Coconut Shrimp

For an extra touch, garnish the shrimp with 3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes that have been toasted in the oven at 350°F until they turn golden brown.


  • 1 pound large shrimp
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons water, or as needed
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon chile paste with garlic
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into bite-sized cubes
  1. Rinse the shrimp in cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the shrimp in a bowl and toss with the salt.

  2. Combine the coconut milk, chicken broth, and palm or brown sugar in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch into 4 teaspoons water.

  3. Heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat until it is nearly smoking. Add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the ginger. Stir-fry for 10 seconds, then add the shrimp. Stir-fry the shrimp until they turn pink, taking care not to overcook. Remove the shrimp from the pan and drain in a colander or on paper towels.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the wok or skillet. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and the chile paste. Stir-fry for 10 seconds and add the shallots. Stir-fry the shallot until softened, then add the bell pepper. Stir-fry the bell pepper for 2 minutes, or until it is tender but still crisp.

  5. Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan. Add the coconut milk and chicken broth mixture in the middle and bring to a boil. Stir the cornstarch and water mixture, and pour into the coconut milk and broth, stirring to thicken. When the sauce has thickened, add the shrimp back into the pan. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 more minutes to combine all the ingredients. Serve hot.

Why Devein Shrimp at All?

If you look closely at a shrimp, you'll see a gray thread running down its back. This is the shrimp's digestive tract or “vein.” While eating the vein can't harm you, removing it improves the appearance of the dish. In addition, the veins of larger-sized shrimp may contain dirt or grit.

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