Shrimp with Coconut and Ginger Sauce

Shrimp with Coconut and Ginger Sauce Recipe

I’ll tell you about this scrumptious shrimp in coconut sauce in a second, but first a story.

A few weeks ago Aunt Ilana and I were invited by the Ministry of Culture to participate in an exchange with the public about traditional Dominican cooking. It turned out to be a fantastic experience.

Some of the people who attended were friends and readers of our sites. At the end of the discussion I was able to speak one-on-one with a few of the people. One of the most interesting conversations was with Marnely from the blog Cooking with Books, it was about “Dominican fusion” cuisine and how to define it.

Shrimp with Coconut and Ginger Sauce Recipe

Even before our sites switched formats and designs a few months ago, it wasn’t rare for us to share recipes that although not part of the traditional Dominican repertoire, are inspired by our cuisine and in which we used ingredients that are easy to find in our country. In changing this new format I decided it was time to share more of these creations of ours.

This is one of them.

Shrimp with Coconut and Ginger Sauce Recipe

This is a dish that is inspired by the flavors and products of the beautiful Samana peninsula. One of the main characteristics of the cuisine from Samana is the use of coconut in several dishes. A visit to Samana will make it evident why this is a popular ingredient in its cuisine: there are many coconut groves that extend as far as the eye can see throughout the area.

A couple of months ago Aunt Ilana, who used to spend a lot of time in Samana years ago, went back for a visit. After that she wrote an article about the “green” ginger plantations in Samana. It occurred to me that ginger, seafood and coconut go perfectly together; I have to say that this dish has become a new classic in our home.

Shrimp with coconut and ginger

Although this is not a traditional Dominican recipe it is inspired by a classic dish from Samana: pescado con coco. In fact there are very few changes to the recipe, except for the use of shrimps and adding ginger to it.

I invite you to try it, you will find out why it has become a classic in our home.

Buen provecho!

Aunt Clara
Shrimp with coconut and ginger
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Try this shrimp in coconut and ginger sauce, and find out why it's a favorite in our home. This recipe is inspired by a dish from Samana: pescado con coco.
Serves: 6 porciones
  • 2 tablespoons ginger paste (see notes)
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil (canola, corn or peanut)
  • ½ cups coconut shavings
  • ½ teaspoon bija (anatto) powder
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (limón in the DR)
  • ½ cup of water
  • 3 doz jumbo shrimps, peeled and deveined
  • ½ teaspoon of table salt (may not be used)
  1. Put the ginger paste, coarse sea salt, bell pepper, pepper, cilantro, and garlic in a mortar and pestle, crush until you obtain a coarse paste (see picture).
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium fire.
  3. Lower the heat to the lowest setting and add the coconut shavings, stir constantly until they become light golden. Make sure they don't burn.
  4. Add the ginger paste. and cook and stir for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the bija (anato) powder and mix well.
  6. Add the coconut milk, stir and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes (stir once or twice to prevent it from sticking to the bottom and burning)
  7. Dissolve the cornstarch and lime juice in the water. Add to the boiling sauce and stir until it is mixed completely.
  8. Add the shrimps. Cover with a lid and cook for about 3 minutes.
  9. Remove the saucepan from the fire and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  10. Taste the sauce and add more salt if necessary. Return to medium heat until it breaks the boil.
  11. Remove from the heat.
  12. Serve with arroz blanco, tostones o pan de coco.

To make the ginger paste peel and wash a large ginger root, and blend in a food processor. If you don't have a food processor, use a mortar and pestle.
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{ 16 comments… add one }

  • Carmen June 26, 2015, 2:48 AM

    Thanks! Love this! What kind of coconut milk? The ones i have tried ate watery. Cual usas?

  • Mizz Fergie July 2, 2014, 5:27 PM

    This recipe is delicious!!! Originally from the Bahamas, I love the taste of any the Caribbean nations. Tried this for the first time today and it’s a keeper!
    Thank you!

  • Johanna May 28, 2013, 4:20 PM

    Good day! Love this recipe! More of a technical question/request. Can the option to print recipes be made so only the actual recipe is printed? I feel bad everytime I print a recipe I can’t narrow it down (no copy paste allowed). For this one I printed 9 sheets and all I needed was 2. Thanks!!

    • Aunt Clara May 29, 2013, 8:45 AM

      Yes, you can click to delete any paragraph, and click on the box on top to stop pictures from being printed.

  • Mary December 20, 2012, 11:42 PM

    My family’s from Samana!
    I’ll be trying this one out after the holidays. It sounds amazing.

  • esther May 6, 2012, 12:43 PM

    Here it goes

  • micheline fortier February 11, 2012, 8:59 AM

    your cuisine is divine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • selle October 21, 2011, 12:47 PM

    HI!! LOVE THIS RECIPE! I'm going to try to make it tonight. One question though. What is anatto? Is that something to give your food color??

    • Aunt Clara October 26, 2011, 5:48 PM

      Anato is called bija in the DR. It is a red seed that we use for coloring.

  • Richard R October 2, 2011, 6:58 PM

    Great recipe, my wife tackled this today and we all loved it!!!! My 11 year old son will only take his rice dry with what ever meat we cook with, this time he drenched it with the sauce cause he loved it so much. The only alteration we did was put a little less ginger, but we have become ginger fans now. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • Aunt Clara October 3, 2011, 3:03 AM

      I am glad to hear that! I am sure next time you will be adding more ginger, ginger is addictive. :)

  • Marnely June 21, 2011, 9:48 AM

    Loved meeting with you both and getting to know you better! Thanks for the shout out Clara!

  • Yumi June 15, 2011, 6:56 AM

    Delicious! Thanks for sharing – it's now a favorite in our household too!

    Hope you don't mind as we've added a link to it on our website.

    • Aunt Clara June 21, 2011, 1:04 PM

      Nice to hear from you, Yumi. And thanks for the shout out.

  • Jenni June 15, 2011, 5:31 AM

    yummm…creo que cocinare esta receta esta noche! gracias por la idea!!

  • Mari June 14, 2011, 11:22 AM

    Nice fusion!! I have mix something like this in my kitchen, but not with ginger. I would include it next time I cook shrimps in this form because I am a ginger fanatic and I love its taste in meats, so I am sure I will enjoy it in seafood. Your plate looks very inviting.

    Have a nice day Clara :)