Sunday, April 14, 2013

Spicy Coconut Shrimp with Mango Basil Salsa and Lime Jasmine Rice

Basil makes everything look fancy and not at all staged.
Two months ago, I began my venture further into adulthood as I started living by myself for the first time ever (fortunately, Kevin is in the same complex, allowing for a smooth transition). Sadly, the obligations of said adulthood (read: work) have prevented me from properly breaking in my fancy new digs and cookware aside from basic weekend eggery (of the scrambled and fried varieties). Blessed with a rare two day weekend, I decided it was time to put my shiny new adult table to good use (and to help the table owl overcome its severe loneliness and abandonment issues). What resulted was a delightful blend of spicy and sweet for a fitting return to culinary exploits.

My poor, underutilized fancy adult table (complete with owl!).
Spicy Coconut Shrimp with Mango Basil Salsa and Lime Jasmine Rice
All Parts Adapted from Food Network
Servings: 4-6

Mango Basil Salsa
Time: 10 minutes + cooling

1 1/2 Mangos, peeled and thinly diced
4 scallions, sliced
6 basil leaves, julienned
Juice of 1 lime
Sea salt



  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and refrigerate covered for at least half an hour.
Mango and basil are both bold flavors that worked surprisingly well together thanks to the green onions helping to balance them for a fantastic presentation that was cool and refreshing.

Sadly, the cute little basil plant Robin bought me was not yet ready for harvesting.

Spicy Coconut Shrimp
Time: 20 minutes + marinading (30 minutes to 4 hours)

2 1/2 jalapenos, sliced (I'd recommend removing the seeds from ~ half)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 inch piece garlic, peeled and grated
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2-1 lime, zested
1/4-1/3 cup coconut milk
Handful of basil leaves, torn
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 lbs peeled, deveined shrimp


Is there anything greater than a mountain of shrimp? (If you said a mountain of cookies, then congratulations!)

  1. Combine the ingredients in a large bowl and coat the shrimp well.
  2. Let marinate covered in the fridge for 30 minutes to 4 hours.
  3. Heat a nonstick skillet over high heat and add the shrimp sans marinade.
  4. Cook for 3-5 minutes turning once with tongs. Set aside.
  5. Pour the marinade into the pan, bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened (~5 minutes).
  6. Place the cooked shrimp on top of lime jasmine rice (see below) and top with the thickened marinade and mango basil salsa.
These shrimp bring the heat and flavor. Those jalapenos provide a wonderful kick to the backend, while the coconut milk and brown sugar provide a creaminess and sweetness to balance things out. Add the powerful hits from the basil and lime zest, and you have multiple layers of deliciousness. Simply adjust the amount of jalapenos or coconut milk to achieve your desired level of spiciness. 


Lime Jasmine Rice
Time: 20 minutes

1 cup Jasmine rice
3/4 cup light coconut milk
3/4 cup water
Pinch of salt
1 lime, zested


No matter how hard you try, it's quite tricky to make rice look exciting.

  1. Bring the jasmine rice, coconut milk, water and salt to a simmer in a saucepan. 
  2. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes or until the liquid is fully absorbed.
  3. Fluff the rice and mix in the lime zest.
I probably could have eaten the lime jasmine rice for dinner by itself. The coconut milk adds a thickness and creaminess that I would not normally expect from jasmine rice, while the lime zest gives it a healthy aroma and flavor.

A proper all-ecompassing bite of this dish. Also, no, I did not move from the fancy table to the counter/bar so I could watch TV and eat.
What's intriguing about this dish is that each part works superbly on its own, but forms something utterly magnificent when combined together. The spicy coconut shrimp provide quite the hit of spice, which is beautifully countered by the mango salsa and lime jasmine rice. Overall, an abundance of powerful ingredients come together for a complete and unified meal that has to be experienced. It was a fitting start to the adventures of my new kitchen that bodes well for my stomach over the next year.

Next, stay tuned as I futilely attempt to catch up to the many remaining recipes I still have to write up from my old place!



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