Shrimp Poached in Coconut Milk

Here is a quick and delicious meal, perfect for weeknights, but equally good for a weekend dinner for two.  The sweet richness of coconut milk, combined with assertive chilies, and aromatic vegetables makes a very satisfying flavor profile.I’ve adapted the recipe for my “empty nest” household, but if you have a couple more hungry folks to feed, the recipe link will provide instructions for four servings.  I also increased the spice factor, by adding lemongrass and more green chili.  Use the best quality shrimp you can buy; I prefer shell-on, wild Gulf shrimp.  Shower on the fresh green herbs and serve with Basmati rice.  This is almost as easy as take-out, but so much more delicious.  Happy weekend!


Shrimp, Poached in Coconut Milk

Sweet plump shrimp, bathed in a coconut milk, chili, and herb-scented sauce. Perfect with Basmati rice.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Adapted from Epicurious


  • 3/4 pound large shrimp , shelled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup finely diced white onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic , peeled and minced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh gingerroot , finely minced
  • 2 green chilies , such as serrano, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass stir-in paste (I used Gourmet Garden brand), or minced fresh lemongrass
  • A generous pinch of turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (I used an entire 13 ounce can)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro or fresh basil , plus additional sprigs for garnish


  1. Heat the oil in a heavy, medium saucepan. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, over medium high heat, until they are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, ginger, and chilies. Stir and cook another 2 minutes. Add the turmeric and ground coriander and stir until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the coconut milk and the lemongrass paste (if using), and 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt . Simmer the sauce gently, uncovered, until it is slightly thickened, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the shrimp, stir, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered for about 5 minutes. The shrimp should be pink and just cooked through. Check the seasoning for salt, and add the minced cilantro or basil leaves. Serve immediately, over a bed of white rice, with additional fresh herb sprigs for garnish.


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