We usually do our weekly trip to the supermarket on Tuesdays so that we would not be a part of the typical chaos of weekend shoppers but something weird happened to our grocery. Somehow all the food that we had bought were gone — and it’s only Sunday! Hmmm… Someone was probably eating more than their allotted share. Or maybe our cats are raiding the refrigerator when all the lights are out. Mysterious, eh? The good thing about it was that I had my chance to recreate one of my favourite dishes: Spicy Shrimp in Coconut Milk.
So because of an exhausted pantry, we had to haul our lazy asses off to the nearest supermarket last Sunday morning and get some stuff or end up eating squid balls for 2 days. Don’t get me wrong, squid balls are great but I don’t wanna try eating them for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 2 days straight. However, that extra trip was definitely worth it. I saw these gorgeous coconuts and immediately had an idea of doing a shrimp dish that’s gonna shake off the Sunday blues. I really love using fresh coconut milk rather than the canned ones and I usually adjust the menu to accommodate it every time I see coconuts. So after spotting some finger chili (also known as long green chili) and ginger at the next stall then buying fresh shrimp at the seafood area, I had everything I needed.
I was excited to make this dish since that was only the second time that I’ve cooked it. I made it the first time several months ago by chance. It was one of those days where the taste of some Bicol Express (pork strips in spicy coconut milk and shrimp paste) is haunting my tongue but there was no shrimp paste in sight. There were some fresh shrimp available though and since I’m always up for seafood, I just used shrimp instead.
Well, the rest was delicious history! The finger-licking-kind-of-delicious, if you know what I mean. The coconut milk gives a rich and creamy finish to this spicy shrimp dish, albeit an oily one. I just had to lick the tasty sauce off the shrimp shells and sprinkle some on my rice. It was THAT good! And the heat, whew! It bordered on the tongue-scorching hot range, but in a very good way. If you love fiery hot dishes, this one is a must try. So dig in and live dangerously once in a while! *wink*
Spicy Shrimp in Coconut Milk
- 1 pound shrimp, unpeeled (peeled and deveined ones will do as well)
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and crushed
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 5-8 finger chili, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon calamansi or lime juice
- 2 cups coconut milk
- Ground cayenne/red pepper, to taste
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- 3-5 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped (totally optional since this makes the dish super fiery)
1. Place the shrimp in a bowl with the crushed garlic and calamansi juice. Season with salt, ground black pepper and cayenne pepper according to taste. Mix carefully then cover and let sit for 10 minutes for the marinade to do its magic.
2. Heat oil over medium heat in a medium sauce pan or wok. Take the crushed garlic out of the marinade and sauté until golden brown.
3. Add the onion, ginger and finger chili and stir fry until the onions are transparent.
4. Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the skin turn orangey.
5. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for 8-10 minutes. If you’re using bird’s eye chili, add it with the coconut milk. Add salt if necessary.
6. This dish is best served with steamed rice. Lots of it if you follow my example!
7. Bon appétit!