Special Diet - Created Date : 14.10.2019
Shrimp In Thai Coconut Sauce
Coconut milk flavored with peanut butter makes a classic Thai-inspired, creamy sauce for bell peppers and sautéed shrimp for an easy dinner any night of the week.
I feel that I’ve led you astray. That I didn’t deliver. That I was just a being a big tease.
Actually, there were a plethora of you who said that’s exactly what I was, when you e-mailed me in droves asking where the recipe was for the photo of this dish in my Friday Faves without sharing the recipe.
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You’re right. I owe you this recipe. And I’m delivering it in two different versions, one that was the original from a cereal cooking challenge I was part of and the other version minus the cereal for those of you looking for a simpler version.
This recipe was my divine inspiration when I was put on the spot for a cooking challenge at General Mills HQ. We were tasked to create recipes using a General Mills cereal, ANY cereal. And that’s a lot of cereals!
I channeled my main man in the kitchen (my husband) and used Reese’s Puffs to create a Thai flavored version by grinding the Reese’s Puffs and coating the shrimp in them then cooking for a peanut-y crust.
To recreate the recipe, I went to the store to buy the cereal and came home with…Cocoa Puffs, not Reese’s Puffs. So, instead of making yet another trip to the store, I’m giving you the stripped down version as well, minus the Reese’s Puffs coating.
About the Recipe
If you’d like to try the version with the cereal crusted shrimp, simply grind 1 cup of Reese’s Puffs in a food processor. After allowing the shrimp to marinade for about 15 minutes, roll the shrimp in the crushed cereal and sauté in the skillet. You will need to wipe the pan out after each batch and may need a little extra oil as well.
It’s a pretty tasty crunch if I do say so myself. (Pat on back…)
The creamy sauce is then amped up by combining coconut milk with salty fish sauce and lime juice. Don’t be afraid of fish sauce. It sounds odd but lends a distinctly Thai flavor to the dish. My husband read somewhere Red Boat is a highly rated fish sauce, and is 100% natural, so it’s the one we buy now.
PLEASE TAKE NOTE! There have been some comments that the dish is too salty. I believe this is from using a lesser quality fish sauce, which will lend a saltier taste. Please use a high quality fish sauce like the one I recommend, or add just 4 tablespoons of sauce and then taste it, and add more to your liking.
You can use fresh or dried ginger in this dish. I’ve used both. If using fresh, use 1 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger and cook it with the peppers and onions and omit the dried ginger from the coconut milk mixture.
I always use Key West Pink Shrimp in my shrimp dishes. In my opinion they’re sweeter and more flavorful than striped or tiger shrimp that are typically farmed. I find the wild caught Key West Shrimps in the freezer section at my local Kroger (under the Private Selection brand).
I like to leave the tails on this dish for presentations sake, but if you want to, feel free to remove the tails from the get go.
Like many dishes, for me it’s all about the garnish. Cilantro leaves, fresh basil, sliced red jalapeño, chopped green onion and a squeeze of lime simply enhances this dish in my opinion. And if you’re using the Reese’s Puffs, a few tablespoons of crushed puffs adds a peanut buttery crunch.
I serve this dish over brown rice for another layer of nutty flavor. If you’re a white rice kinda eater, go for it. Cellophane or rice noodles would be really good underneath too, or spiralize a few zucchini noodles to keep the veg-love flowing.
If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag it onInstagram with #foodiecrusheats.
4-6tablespoonshigh quality fish saucestart with 4 tablespoons and add more to taste
2tablespoonslime juiceabout 1/2 large lime, juiced
Red jalapeno pepperthinly sliced (optional)
Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails on. Place the shrimp in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the oil, garlic, kosher salt and red chili flakes. Toss to coat and let marinade for 10 minutes.
Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and peppers and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the peppers and onion to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and cook half of the shrimp for 2 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes or until opaque. Transfer the shrimp to a plate. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and cook the remaining shrimp then add to the other shrimp.
