Bang Bang Shrimp

This 30 minute Bang Bang Shrimp is wonderfully creamy bursting with layers of curry, peanut, chili and coconut and even better than the original Cheesecake Factory version at a fraction of the price!

This Bang Bang Shrimp copycat is incredibly easy and all made in one pot!  The depth of multidimensional flavor is out of this world making it ideal for entertaining but easy enough to make everyday.

up close top view of Bang Bang Shrimp Copycat in a white bowl with a pile of rice in the center with coconut chili sauce

Bang Bang Shrimp Copycat

Who else loves Cheesecake Factory???  I’m a fan of their wonderfully, long diverse menu, luscious cheesecakes and of course, their Bang Bang Shrimp.

Thai food is all about the harmonious dance of savory, salty, sweet and sour flavors and this Copycat Cheesecake Factory Bang Bang Shrimp is no exception.  It’s described on the menu as, “A spicy Thai dish with the flavors of curry, peanut, chili, and coconut. Sauteed with vegetables and served over rice.”

If you’ve never tried this famous entrée, it is a symphony of flavors and textures, down to the crowning salty peanuts and sweet toasted coconut.  In my Copycat Bang Bang Shrimp recipe, we get all the same coconut, Thai curry flavors in under 30 minutes in a sauce so good you will be licking the plate – or strongly tempted to.

You can keep the recipe as is for the Copycat Bang Bang Shrimp version, or feel free to swap the shrimp for chicken and use whatever veggies you have on hand for the most gourmet tasting clean-out-the-veggie-drawer meal.  You can also customize the heat level of this Copycat Bang Bang Shrimp- just another reason to love homemade Bang Bang Shrimp!

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side view of Bang Bang Shrimp with rice and coconut in a white bowl

What are the ingredients in Bang Bang shrimp?

This Copycat Bang Bang Shrimp does have along list of ingredients but PLEASE don’t be scared away.  They are all pantry friendly ingredients that are just dump and simmer with no time/skill required so it is actually super easy to make!

Here is a rundown of the mentionable ingredients:

  • medium uncooked shrimp.   I suggest medium uncooked shrimp for this Bang Bang Shrimp recipe that has already been peeled and deveined.  Buying prepared shrimp makes your job a snap because all you have to do is defrost the shrimp.   I like to buy my shrimp by the frozen bagful at Costco because they come shelled and deveined so all that’s left to do is thaw.
  • Veggies.  The vegetables used in Bang Bang Shrimp are carrots, zucchini and petite peas but feel free to use whatever you have on hand.  This is a great clean-out-the-fridge meal.
showing how to make Bang Bang Shrimp Copycat by cutting zucchini, carrots and onions
  • What is Thai Chili Sauce?  Thai Chili Sauce and Asian Sweet Chili Sauce mean the same thing and can be found in the Asian aisle of your grocery store.  Mae Ploys brand is simply called, “Asian Sweet Chili Sauce” and Lee Kum Kee’s brand is called, “Thai Sweet Chili Sauce.”  It is a dynamic balance of tangy sweet heat derived from red Thai chilies, sugar, rice vinegar, garlic and ginger – a dynamic flavor combo all in one bottle and so worth keeping stocked in your refrigerator!
  • Curry powder.  This is the curry powder that simply says, “Curry Powder,” and can be found with all the other spices at your grocery store.  It is a sultry blend of turmeric, chili powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground ginger and pepper.  I have listed 2 teaspoons curry powder in this recipe but if you know you love curry than feel free to go wild and crazy and up it to 3 (this is what I do).
  • Coconut milk.  Chakoah is my all time favorite brand of coconut milk. It was recommended to me by an Asian friend who says it will change my cooking.  I agree and can’t recommend it enough!  You can use full fat or light coconut milk.  If you use light coconut milk, you may want to add an additional ½ tablespoon cornstarch to thicken it up
up close of Copycat Bang Bang Shrimp Bang Bang Shrimp in a large skillet with coconut, zucchini, peas, carrots
  • Fish Sauce.  Fish sauce is used in all Thai cooking and I promise it won’t make your Bang Bang Shrimp taste fishy!  If you must substitute, then replace it with soy sauce.
  • Sriracha.  Use sriracha to make your Bang Bang Shrimp as spicy as you would like.  The great thing about sriracha is you can add it after your Bang Bang Shrimp is cooked so you can taste your finished Bang  Bang Shrimp first and then stir in sriracha to taste.
  • Garnish.  Bang Bang Shrimp is made 1000X better with the garnish of toasted sweet coconut flakes, chopped peanuts and green onions.  Don’t skimp!

