South Pacific Shrimp

Spring 2004, The Essential EatingWell Cookbook (2004)

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Vibrant Southeast Asian seasonings are a natural with shrimp. Freeze any leftover coconut milk or refrigerate it for several days; you can use it instead of broth or water to cook rice or enrich a curry.

"This was delicious! I made it for dinner and invited some friends over and everyone that it was great! We even made soft tacos with the dish and those were amazing as well :D "
South Pacific Shrimp

Makes: 4 servings, 1 generous cup each

Active Time:

Total Time:


Marinade & shrimp

  • 1/3 cup “lite” coconut milk, (see Tips)
  • 2 serrano chiles, or jalapeno peppers, preferably red, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, (30-40 per pound), peeled and deveined (see Tips)


  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced seeded tomato
  • 4 cups baby spinach


  1. Combine coconut milk, chiles, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, lime juice and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes, tossing occasionally. Drain well, reserving marinade.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook, turning once, until barely pink, about 30 seconds per side; transfer to a plate. Add tomato and spinach to the pan; cook, stirring, until the spinach starts to wilt, about 30 seconds. Add the reserved marinade; simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the pan; heat through. Serve immediately.

Tips & Notes

  • Tips: Freeze any leftover coconut milk or refrigerate it for several days; you can use it instead of broth or water to cook rice or enrich a curry or rice pudding (visit for recipe suggestions).
  • Cooking with frozen shrimp: Individually quick-frozen shrimp, sold in resealable bags, are convenient to keep in your freezer. Thaw in a covered bowl in the refrigerator. If you're in a hurry, place shrimp in a colander under cold running water for about 5 minutes.


Per serving: 176 calories; 5 g fat (2 g sat, 1 g mono); 172 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrates; 3 g added sugars; 24 g protein; 1 g fiber; 282 mg sodium; 300 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: 40% dv vitamin a, 18 mg vitamin c (30% dv), 4 mg iron (20% dv).

Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 3 very lean protein, 1 fat

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