In another bowl or 4 cup measuring cup mix the coconut milk, fish sauce, peanut butter, lime juice, brown sugar and ground ginger and stir well. Transfer the cooked onion and peppers to the skillet and pour the coconut milk mixture of the peppers. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp to the skillet with the basil and cilantro and toss to coat. Serve over rice or noodles. Garnish with more cilantro and basil, chopped green onion and sliced red jalapeño of desired.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out the recipe. I hope it inspires you to get in the kitchen and cook something good.
As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.
I see two versions of this recipe in the pictures, right? One has the crusted puffs and one doesn’t? Just making sure. The one directly above this comment section doesn’t have the crust? Is that right? which way would you suggest to try on my first attempt?
Hi Audry, yes! You are correct. The photo with the darker shrimp is the one with the Reese’s Puffs crusted shrimp. My tip if you want to try this version is to marinate the shrimp as in the other recipe but then dredge the shrimp in the crushed puffs right before frying so the puff coating stays crispy and don’t get soggy. You know, the Puffs version is kind of fun for a first timer, I just wanted to give both versions as options. Let me know how it goes!!
Not that I am a cooking expert, but do watch food network and heard the small red pepper you referred to a red jalapeño as a Thai chilling pepper by Giada when she was making Thai food. This is by no means a criticism, just something I learned myself! I love this recipe! Thank you for sharing!
I don’t care for peanut butter, almond butter, those types of ingredients. If I omit the peanut butter in this recipe would I want to replace it with something else in order to get the proper consistency?
BTW, I also order my groceries online and it’s a great way to control my cost and get the ingredients I need. I build my grocery list online throughout the month and then go to my “notes” app and list the dishes I want to make and the ingredients I’m targeting to use for each of them, including anything currently in my freezer, so that I don’t forget why I ordered things. I order monthly from Peapod.
I’m allergic to peanuts so I used plain Greek yogurt instead. It didn’t have that pretty curry color that the peanut butter would provide but it still has great flavor! If any one, or Heidi, has another suggestion for a substitute for peanut butter, I welcome them!
We love Thai and we were really looking forward to this dish. It came together nicely but when we took tha first bite it was far too salty. I added no salt to this recipe so it must have been the fish sauce. 6 tablespoons is far too much. I would half that…or maybe even less. So disappointed because the texture was good. The spice from the chili pepper flakes was just right and the peanut flavor could have been very nice but the saltiness overshadowed everything. My husband picked the shrimp out and dumped the rest. Very disappointed.
Sorry you didn’t like the balance Joan. I made this twice and the flavor for me was spot on so I’m not sure what went wrong for you. Perhaps it was the quality of the fish sauce. It’s key to buy a really good fish sauce like the one I recommend above. Lower quality fish sauce could taste saltier.
I made this tonight and reduced the fish sauce and it was still very salty, way more than we care for. I add some Thai sweet chili sauce, more peanut butter and coconut milk but still was much too salty for our tastes. I would start with 1 Tbsp fish sauce and that would be plenty.
This was the best recipe I’ve tried all year! I thought I had vegetable oil and then ended up not, so we substituted melted butter and WOW. We also threw some bean sprout in with the basil and cilantro. This dish couldn’t get any better. Thank you for the easy and fun recipe! Hopefully you have some more coming using that fish sauce, since I don’t know what else to do with it! :)
I adored this recipe!! I actually used crunchy peanut butter and loved that there was small bits of peanut in the dish as it gave it a more authentic Pad Thai feel. I also tried it on a bed of couscous and it worked very nicely.
I tried this last night and LOVED it. It all came together so nicely, including the 6 tbsp. of fish sauce. My extremely picky husband loved it too and we were not talking much as we gobbled the shrimps up. I am so glad I stumbled across your website! Thank you for this.
Tried this recipe tonight. I would agree with others in that I felt that the dish was too salty. The salt overpowered the other flavors in the dish. I did specifically purchase the brand of fish sauce recommended in the write up. As others have mentioned, it may be a matter of personal preference if you are salt sensitive. If so, I would use less fish sauce (perhaps try half of the recommended amount) Otherwise very easy to make and glad I gave it a try!
Yum! Great recipe thx for sharing! Easy enough for this non-chef! ( though deveining shrimp was annoying) couldn’t find fish sauce at Kroger, so some extra salt and soy did the trick and the sauce was amazing!
