I love seafood of all kinds, but shrimp has always been one of my favorites, and it is so versatile too. You can do just about anything with shrimp, and it can be interchanged into a lot of recipes that call for chicken as well. Different sizes and varieties of shrimp and prawns are found all over the world, so there are many different ethnic ways of preparing it as well. When I was a little girl, my grandfather had a marina right on the Sabine River, separating South East Texas from Louisiana, and he had live shrimp tanks there. They would go out shrimping and fishing all the time. But they didn’t just catch regular shrimp. He and his fishing buddies caught the huge giant prawns that were almost the size of small lobsters. Today, those giant prawns are hard to find, especially inland and in Colorado, but I still love, love, love shrimp, and we eat a lot of it.
I served my Thai basil-coconut shrimp over rice with green beans and sweet potato latkes. I served it with a light chardonnay with hints of apricots and honey, but a dry, semi-sweet Riesling or even a light Gerwertztreminer would go nicely with the meal as well. The lighter, slightly sweet wines go really well with spicy dishes. I served chardonnay because that is what I had, plus it is my favorite wine, but you can serve it with anything you like.
You can substitute chicken, scallops, or mix and match however you like. You can even use tofu for vegetarians.
Putting it all together.
Thai Basil-Coconut Shrimp
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
cooking or olive oil
3/4 cup toasted coconut
1 TBSP black sesame seeds
1 cup basil, chiffonade or rolled and sliced very thin
3 TBSP candied ginger, chopped fine
2 jalapenos, diced fine
1 can coconut milk
1-1 1/2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
red chili flakes to taste
1-2 TBSP chili lime dressing
salt & pepper to taste
Toast the coconut in a small pan until it is golden brown and set aside. Pan-fry the sliced shallots, ginger and garlic in just a little oil until the shallots are crispy and set aside.
Saute the shrimp. Once cooked, remove from the heat and set aside. Pour your coconut milk into the same pan you cooked your shrimp and shallot-ginger mixture in, making sure to incorporate all the bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the chili lime dressing and mix well. Add the shrimp and the rest of the ingredients except the toasted coconut and the basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the basil chiffonade, saving some for the topping when serving, and mix well into the dish. Plate your shrimp, serving it over rice or noodles, and top with the toasted coconut and basil. Delicious!