Tips for Bang Bang Shrimp

  • You can substitute shrimp with chopped chicken.
  • Use defrosted shrimp and not cooked shrimp.  (See above section on how to defrost shrimp.)
  • There are two options for defrosting your shrimp. 1)  The easiest way to defrost your shrimp os to remove your one pound frozen shrimp to a covered bowl and let them defrost in the refrigerator overnight. 2) To quickly defrost shrimp, place the one pound frozen shrimp in a fine-mesh sieve or colander. Place this sieve in a large bowl of cold tap water for 10 minutes.   After 10 minutes, replace the water in the bowl with new cold tap water and resubmerge the shrimp.  Let shrimp sit an additional 10- 20 minutes.  At this point the shrimp should be completely defrosted.   Whatever you do, resist the urge to use warm tap water (and definitely NOT the microwave) as this will cause the shrimp to defrost and cook unevenly.
  • Cook your shrimp with the tails on because the tail shells contain flavor that seeps out and we get more robust shrimp flavor. Once your shrimp is cooked and resting you can remove the tails if you desire.
showing how to make Bang Bang Shrimp by cooking shrimp in a skillet
  • This recipe calls for smooth peanut butter but if you only have crunchy peanut butter on hand, that will definitely work. Brands such as Skippy and Jif work best in this recipe as opposed to natural peanut butters because they don’t melt as well.
  • If you don’t have chicken broth on hand, you can substitute with water.
showing how to make Copycat Bang Bang Shrimp by adding shrimp to thai chili sauce
  • To toast coconut, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread coconut in an even layer on a baking sheet.  Bake for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until coconut is golden.
  • You can make this Bang Bang Shrimp perfect for YOU by customizing the consistency, flavor and spice level. If you would like a thinner sauce, thin with additional chicken broth or water.  For a spicier sauce, add sriracha, for tangier, add lime juice, for sweeter, add additional brown sugar (keeping in mind the coconut will add sweetness).
top view of Bang Bang Shrimp in a white bowl with a pile of rice in the center

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up close of Bang Bang shrimp with thai chili coconut sauce
top view of Bang Bang Shrimp Copycat in a white bowl with a pile of rice in the center

Bang Bang Shrimp

is 30 minute Bang Bang Shrimp is wonderfully creamy bursting with layers of curry, peanut, chili and coconut and even better than the original Cheesecake Factory version at a fraction of the price!
Servings: 4 -6 servings
Total Time: 33 mins
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 18 mins

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Ingredients

Shrimp

Coconut Curry Sauce

Add later

  • 1 small zucchini julienned and cut into 1” length pieces (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup frozen petite peas

Garnish

  • 1/3 cup toasted (sweetened) shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 2 chopped green onions

Instructions

  • Add shrimp to a medium bowl along with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons Asian Sweet Chili Sauce and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir to combine and set aside while you prep your veggies. (Shrimp may sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 8 hours.)
  • Melt one tablespoon butter over medium high heat in large skillet. Discard shrimp marinade and add shrimp to the pan in a single layer (you may need to work in 2 batches). Cook shrimp just until opaque, about 3 minutes, then flip over and cook another 2-3 minutes until cooked through. Remove shrimp to a cutting board. Chop off tails when cool enough to handle/while sauce is simmering.
  • Using the now empty skillet (don’t wipe out), heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook three minutes. Add carrots, ginger, garlic and curry powder and sauté 1 minute. Turn heat to low and add coconut milk. Mix chicken broth with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and add to skillet along with all remaining Coconut Curry Sauce ingredients.
  • Bring sauce to a simmer until thickened and the carrots are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini and frozen peas and cook until peas are heated through, about one minute. If you would like a thinner sauce, thin with additional chicken broth or water. For a spicier sauce, add sriracha, for tangier, add lime juice, for sweeter, add additional brown sugar (keeping in mind the toasted coconut garnish will add sweetness).
  • Serve with rice and garnish with toasted coconut, green onions and peanuts.

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24 Comments

  1. Kara says

    I love all your Thai recipes (you’r parang curry is requested almost weekly), so I know my family will love this! Your recipes are so flavorful and never disappoint!

    • Jen says

      Hi Kara, thank you for your kind words! You have great taste because Thai is my favorite type of food (if I absolutely had to pick one), so I’m so happy you are enjoying them! I am excited for you to try this Bang Bang Shrimp as well!

  2. Shannon says

    Hi Jen, I am a long time follower, never commenter, but I just had to tell you how much I love your site! So many bloggers post similar recipes with the same ingredients but I love your unique flavor combinations (making your blackberry hoisin chicken tomorrow) and bold flavors! Just from looking at the ingredients list for this Bang Bang Shrimp, I know I am going to love this too! Thanks for bringing my joy of cooking back! You are a blessing in our home!

    • Jen says

      Hi Shannon, thank you, thank you for taking the time to comment! I am so honored you are loving my recipes and my flavor combinations! Creating unique flavor profiles is my favorite part of my job, so it means so much to me that you are enjoying them too 🙂 Readers and comments like yours make posting/sharing rewarding, so THANK YOU!

