used cream of coconut rather than coconut cream, which is pre-sweetened, so I did not have to add sugar. Delicious and a great hit at home!

  8. 39

    I’m excited to be making this for thanksgiving this year. I am having a problem finding coconut cream. Is this just another term for coconut milk, or is there a way to make my own cream? Thanks.

    • 39.1

      Hi Amanda, coconut milk works with this recipe as well. Hope this answers your question. Please let me know how it came out!

      • I only use coconut milk or almond milk where fitting. can teach you how to make it from scratch. it will add a bit more flavor and it will work just fine. watch for the sweetened version, because that will add even more sweetness where you don’t really want more.

  9. 38

    I have been looking for this dish,for a long time. Thank you, it’s the most delicious dish in the world, I could eat it every day

  10. 37

    I made this yesterday with some variation because of what I had on hand. I substituted sweetened cashew milk for the heavy cream & added extra coconut cream in place of the evaporated milk. I only used 1/2 tsp. of vanilla & omitted the sugar. I my have added a bit more rum, but didn’t actually measure it. I did use a bit of mayo to thicken it. Next time I’m going to use coconut rum. It was even better than at our favorite restaurant! Thank you for the basic recipe!

  11. 36

    I have very picky children and they love this recipe i used Jack Daniels honey instead of rum and vanilla and it tasted great. We were wondering if you had any chow mein or orange chicken recipes?

  12. 35


    • 35.1

      And dont get me wrong. I love it but I dont like people who try to make people spend more money and not get a correct recipe

      • Hello Helen, thanks for your comments. While I agree that there might be regional alternative recipes that use more mayonnaise, I have to say that this dish can’t be made without coconut cream (if so it shouldn’t be called coconut shrimp). I also agree with you that the stuffed mussels are mainly made with mayo but that dish is very different from the coconut shrimp hence no comparison. Lastly I’d like to mention that when I try to replicate a dish at home I prefer to use better ingredients rather than processed ingredients, as long as I get similar taste. Thanks again for your feedback.

    • 35.2

      Hellen, you’re so quick to pass judgement yet you don’t even provide an alternative. As far as I’m concerned you don’t know what you’re talking about. Then to say you don’t like the person who wrote this because of their selection of ingredients… Take a look internally that’s where you’ll find the real problem.  

      Yi, thank you for sharing this recipe it is an amazing dish.

    • 35.3

      mayonnaise has soy in it. I like this version because I am allergic to soy. thankfully he did it this way. I don’t like cheap anything. If you are going to do something, do it well. you can cut your grocery budget by buying only what you need and what you can possibly use so there is less waste and then you can afford nicer ingredients

  13. 34

    Hi! I’ve been looking for a recipe like this for ages and am so glad to have found yours! My problem is that I live in a very small town and know I won’t be able to find coconut cream. Is there a suitable substitute?

    • 34.1

      No substitute for coconut cream would come anywhere close. You can Google “coconut cream” and you’ll see all kinds of places to buy it online. If you are anywhere near a KMart or Walmart you can stock up.

    • 34.2

      If you don’t have any, take unsweetened coconut. 4 cups of good water. I use purified, put your 2 cups of shredded coconut in it and leave it set over night in a cool place, if it is warm out, put in fridge. Use a blender or food processor and on high for a long time blend it till it is creamy. use cheese cloth to strain. you now have coconut milk. the longer you blend it, the creamier it gets.

  14. 33

    Ok…. I tried this recipe….. I found it increadibly sweet…. I am wondering if there is a typo on the Vanilla….. 1 tsp would be much more appropriate over 1 Tbsp…. all we could taste was the vanilla and it made the dish super sweet. The sweetness was too overpowering. I really like the concept of the dish and will try it again but will cut way back on the vanilla and on the sweetened condensed milk. Would rather taste the coconut….. and the butter. 🙂

  15. 32

    I wanted to thank you so much for this sinfully delicious recipe! I just finished making it and it is better than at any Chinese buffet that I have been to. The best part is that it is so quick and easy to make. Thanks again!!!

  16. 31

    I don’t have any rum on hand, is there a substitute for alcohol? I can’t wait to try this out!

  17. 30

    I LOVED IT!!!!! will be doing this again soon..
    Only thing was I didn’t get it thick enough..

  18. 29

    This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it!

  19. 28

    YI: I have been looking for this recipe forever. I first tasted the creamy coconut shrimp at our China King Buffet here in Louisiana and fell in love with it. My entire family loves this dish. I can’t wait to try it. I haven’t been brave enough to full around with ingredients and mess up a fresh batch of shrimp. Now I finally have something to go by. Thanks a million for sharing!!!!

    • 28.1

      Hi there, thank you for visiting my blog and I am so glad to hear that you enjoy this dish a lot. Please let me know how you like the recipe!

  20. 27

    wow…. this looks so amazing and I cant wait to try it, I am going to first bread and fry the shrimp in a coconut panko breadcumbs coating first. I will post back after the weekend to let you know how it all turned out. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  21. 26

    Hello Yi,
    I just wanted to let you know I made this coconut shrimp dish for my kids the other night w/ your glazed wings recipe, they all went nuts. They have not stopped asking for me to make it again.