The photos made me drool! Made this with half the fish sauce, a little extra lime juice, and the result was absolutely delicious! Served mine over quinoa and rest of the gang over rice noodles. Also eliminated the garlic and onions as low FODMAP, but added hot sauce to garnish and they weren’t missed. Thank you for this recipe:)
Thank you for this recipe. I did use two tablespoons of fish sauce and it turned out perfectly. It was a wonderful date night meal for my boyfriend and I. I made it with a coconut jasmine rice. Yum! I’ll definitely make it again.
This looks great! I’d like to make it Friday night. I just have one question — What gives the sauce its yellow colour? Is it the red bell peppers? I’m asking because I have an intolerance to bell peppers (green are usually ok, but reds especially bother me) and was going to substitute with snow peas. Will this change the colour and/or taste of the dish drastically?
Unfortunately mine turned out much too salty to eat. Had to throw it out. Maybe it’s my fish sauce… very disappointing :(
I would recommend adding a note in the recipe about the quality of fish sauce needed or to lower the amount of fish sauce if not using the one you recommend
Was a bit weary about all of the comments about the dish being too salty but I decided to give it a try anyway. I followed everything to a “tee” and the final result was an extremely salty dish. So disappointing…currently throwing it down the drain and ordering my dinner for the night :(
Sorry you had that experience Tiffany. I’ve made this several times and it was great. Again, my suggestion is to be sure to use a high quality fish sauce. Lower quality fish sauces can taste extra salty.
When eating this, my husband just kept saying “Oh wow!!!” High praise indeed!! I do have to say, I thought it was a little salty (but kept right on eating!). But, again, my husband thought it was spot on! (I’ve been trying to cut back on my salt intake, so I’m sure that’s what it was. Also, I didn’t have Red Boat fish sauce. I’ll try that next time!). I’m SO glad I came across your recipe! This is DEFINITELY a keeper!!
Wanted to make something special for grandkids and it was a hit. Thank you for this recipe and for the step by step instructions, and tips. We used the plain shrimp version and went light on the red pepper flakes, and it was amazing. Next time will try the more adult version.
I was so excited to make this dish and literally had to throw it away after tasting it. Between salting the shrimp (which I should have known not to do since shrimp already can be salty) and the fish sauce (I used the recommended brand), the dish was so salty and the flavors of peanut butter or the coconut did not come through at all. I ended up adding another can of sweeten coconut milk to try and dissipate the salt flavor and that didn’t help. We served over pasta.
A major disappointment!
I’ll go back to my own recipe for Thai pasta that has pang curry paste, coconut milk, basil and ginger, ertc. yielding a smooth, creamy sauce that is perfect with chicken or shrimp tasting more like a Thai Panang dish.
We also have a dish like this called kare-kare but instead of shrimp we use ox tripe & vegetables. It also uses peanut butter & coconut milk but instead of fish sauce we use shrimp paste & we just serve it with the kare-kare. By that we could control te saltiness to your preferred taste.
It’s a Filipino dish. Very tasty & the shrimp paste controls the saltiness as said above. It’s a great dish and keep up with the great recipes! I’ll taste my trial run of your recipe (as any good chef would do) and control the fish sauce. Thank you!
I made this dish tonight and OMG!!! DELICIOUS!!! My family is totally in love. We eat Thai, alot, but always at restaurants. They thought this taste like our favorite place. Only thing missing is Basil Rolls, thanks!
This was OUTSTANDING, absolutely delish!!!!!! I served with coconut rice mixed w/green onions and a Thai zucchini recipe I found on Pinterest! SO, SO good, will always make this, thank you so much for sharing :-)))))))
Made this recipe yesterday and the flavors are spot on! Next time I will start with 2 1/2 tablespoons of fish sauce (I used the Thai Kitchen brand) and then salt up from there. I ended up using the whole can of coconut sauce to help de-saltify the sauce and it really helped. Thanks for the recipe!
This is fantastic. I used 3 tablespoons of Thai Kitchen fish sauce, and I did not add salt to recipe, and my family thought it was just right. Also, I used light coconut milk; I can’t imagine how decadent this will be with the full fat! I served it over farro. My 9 year old daughter can be hard to please when it comes to dinner … her unsolicited compliments to me on this meal darn near brought me to tears.
