Spicy Coconut Shrimp
Why do people feel so strongly about shrimp? Why do pro-shrimp feel so defensive about their love, and anti-shellfish people feel so strongly about fishing them out of every dish? Our best guess could be that like mushrooms, the texture is just too much to bear for some people, and once again we stand as a house divided at Spices, Inc World Headquarters. Unlike mushrooms, where fanatics are desperate to surreptitiously slip mushrooms into any meal they can to “prove” that no person can really hate mushrooms (They just haven’t given them “a real chance!”) Shrimp Lovers are far less generous. Fine, skip the shrimp. That just means more for us.
So let’s talk about how we flavored these little guys. First, we chose “Extra Large” shrimp and lightly marinated them with our Caribbean Spice and our Scotch Bonnet Flakes. This might be the part where you’re like, “Scaly bug things that come from the sea… Why not?? But what I will NOT tolerate is SPICY sea bugs.” We want to validate your preferences, so we’ve got options for you. If you’d like to go with just Caribbean Spice, you’ll still get a teeny tiny kick of cayenne and black pepper, but it will balance it out with brown sugar, allspice, and cinnamon. The lemon peel adds a little citrus pair that partners well with the lime juice that’s already in the marinade. If you want your shrimp even hotter? You could choose to leave the Scotch Bonnet flakes and opt for Jamaican Jerk Seasoning instead of the Caribbean Spice. Jamaican Jerk Seasoning also has Scotch Bonnet Flakes but also has more of more rounded “spice” profile, and a bit more herbaceous-ness from thyme and chives. This adds some more layers to that desired "hot" flavor.
Before you start sweating too much about the hypothetical heat of this dish, take into consideration the truly breathtaking coconut rice that we made with it. Instead of just boiling it according to the package directions, We decided to prepare some Jasmine rice with full-fat coconut milk, lime juice, shallots (you could use our dried ones if you’re not a regular Shallot Shopper), and even more coconut. What this meant for our rice was that instead of it being a blank and neutral palette for our taste-testers shrimp samplers, the rice instead was given an opportunity to lend a sweet and fragrant balance of flavors against the sharpness of the Scotch Bonnet-studded shrimp. YES, the shrimp was amazing, but even the people who normally opt for the milder side of the menu were able to enjoy the pairing of the two.
- Ingredients for shrimp:
- 1 Lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- Juice of 1 Lime
- 1 tsp Lime zest
- 1 Tbsp Caribbean Spice
- Optional - ½ tsp Scotch Bonnet Flakes
- Ingredients for rice:
- 1 Cup Jasmine rice
- 1 ½ Cups Coconut milk
- Juice of 1 Lime
- ¼ Cup Shallots, minced
- ¼ Cup Shredded Coconut Flakes
- ½ Cup Frozen peas, thawed
- ½ Cup Frozen corn, thawed
- Optional - Fresh Cilantro to garnish
- In a bowl, combine shrimp, Caribbean Seasoning, olive oil, lime juice, zest, and scotch bonnet flakes and mix well. Set aside.
- In a medium sized pot, combine rice, coconut milk, lime juice, shallots, and shredded coconut flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- While rice is cooking, heat a skillet to medium-high. Add shrimp and marinade and cook until pink and opaque. Set aside.
- Add corn and peas to the rice and fluff with a fork.
- Plate rice, place shrimp on top, garnish with cilantro and serve. Drizzle any leftover pan juices from the shrimp over top if desired.