  3. Kyle says

    Hey! I have a very strong aversion to anything coconut. Would it be possible to sub out the coconut milk for regular milk and leave out the coconut flakes? Or is the coconut too essential of a flavor for the dish that i should just choose something else to make? Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Kyle, coconut is definitely a strong part of the dish but I think you can still make it tasty without it. I would use half and half instead of milk. Please let me know how it works out!

      • Teresa says

        Hi Jen; I love your recipes that I’ve tried and have a question about this one before I make it.
        Is the curry powder red or yellow? If it’s yellow could I sub with red?

        • Jen says

          Hi Teresa, it is yellow curry powder but I think red would also be delicious, enjoy!

  4. Emily says

    Love reading your blog – I have made a few of your recipes… none of them have disappointed us yet! I am making the bang bang shrimp tonight and wondering if curry has a strong spice taste to it? Should I scale it down as it still is a key part of the recipe?

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Emily! I am so happy you are making this Bang Bang Shrimp already! I would say the 2 teaspoons curry powder is really flavorful but not overly spicy. You may want to scale down the pepper instead and add sriracha/Asian chili sauce to taste. Enjoy!

  5. Marlene says

    This was really good, Jen, and got a thumbs up from my husband, a/k/a as Mr. Fussy. I made the full sauce recipe but only used ¾ lb or so shrimp. So I have an extra meal for him and enough sauce for a second dinner! I used the lime juice and sriracha and got the right blance of spiciness for us. I highy recomend making up a big batch of the sauce and freezing it. While it’s a lot of ingredients, making double isn’t more work and means an even quicker meal next time! on tonight’s menu: blackberry hoisin chicken.

    • Jen says

      Hi Marlene, I’m so pleased it got 2 thumbs up from your “fussy” husband! I love your tip of double the sauce to make it quick and easy for next time – I’ll add that to the notes, thank you! I hope you loved the Blackberry Hoisin Chicken as well. I love that you are trying all of my latest recipes 🙂

      • Marlene says

        And I made the Korean Spicy Noodles tonight! Hope the comment went through. Another success!

        • Jen says

          Hi Marlene, I didn’t see the comment on the Korean Noodles, so thanks for letting me know! I’m thrilled they were a success!

  6. Jessica Ford says

    I love all of your Mexican recipes, so I know this one is going to be delicious too! I can’t wait to try it! What brand of fish sauce and curry powder do you use? I’ve had some bad experiences with both. Eek! Thanks for posting such flavor-filled recipes!

    • Jen says

      Hi Jessica, I like Red Boat 40°N Fish Sauce or Thai Premium Kitchen which should be more readily available – don’t don’t smell them! If you can’t find it, you may substitute soy sauce. For curry powder, I like McCormick. Enjoy!

  7. Diane says

    Hi – Oh my goodness – I’ve got everything ready to go for Bang Bang Shrimp and just going over the recipe and instructions and now I feel confused – the recipe calls for coconut flakes, roasted, but in the instructions there is a mention of shredded coconut that will add sweetness – but I can’t see shredded coconut in the list of ingredients or in the instructions for making the sauce. I’m going to go ahead and make it – but maybe you can let me know for next time, where the shredded coconut comes in. thanks

    • Jen says

      Hi Diane, the shredded coconut flakes are a garnish that you add at the end- sorry for the confusion!

  8. Sahar says

    Hi Jen.. Its me again! 🙂
    I made this amazing dish today and I really don’t know what to say.. I just want to give you a biiiiiiiig hug!
    Thank you so so much for enriching my table with your wonderful food and sharing so much love
    Xoxo

    • Jen says

      You are the best, thanks Sahar! I’m honored my recipes are a positive part of your life! Sending a big hug right back at ya!

  9. Laurie P. says

    Hi Jen. I just wanted to write you a little thank you for the care and effort you put into your site. I just don’t have adequate words to express the happiness I feel having found you. I can joyfully say, since finding your recipes, the hardest part of my supper is choosing what to make. My family has yet to be disappointed by anything I’ve made. So, Thank you. I look forward to seeing your new posts every day.

    • Jen says

      Thank YOU so much for your kind words Laurie and for making my day! I’m humbled and honored you and your family are enjoying my recipes. Comments like yours are the best part of what I do and make sharing so rewarding. I hope you continue to enjoy exploring my site and trying new recipes! xoxox

  10. Erin says

    This recipe is so good!! I’ve made it already 4 times since finding it, such a keeper! Love that it’s one pot, I’ve doubled the recipe before and it’s all fit in my dutch oven. I just put over white or brown rice, delicious! Now I want to try making this will the velveting technique chicken in the hunan chicken recipe! I think that should also work well.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for your awesome comment Erin! I love hearing this bang bang shrimp recipe is a repeat favorite! I think it would also be fabulous with velveted chicken – yum!

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