We made this Easy Spicy Coconut Milk Shrimp three times to get the recipe just right for you, but it wasn't much of a sacrifice because it was delicious every time! And this quick and easy shrimp dish (served over Cauliflower Rice) is low-carb, gluten-free, Paleo, and South Beach Diet friendly, so it can be enjoyed by everyone.
I think it's kind of cool that I'm currently traveling in Thailand and yet through the magic of scheduling ahead I'm bringing you a brand new recipe that features coconut milk. I love Thai food, and coconut milk is a big part of that love, but even though it's a bit spicy, this isn't a Thai recipe.
Easy Spicy Coconut Milk Shrimp over Cauliflower Rice started with a shrimp stew in coconut milk I found in Fine Cooking, but I used less shrimp to make it more budget-friendly, added some more veggies to stretch the shrimp even more, and served it over my favorite Best Easy Cauliflower Rice to make it a low-carb dish.
Jake and Kara and I experimented with this three times to get just the results we wanted (as well as good photos to entice you to try it), and every time we made it we had to negotiated to see who would get the leftovers. So I think I can safely say that this is just as good reheated as it is right after you make it. Just be careful not to overcook the shrimp and you'll love this dish!
I used large 21-25 size frozen shrimp that had the shell and vein removed but we had to pull off the tails. Thaw shrimp overnight in the fridge; then drain well. In another colander, drain the petite-diced tomatoes well. Cut up the red bell pepper and sugar snap peas into same-size pieces. Make Best Easy Cauliflower Rice, and keep warm while you cook the shrimp and veggies.
Have the seasonings and aromatics all ready when you start to stir-fry. Heat oil over medium-high heat, then cook sugar-snap peas a few minutes; add peppers and cook a few minutes more. Add green onions, cilantro, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook about a minute more.
Then add the tomatoes and coconut milk, lower heat to medium low, and simmer about 4-5 minutes to blend flavors. While this simmers, pull off the tails from the shrimp, put them back in a colander, and toss with salt. After veggies have cooked, add the shrimp and gently stir, then cook about 3 minutes more, or until all the shrimp have barely turned pink. Add the lime juice to taste. as well as salt if desired.
shrimp stew in coconut milk from Fine Cooking magazine, with lots of experimenting to get it just right!)
We served the spicy shrimp and veggies over Best Easy Cauliflower Rice, but you can serve over regular rice, rice noodles, or even eat it in a bowl as a stew. This cooks quickly, so you should have the cauliflower rice or other dish you're serving it with ready when you begin the shrimp.
1 lb. frozen shrimp, thawed overnight in fridge and drained well
(I used 21-25 count shrimp with shells and vein removed, and we pulled off the tails.)
1 can petite-diced tomatoes, drained well
1 large red bell pepper, sliced into short strips
2 cups sugar snap peas, sliced lengthwise on the diagonal
1 T olive oil (or more if you don't use a non-stick pan)
1/2 cup sliced green onion (don't slice too thin)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (or use more green onion if you're a cilantro hater)
1 T minced garlic
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (or less if you don't like spicy)
1 can coconut milk (light or full-fat, but full-fat coconut milk has a lot more flavor)
1 tsp. salt
1-2 T fresh squeezed lime juice (I used my fresh-frozen lime juice)
additional salt for seasoning, as desired
Thaw shrimp overnight in the refrigerator. At least 15-20 minutes before you want to cook, dump the shrimp into a colander and let them drain well. Drain the tomatoes in a separate colander. (While they're draining, prepare Best Easy Cauliflower Rice if you're serving the shrimp with that, or cook rice.)
Cut the red pepper into quarters lengthwise and cut away the stem area and all the seeds. Then cut each quarter crosswise into short strips. Cut the sugar snap peas into lengthwise strips, cutting on the diagonal and cutting each pea into 2 or 3 strips. (You may need to cut off the ends, although sometimes they're soft.) Slice the green onions, chop the cilantro, chop the garlic (or use minced garlic from a jar which works fine), and measure out the red pepper flakes.
Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick wok or frying pan over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering. (I used my Green Pan Wok, but you can also use a large frying pan.) Add the sugar snap peas and stir-fry a minute or two, then add the peppers and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes more, or until the veggies are barely starting to soften. Then add the green onions, chopped cilantro, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes and stir-fry a minute more.
Shake the can of coconut milk before you open it, then add the drained tomatoes and coconut milk to the pan, immediately turn the heat to medium-low, gently stir, and let the mixture simmer about 4-5 minutes to combine the flavors. While the veggie mixture simmers, pull the tails off the shrimp, put shrimp back in the colander and toss with the salt.
When the veggie mixture has cooked enough to combine the flavors, add the shrimp and cook about 3 minutes, or just until the shrimp has barely turned pink. (Stir a little so each piece of shrimp gets cooked through, but remember they will continue to cook once you turn off the heat so stop cooking when you think they are not quite done.)
Stir in lime juice to taste and season with salt as desired. Serve hot, over Best Easy Cauliflower Rice, rice, or other side dish of your choice, or just serve in a bowl as a stew.
South Beach Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions:
When it's served over cauliflower rice, this coconut milk shrimp would be a great dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet, and most other low-carb eating plans, including Paleo. South Beach has always recommended light coconut milk, but personally I think that advice is out of date, and I'd greatly prefer full-fat.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn's Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I'm sharing there.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you're a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.
More Low-Carb Ideas with Shrimp:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet or Low-Carb friendly; check ingredients.)
Easy Low-Carb Garlic and Lemon Shrimp ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Skinny Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles ~ Just a Taste
Fried Cauliflower Rice with Shrimp, Sugar Snap Peas, and Red Bell Pepper ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)