Coconut Lemongrass Shrimp

Thai Shrimp with jasmine rice on a green plate
Taking a gap year, after 15 years of working, is not all TV binge-watching, fun adventures and contemplating your next big life move. More time spent at home – especially during the daylight hours – means you quickly begin to notice the many signs of deferred maintenance and upkeep – from broken light switch covers to dusty baseboards. In particular, I began to notice a refrigerator that was in need of a top to bottom purge and scrub down. This recipe was the result of my need to clean up a long-neglected condiment shelf and a half-used tube of lemongrass paste near its expiration date. I prefer fresh lemongrass, but the paste works in a pinch and lasts much longer.

Coconut Lemongrass Shrimp

I created this recipe to use up some soon-to-expire lemongrass paste, but the flavorful dish is so easy to make, that it’s sure to make a reappearance on my dinner table.


  • 1 lb. shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon lemongrass paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sambal olek (or sriracha)
  • Zest and juice of ½ lime or lemon
  • Pinch a salt
  • Cooked jasmine rice


  1. Sauté shrimp in a large skillet with a bit of oil until beginning to turn pink, but not fully cooked. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.
  2. Add coconut milk and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add lemongrass paste, garlic, sambal olek, lime (or lemon) zest and juice, and salt to pan. Stir all ingredients to combine and cook 2-3 minutes until mixture has reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  3. Return shrimp and any accumulated juices to pan and finish cooking until shrimp is pink and opaque. Serve shrimp and sauce with hot, cooked jasmine rice.


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