Spicy Shrimp and Coconut Rice

This shrimp and rice dish came to me after ruminating about several ingredients: Poblano and Fresno peppers, ginger, and shrimp. I keep returning to Poblano peppers due to a growing love of their subtle heat – often replacing sweet bell peppers with them in recipes. Fresno peppers offer a visual pop of red and a little bit more heat without hitting you with jalapeño levels of intensity. Ginger offers a lovely fragrant warmth to savory and sweet dishes. Shrimp cooks quickly on a weeknight and takes to spices beautifully.

I began cooking this dish with a large skillet with sunflower oil and julienned Poblano and thinly-sliced Fresno peppers with the seeds. I then added ingredients which needed less time to cook in the following order: ginger, garlic, and shrimp with a seasoning of salt. A white wine reduction created a light sauce which pulled everything together.

The shrimp and peppers packed a punch, so I served them over a buttery, slightly sweetened coconut rice finished with fresh cilantro, sliced scallions and the acidic juice of a lime wedge to balance all of the flavors.

Paul and a couple of friends gave rave reviews and returned for seconds. The recipe draws ingredients from the Caribbean, Mexico, Thailand and the southwestern United States in a flavorful fusion which I will soon make again.

Paul served a Jean Biecher & Fils 2016 Wiebelsberg Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace) to stand up to the spicy heat of the dish.

Spicy Shrimp and Coconut Rice

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print


Coconut Rice

  • 2 cups jasmine rice, rinsed until clear
  • 1 cup, canned coconut cream
  • 2 cups, cold water
  • 1.5 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt

Spicy Shrimp

  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 2 poblano peppers, quartered, julienned, and septa removed (save most of the seeds)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 2 Fresno peppers, sliced with seeds
  • 1 finger length of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into discs
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves thinly sliced
  • 1.5 lbs raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup, scallions, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 lime cut into 6 wedges


  1. Stir contents of canned coconut cream until thoroughly mixed before adding 1 cup of cream to other rice ingredients in an electric rice cooker. Cook rice in cooker and retain on warm for at least 15 minutes or until ready to serve. If without a rice cooker, add contents to pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover for 45 minutes. Remove from heat still covered and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Heat large skillet to medium, add oil, and then stir in peppers with seeds and half of divided salt for 3-4 minutes. Add ginger until coated with oil and fragrant, stirring for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, shrimp and remaining salt . Stir until shrimp has mostly changed color. Add wine and stir, reduce for a few minutes, and remove from heat.
  4. Fill serving bowls with fluffed rice, shrimp stir fry, cilantro and chopped scallions in that order. Squeeze a wedge of lime over the bowl and serve.

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