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Shrimp in Coconut Sauce


This easy dish of succulent shrimp simmered in a spicy coconut sauce is fragrant and delicious! It's quick to make, and perfect for a busy weeknight meal, or special enough for to serve to guests on the weekend. Look for canned coconut milk (the unsweetened juice of coconut meat) in the Asian section of your supermarket. Serve this dish over jasmine rice or quinoa.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 13 minutes

Standing time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 58 minutes

Yield: Serves 6


  • 2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups canned coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped coarse (see Recipe Notes)
  • 2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and sliced thin crosswise
  • 4 medium jalapeño or serrano chile peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of turmeric (optional)


1. In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp and garlic until well coated. Let the shrimp stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes for the garlicky flavor to develop.

2. In a large, deep skillet or saute pan, combine 1/4 cup of coconut milk, the tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and turmeric, and stir to mix well. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened.

3. Stir in the shrimp with the garlic. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring 3 or 4 times, until the shrimp are firm and just opaque in the center. Stir in the remaining coconut milk and cook for about 1 minute more. Remove the skillet from the heat and serve right away.

Recipe Notes

• To peel the tomatoes, submerge them in boiling water for 15 to 20 seconds, then plunge them into a bowl of ice water. Use a small, sharp knife to slip off the skins. To seed them, cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and squeeze out the seeds.
• Shrimp, both raw and cooked, should feel firm and smell sweet - not fishy. Uncooked shrimp should be refrigerated immediately and cooked as soon as possible. Cooked shrimp can be refrigerated up to 2 days. You can freeze shrimp up to 3 months, and thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.
• Shrimp are found on all of the US coasts: From the southern Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico come the brown, pink, and white varieties; from the coast of California come spot shrimp that are also known as prawns. All have a sweet and slightly briny flavor.
• Deveining small shrimp is completely necessary, but with large shrimp the black intestinal vein may be gritty and therefore should be removed.
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