    Thank you ever so much for sharing these items, please don’t stop I fully intend to try making everything you have posted. 🙂

  22. 25

    What kind of rum should I use?

    • 25.1

      Hi there, i used bacardi gold rum in that particular recipe and it turned out great. You can pretty much use any type of rum as shrimp works well with a wide range of alcohol. Hope this helps!

  23. 24

    I cut back on the condensed milk and vanilla and am glad I did . I saved the sauce maybe I will use it on a desert. I will not treat my Seafood like that.

  24. 23

    what kind of sugar did you add

    • 23.1

      hi Angela, thanks for visiting. In the video i used raw sugar but you can use regular sugar as well. Hope this helps!

  25. 22

    Just tried this. It has way too much vanilla for my taste and the sweetened condensed milk made it taste a little off.

    • 22.1

      Hi Marisa, thanks for the feedback. The recipe is based on the version I had at my local restaurant. The condense milk is on the low side so please feel free to increase it if you like it sweeter. Likewise, you can reduce the vanilla to your liking. I hope you can give it another shot. Thanks!

  26. 21

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! My husband loves this at the local buffet, that I can’t stand to go to because unless you go when they are busy the food isn’t hot enough. I am really trying to stop eating out for healthy reasons and maybe this will keep him out of this place! Thanks you seem like such a nice man!

    • 21.1

      Hello Tracey, thanks for stopping by. I hope you get to cook this and please let me know how it came out. Thanks!

  27. 20

    I made crab legs, scallops in marinara sauce and this coconut shrimp for supper…. I had crab leftover and some scallops but the the scrimp was gone! this recipe is so good. Thank you Yi for posting it.

  28. 19

    Oh, My, Heck-Yeah!! Didn’t use any sugar, had no rum, and didn’t need corn starch. I also used unsweetened almond milk in place of heavy cream. So. Freaking. Good!!

    • 19.1

      Thanks for the suggestion and feedback Yoli. The use of almond milk sounds interesting and I will definitely try it next time. Thanks!

      • I love this dish! Have made it 3 times this month. We love almond milk (used unsweetened), so I was excited to try it yesterday. It did not turn out well at all. It gave it a really weird taste, so no one would eat it. My son and I ended up wiping each piece off with a paper towel because we really wanted that shrimp. I’ll stick to your recipe. Haven’t needed the cornstarch.

  29. 18

    Im so happy to have found this dish! I have eaten this at a local Asian buffet and they had the same creamy sauce but with real coconut in it. I was wondering if you were to incorporate coconut into the sauce, about how much would you recommend so that its not too “coconutty?” I appreciate your time. ~Lisa

    • 18.1

      Hello Elisa, sorry for getting back to you late! Yes the addition of real coconut will definite enhance the flavor. If you use fresh coconut meat, you can shred it and add about half cup or so to the sauce. If you use dried coconut, perhaps 1 tbsp would do the job. Please let me know how it came out if you ever tried this? Thanks for visiting!

  30. 17

    This recipe is awesome!!!! I did it with chicken though!!! Thank you!!

  31. 16

    The only coconut shrimp I’ve had at a buffet features shrimp deep-fried in a cornstarch batter then added to the sauce. It makes for a delicious texture contrast! May I suggest you try that? This is my all-time favorite thing to eat, and I have to travel all the way from northern Maine to Southwest Florida to get it! Needless to say, I don’t get to eat it very often, but now I can make it at home, thanks to your recipe! My deepest gratitude.

    • 16.1

      Hi Connie,

      Thank you for stopping by my blog.

      I think I know the version of coconut shrimp you are talking about and I absolutely love it. I actually posted the crispy coconut shrimp recipe some time ago. Please let me know how you like if you get to cook the dish. Thanks again.

  32. 15

    hi i think your recipe sounds great and i was wondering do you think you could use other kinds of meats with this recipe not just shrimp?

  33. 14

    I consider, what is it � a false way.

  34. 13

    wow, finally i found this recipes.. can’t wait to make it at home! thanx 🙂

  35. 12

    Hey! This recipe looks like the one I’ve been looking for! How do you feel about adding pineapple pieces to the mix!?

    • 12.1

      hello Brad, I have not used pineapple before but i think it sounds like a great idea. The pineapple flavor should go really well with coconut flavor! Please let me know how it goes if you ever try it.

      • Hi. Can’t wait to try the recipe! To respond to the question about pineapple, the answer is a definite “YES! add the pineapple! I’ve had this dish both ways at the local buffets and the pineapple sends the flavors over the top! I think canned pineapple tidbits were used, but fresh would probably taste great, too.

  36. 11

    i would like to know that could you use cooking rum for that recipe or could you replace it with something else do they have cooking rum in the grocery store that you can use to place the real rum

    • 11.1

      Hi Mable Harris, I apologize for the late reply. You can actually skip the rum or alcohol for this dish. It would come out just as delicious. Please let me know how it came out if you ever got to try it.

