This Creamy Shrimp in Coconut Sauce is an Ecuadorian dish that contains achiote, coconut milk and infuses the shrimp shells in the sauce.
This shrimp dish was introduced by my friend in culinary school. The first time I tried it, I couldn't believe how delicious it was. I had to get the recipe from him, so I am so excited to share this with you. You start out by making an achiote oil from scratch using achiote powder. You can also used annatto seeds and toast them in the oil. Add the shrimp shells in the oil to give the sauce a nice shrimp infusion. For the sauce, you will blend the shrimp shells and the coconut milk, and strain back into the pot. Add the shrimp inside to cook in this delicious sauce.
What is Coconut Milk Shrimp?
There are a ton of different variations to make this recipe. Many people use Thai curry with coconut milk to make a delicious sauce. When I tried this recipe, I knew that achiote was the perfect combination for coconut shrimp.
Why you will love this recipe
Full of flavor: The combination fo the achiote, vegetables and coconut milk gives this dish such a delicious flavor.
Kid Friendly: This recipe is not spicy and when my nieces tried this dish, they loved it.
Great for warm weather: I love having this dish in the summertime with a nice glass of white wine.
Serves a crowd: It is very easy to double this recipe and/or make more rice for your next dinner party.
Coconut Milk Shrimp Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Achiote powder
- Bell pepper
- Coconut milk
See recipe card for quantities for this Creamy Shrimp in Coconut Sauce Recipe.
How to make Shrimp in Coconut Sauce
Add oil in the pan and on low heat, warm up the oil. Add the achiote and mix. Turn off heat and let the mixture rest for 20 minutes, until the oil turns red. Remove the shells from the shrimp and reserve for later. Add the shrimp shells in the oil until they change colors. With a slotted spoon remove the shells.
Add the onion and bell peppers and cook until the onion is soft, about 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the Sea salt and oregano and cook until the vegetables are cooked through. Add the shrimp in the sauce and cook for two minutes on each side.
Add the shrimp shells and the coconut milk in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain this mixture through a fine mesh strainer and add the liquid into the sauce.
Garnish with parsley.
Hint: Do not overcook the shrimp.
Oil: I used avocado oil for this but feel free to use vegetable oil instead.
Achiote: I used the Goya powder achiote for this recipe. You can use annatto seeds to infuse into the oil and remove them instead.
Shrimp: Make sure to buy shrimp with the shells. When you devein the shrimp, keep the shells for the coconut sauce.
Coconut milk: I have used both coconut milk and coconut cream for this recipe. If you prefer a thicker sauce, use the cream.
Parsley: I used parsley but cilantro goes well with this recipe too.
Creamy Coconut Shrimp Variations
Cooking is a chance to be creative! Have fun with it and feel free to make your own variation.
- Spicy - add chili pepper flakes while cooking to imbue heat into the dish.
- Deluxe - add crispy onions or add these shrimp in a taco.
Check out this Sticky Honey Garlic Shrimp.
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. Stone bakeware takes longer to heat up than metal pans, and also retain heat for longer, which could make the recipe more watery, or burnt on the outsides.
I love using my Caraway pots, pans and baking sheets for best quality.
How to store Creamy Shrimp in Coconut Sauce
This will be good in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
Do not overcook the shrimp. Make sure to turn off the heat after warming the oil and let the oil infuse with the achiote.Print
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove