My Recipe Box

Shrimp Stew with Coconut Milk, Tomatoes & Cilantro


Serves 6-8

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 91

This dish is the perfect weeknight comfort food. It’s quick, but soul-satisfying, and since it serves at least six, you’ll have leftovers—which will be even more flavorful the next day.

  • 3 lb. jumbo (21 to 25 per lb.) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced into very thin 1-1/2-inch-long strips
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts kept separate)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 14.5-oz. can petite-diced tomatoes, drained
  • 13.5- or 14-oz. can coconut milk
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice

In a large bowl, sprinkle the shrimp with 1 tsp. salt; toss to coat, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring, until almost tender, about 4 minutes. Add the scallion whites, 1/4 cup of the cilantro, the garlic, and the pepper flakes. Continue to cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds.

Add the tomatoes and coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer to blend the flavors and thicken the sauce slightly, about 5 minutes.

Add the shrimp and continue to cook, partially covered and stirring frequently, until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Add the lime juice and season to taste with salt. Serve sprinkled with the scallion greens and remaining 1/4 cup cilantro.

Serving Suggestions

Serve alongside basic White Rice or a fragrant Coconut Rice.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on 8 servings, Calories (kcal): 270, Fat (kcal): 15, Fat Calories (g): 140, Saturated Fat (g): 10, Protein (g): 29, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3, Carbohydrates (mg): 6, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1, Sodium (g): 580, Cholesterol (g): 250, Fiber (g): 1,

Photo: Scott Phillips

When I have shrimp, this is the dish I think of. So delicious with Basmati rice. I add a tsp+ of sugar and a tablespoon of fish sauce. Great comfort food. Quick and easy.

Yum! My husband is not fond of shellfish, but he loved this. I added diced sweet potato and green peas, just cuz I like lots of veg, and threw in a few splashes of fish sauce. Served over coconut rice - perfect.

Yum! My husband is not fond of shellfish, but he loved this. I added diced sweet potato and green peas, just cuz I like lots of veg. Made some coconut rice - perfect.

Fabulous! Such a bright and colorful presentation. And easy to put together. After reading all the previous reviews I made a few tweaks. For just two of us I used 1 lb shrimp but kept the sauce proportions the same. I used about 3/4 of a teaspoon of the red pepper flakes and that was a nice amount of heat. I also added some frozen peas just before finishing the stew. Will definitely be making this again.

This might be my all time favorite recipe from FineCooking. I only use 2 lbs shrimp and I double the tomatoes and coconut milk. Don't skimp on the lime juice- it gives it that delicious umami flavor. I also drain the tomatoes very well and let it thicken up for maybe 10 minutes. I serve it over short grain brown rice which has that nice chewiness to it. My 6 and 8 year olds gobble it up!

A delightfully easy-to-prepare dish :)

The First time I made this recipe I was awestruck at the simplicity of the recipe and the awesome taste of the outcome. Since then I have made this recipe on numerous occasions and always double the recipe. My daughter is allergic to shrimp so I have replaced the shrimp with scallops and Pollock and still the taste is amazing. I would not change anything about this recipe, it's awesome.

I've lived with some rules all my life; never draw your sword below decks, make your text links blue and underlined, don't use red pepper with delicate seafood. I tried this VERY cautiously - 1/4 tsp red pepper, not 1/2 - and was thrilled. It was a wonderful dish, and, with the red and green ingredients, beautiful besides. I'm going to do something daring next week; I haven't decided if it will be to use the full 1/2 tsp when I cook this dish again, or jump the Grand Canyon on a motorcycle.

This was the 2nd time I've made this dish and it was even better tonight! I cut the recipe in half since it was just the two of us and used a little less of the coconut milk - maybe 1/2 cup - added a few sliced water chestnuts and also added a 1/4 cup of frozen peas when I put the shrimp in. Served over rice pilaf (I added about 1 TBS of coconut milk to the rice while cooking, making it extra yummy). Great recipe!

Fantastic! And easy! I feel that one pound of shrimp would be more appropriate for the amount of sauce. I used 3/4 lb and wished for just a few more. I can't imagine it with 3 pounds! Will definitely make this again.

Made this for my boyfriend, his 24 year old son and myself. We all loved it and it was so easy to make. I'll try some of the suggestions made by other readers but just for variety. The recipe is very good.

It's a keeper! I had never purchased coconut milk in my life (used lite), so needless to say, it was a stretch for the family, but everyone loved it. Followed recommendations to double sauce but next time will 1 1/2 times it for 3 lbs shrimp, at least the coconut milk. At first taste, it was a little spicy for my taste buds, but after adding the lime juice, it balanced it perfectly.

Quick weeknight meal. I agree with other reviewers, the sauce is too thin. Next time I would reduce it quite a bit and add more pepper flakes. I served it with jasmine coconut rice which was divine. It's worth a repeat with some adjustments.

Thought this was great. I didn't have a lot of the ingredients but used a jar of roasted red peppers, fresh tomatoes, and a carton of coconut milk. About one cup. Served it over rice noodles and also acini de pepi noodles. My husband thought this was delicious and I will certainly make this again.

Delicious! I would use 1 1/2 lbs. shrimp and increase the red pepper to 1 1/2 peppers. We also used brown rice. The sauce was a tad thin - will drain the tomatoes longer next time. A keeper.

Yum! I made this during a snowstorm, and it was just the dish for a cold winter night. Based on other comments, I thoroughly drained the tomatoes, and I cooked the sauce 10 minutes to thicken and reduce the sauce, which, of course, also concentrated the flavors. I used a whole lime (small) for the lime juice. I used a full teaspoon of red pepper flakes, which provided just the right amount of "kick" for me. Tasting and adjusting the salt at the end is essential. Serve with plenty of rice to soak up the sauce. I drank a Riesling with this.

This is just delicious! I've made it twice and agree with other reviewers: 1 lb. and sauce as described for two, and 2 lbs. with double the sauce for three. I served it over jasmine rice with green salad and avocado. Good with a Reisling or non-oaky chardonnay.

Loved the ease and accessible ingredients. Tried it with noodles, but the sauce really needed an absorbent base like brown rice. Or just go ahead with the noodles and dredge a baguette.

Did anyone else want the coconut milk to be a little richer and thicker? I think next time I'll reduce the coconut milk for 10 minutes or so before adding the tomatoes. Otherwise this is a quick and yummy family dinner.

Based on others comments I modified this a bit and it was very good. I reduced the prawns to 1 lb with the full amount of sauce. Instead of the chilis, I used a scant teaspoon of Thai red curry paste [Thai Kitchen brand]. Instead of seasoning with salt at the end I used fish sauce. It's pictured over rice, but I wanted noodles so I stirred in some softened rice noodles [the flat pad thai kind] shortly after I added the prawns. The rice noodles helped thicken the sauce to a nice velvety texture. For nicer presentation I might serve the stew over the noodles another time. Tasty, simple and quick to make. A keeper!

This was very good.

I had to divide this repcipe by 1/3 (because I was only making it for 2 and leaving town the next day so wanted to minimize leftovers) and I have to say that it really didn't fare all that well. I used the jumbo shrimp, as instructed, and I thought they were way too big and rather tough. In fact "jumbo" might be a misnomer given that the count is described as 21-25/lb. "Jumbo" in my store is more like 12-15/lb. Also, I think I would increase the amount of coconut milk, even if reducing the recipe--it seemed like there wasn't enough sauce in the dish and the sauce that was there wasn't nearly milk-y enough for my preference. Finally, a note that this dish requires generous seasoning--the combo of the tomatoes and the coconut milk can create a bland, nearly sweet base.

Excellent! Deceivingly simple and absolutely wonderful. Next time I make this I will use two bell peppers instead of one.

Excellent with really fresh shrimp

Great! I thought 3 pounds of shrimp was too much for the amount of sauce. I used 1 lb of shrimp for 2 people and kept the rest of the recipe the same. The combination of coconut milk, tomatoes and cilantro was just awesome. It is simple and plate pretty. My husband it not a fan of coconut milk but devoured his share!

This dish was simple to make and yet had very sophisticated flavors. I substitued sweet chili sauce for the red pepper flakes and used 2 lbs of shrimp. After the first bite, my husband and I looked at each other and said "Add this to our list of FAVORITES". Fancy enough to serve for company!

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