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Spicy Shrimp and Coconut Milk Grits

Amp up the flavor of shrimp and grits with the fermented flavor of shrimp paste in this spicy shrimp with coconut milk grits.
5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 528kcal


  • Skillet or wok
  • Medium pot


Coconut Milk Grits:

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 15 ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 cup stone-ground grits
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

Spicy Shrimp:

  • 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil for frying
  • 3 ounces shiitake mushroom caps thinly sliced
  • 3 ounces oyster mushrooms torn
  • 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 shallots peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 red Fresno chili pepper trimmed and thinly sliced; or use 2 Thai chili peppers)
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Serving:

  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Chili oil optional
  • Toasted coconut flakes


Prepare the Coconut Milk Grits:

  • Combine the coconut milk and coconut milk in a medium pot on the stove and bring to a very low boil. Stir in the grits and whisk until they are no longer clumpy.
  • Reduce heat to low and whisk occasionally for 20-30 minutes until the grits are tender and thickened. If they thicken up too much, add a splash or two more of milk.
  • Stir in the the butter and whisk until incorporated. Season with salt and white pepper and keep warm.

Cook the Mushrooms:

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the mushrooms and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.
  • If the skillet is dry, add another teaspoon of oil and turn the heat to medium. Pat the shrimp dry and season with salt and pepper. Add to the hot skillet and arrange in an even layer. Cook for 2 minutes and then flip and cook another minute. Don't allow the shrimp to cook completely through. Transfer them to the bowl of mushrooms.

Cook the Aromatics:

  • Add the shallot, garlic, and red Fresno pepper to the skillet and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Mix together the shrimp paste with 3 tablespoons of water and stir until combined. Pour into the skillet. Once bubbly, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon brown sugar.
  • If desired, scoop out a few tablespoons of the broth and combine it with 1 teaspoon cornstarch and stir until completely combined into a slurry and pour it into the broth and turn the heat to a very low boil. Once bubbling, reduce heat.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.

Cook the Shrimp and Mushrooms:

  • Stir in the shrimp and mushrooms and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked through. Turn off the heat.

To Serve:

  • Divide the grits between bowls and pile the spicy shrimp on top. Garnish with toasted coconut flakes, a drizzle of chili oil, and a few cilantro leaves. Enjoy!


Calories: 528kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 323mg | Sodium: 1168mg | Potassium: 555mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 346IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 191mg | Iron: 4mg