1,2,3 Tomato, Coconut Shrimp

When temperatures drop, chilis and soups shouldn’t be your only go-tos. This Thai-inspired Tomato, Coconut Shrimp is a favorite of mine. It’s perfect alone or served over rice–white, brown, jasmine or cauliflower, you pick. This dish is not only warming and satisfying, but also lean and clean.

Meal prep, easy clean up and bold flavors are always on my mind, and this dish does not disappoint. Although the recipe yields two servings, you can easily make four by doubling the ingredients and using a larger pan. As for the base, white rice is definitely my favorite because it really absorbs the multiple flavors. I also just love when the rice gets sticky.

I’ve learned that in Thai curries, it’s typical to throw in a handful of basil during the final stages of cooking to bring out all the flavors. If you can’t find Thai basil, you can def. substitute with regular basil, though the taste will be lighter.  As for spice, lately I’m into the medium-hot side, but it’s OK if you prefer mild flavors. For a depth of spice, add the crushed red pepper early in the cooking process and again when serving. For just a pinch of spice, add the flakes when serving only. Easy!

Finally, only throw in the shaved coconut if you don’t mind the in-your-face flavor. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Coconut and I have a weird relationship.

buen provecho x muchos besos



  • 12-14 shrimp (I typically buy wild Gulf peeled & deveined)
  • 1-15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1-15 oz can of coconut milk (the lite coconut milk is a great low-cal option)
  • large handful of baby spinach
  • 1/2  yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, coarsely
  • garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • red chili fakes
  • salt + pepper
  • Thai basil, coarsely
  • shaved coconut (optional)


  • Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Season with salt, pepper and as many chile flakes as you like.
  • Warm cooking oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the shrimp and cook, turning once, until firm and cooked through, 2-3 minutes per side Transfer to a plate. Do not clean the pan.
  • In the same pan, warm cooking s oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, season with s + p and stir occasionally until the onion is translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • To the pan with the onion, add ¼ cup of water and bring to a boil, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the tomatoes and coconut milk, stir and cook over medium-high heat until the liquid has thickened, 3-4 minutes.
  • Return the shrimp to the pan; stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted and the shrimp are warmed through, 3 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and a squeeze of lemon.
  • Season with salt, pepper and more chili flakes, if desired.

*You can serve this alone, over rice or riced broccoli/cauliflower.
*For an extra punch of coconut flavor, top with shaved coconut when serving.


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