      • Since the alcohol does give it such a good flavor, I would think it would taste just a small bit off, but not enough to be “bad”, just lose that “classiness”! I would scour the grocery store for rum extract! I purchased this last year, and it is a saviour!

        THANK YOU SO MUCH for this recipe!

  37. 10

    Glad to see this recipe for the creamy coconut shrimp. However, I don’t drink or buy alcohol, so I am wondering what I could use instead of the rum? Also, I already bought the condensed sweet milk in a very small can…can I use that? I ended up using the coconut cream for something else some time back. I do however have coconut oil that I could use to fry the shrimp in. I guess I will have to go buy some more coconut cream to get the fullness taste, right? Hoping to make this recipe very soon. Will let u know how I do.

    • 10.1

      Hi kajern, I am glad to hear from you again. If you don’t use alcohol you can skip it entirely. It will still taste as good. Yes you will need to use coconut cream to make the sauce and the amount of condense milk required is not that much so a small can should do it. Please let me know how it came out!

  38. Pingback: Spaghetti with Duck in Black Pepper Sauce | 黑椒烤鴨炒意粉 | Yi Reservation

  39. 9

    Hi! Thanks so much, been looking for a recipe like this for a long time. I was wondering what kind of rum you would reccomend? A white, brown, black, any particular flavours to look for like sweet, or vanilla. I would be inclined to go with Appletons, but perhaps you’ve experimented and found something that works well? Thanks again, will post what I use and how it turned out. Also I’m very patient, don’t think I will use the cornstarch, just let it slow simmer to reduce the sauce. Thanks again, cheers.

    • 9.1

      So good. I doubled the ingredients for the sauce as I slow simmered for almost three hours and didn’t use the cornstarch. I used my second favorite bottle of rum, a 22 year old bottle of appleton estate, gave it great flavour. Would have used my 30 year appletons, but can’t bring myself to open it lol. Would still like to know what kind anyone can recommend for this dish, there’s such an array of flavors that come from different rums. Great recipe, came out very good, but i think next time i will fry the shrimp in oil after dipping them in egg whites and then coating them in corn starch, I believe this will give them the crispy taste that i’m used to having at the buffet. Cheers, and thanks again.

      • Hi duane, thank you so much for your detailed feedback. I am not very knowledgeable with rum (or liquors in general) but for this recipe I used Bacardi Gold I have around my place. I’d imagine that adding 22 yr old appleton estate would bring this dish to a whole new level. I’d also be interested to know how different types of rum can influence the flavor of this dish! As per the frying suggestion, I did the fried version in this recipe. I have to say I like the texture of the fried version better. This is totally a personal preference though. Thanks again for dropping by. I hope to see you around!

      • I personally prefer the taste of a dry sherry in any Chinese dish. It’s also reasonably priced. I’ve made the creamy version of the coconut shrimp without the mayo, and it is pretty close. I also make it with chicken when the budget is tight. I prefer to dredge the egg-white-dipped meat with cornstarch and coconut flakes and deep fry it just before serving, so it’s nice and hot. Then I plunge it into that creamy sauce and serve over rice. The combination of the crunchy and the smooth sweet sauce is a texture party in your mouth made in heaven! Tides me over until I can go down to Florida and eat at the Chinese buffet in Naples again!

  40. 8

    That’s a great recipe! Looks delicious! Great photos.

  41. 7

    Great to see your new post, Yi! Hope all is well with you. I enjoyed watching your video! Wow, impressive work. I have no patience to make the video (or even record the video) and you did such an amazing job! I love the coconut flavor and I am 100% sure I’ll love this. I have never encounter the “buffet style” but next time I see it, I will remember your recipe for sure. Looks delicious!

    • 7.1

      Thanks Nami for your kind words. I agree that making a video is time-consuming but I actually did enjoy the whole process. Hope I get to make more videos soon.

  42. 6

    Gosh, I thought I had posted a reply on this post, but obviously I didn’t. Love the photos! And what a great looking dish. The flavor look tremendous. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving!

  43. 5

    Wow, Yi, these shrimps look fabulous, love the coconut milk and hoe you presented…awesome!
    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving 🙂

  44. 4

    Who needs turkey when you can have shrimp this succulent and delicious. Your photo shots are just stunning. Welcome back. BAM

  45. 3

    Hi Yi! Long time no see! I hope you are well! I am not sure I’ve had the pleasure of tasting this creamy coconut shrimp dish, though it looks like something I would enjoy tremendously. This year we are heading out of town for Thanksgiving, just a little get away for some fresh air, hopefully get some hiking and kayaking done at Austin. I assume there will be a ton of feasting at your household. Have a great Thanksgiving Holiday!

    • 3.1

      Hello Cindy thanks for checking in and it’s great to hear from you! Your Thanksgiving plan sounds really exciting, making me look into planning my own getaway to somewhere warm. I hope you enjoy your trip and have a great Thanksgiving on the road!

  46. Pingback: Chinese Buffet Style Coconut Shrimp (椰子蝦) | Yi Reservation

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