We bought the fish sauce recommended and used the reduced amount in the recipe. It was just too salty! Like, burn your taste buds off salty! I picked the shrimp out of mine, but the toddler and husband didn’t take more than a couple bites. It’s a shame it went to waste because shrimp is expensive and we don’t buy it more than a couple times per year.
Hi Heidi, two quick questions – My sauce turned out more brown than yellow like in your photos…any idea why? Also, when finished, mine tasted strongly of peanut butter, which is fine, but I was just wondering if it was supposed to be the most prominent taste in the dish? Definitely possible that I didn’t add enough of something else, but just wanted to check before I tried again! Thanks!
I was just hooked on to the yummy looking recipe from the time I read so decided to give it try… But I didn’t have any shrimp I the freezer (and was to lazy to head out and buy) so I used mushroom and it tasted amazing!!! I did tweak the amount of fish sauce for fear of it tasting like a fishy veg dish….And I also added some lemon grass ….
It is one of the most amazing thai style curries I’ve had…my whole family licked it clean ..thanks!!!
Very disappointed. After reading the reviews I went with 4 of the fish sauce lower end) — it was far too salty despite adding more coconut milk, peanut butter and lime juice. Chucked the sauce. And added veggies to shrimp so as not to waste the dish…
This has become a household staple. We actually made it TWICE last week it was so yummy! All your recipes are so easy to make and follow. You have brought some delightful variety to our family dinners. Thank you!
I don’t think the fish sauce is the . I think it’s cooking the curry in the shrimp skillet with all that salt from the marinade. I would suggest wiping out the skillet before adding the peppers back in. The brand of fish sauce isn’t going to make or break the salt level. I also thought it needed a bit of acid at the end, squeeze a lime wedge on each serving.
Could rice be the answer to the salty/not too salty debate? I took a bite without rice and it was super salty. With the rice, it is perfect! Even my salt-sensitive husband asked for me to make this again! I eliminated the salt in the marinade and only used 4 tbsp of fish sauce, but those were the only changes. Thanks for the yummy recipe!
Just a thought, but maybe the over saltiess complaints are because people are using a regular salt and not kosher salt? Kosher salt has larger crystals. I made that mistake once with a recipe and it was crazy salty.
I made this last night and I agree with it being too salty to start (even though I used high quality fish sauce)- to cut that I added an extra table spoon of brown sugar, a bit more coconut milk, and threw in some hot curry powder for extra flavour then it was totally delicious. For a bit more color I added in some snow peas to the peppers and onions. People just need to experiment a little if they find it not to their taste profile. I served it over organic jasmine rice and there was not a drop left in the pan after dinner. Thanks for a great recipe.
Hi, Heidi! Not trying to be snarky (is that a word?) or anything but at least 2 comments asked about the yellow color of this dish & I didn’t find a reply from you on this…is it just the photo or did you add curry or some other ingredient? I would love to make your recipe but before I do, I’d like to know…..thanks so much!
The photos look beautiful, and I liked how you cooked the shrimp, but the sauce was just way off. I guess it’s partially my fault for expecting it to taste Thai, and not realizing how much of an “interpretation” this was. I was able to rescue it with curry paste and some more coconut milk. Looking back at the comments now, a lot of people had the same issues with the taste.
This was an incredibly tasty, gourmet tasting meal that came together in 30 minutes – perfect! My toddler and husband both cleaned their plates, and the toddler even requested a second serving! Win!! Thank you!
I love this recipe. I once bit into a red thai chilli
.. needless to say my wife laughed her buttons off watching me fly about the kitchen eyes watering buckets of tears, hiccupping coughing . After that episode I had new respect for the blasted thing. I added squid to the recipe the second time I made it and payed homage to the pepper by not biting into one again. I love the spicey heat thought.
This was great! The family loved it. The suggestion about holding back on the fish sauce was perfect. I didnt have a choice of fish sauce to buy and I’m assuming it wasn’t high quality, but it came perfect! This will easily be a family favorite.
I made this yesterday with a couple of tweaks, and it was delicious!! For simplicity, I used a full can of coconut milk (about 1.5 cups), a whole red bell pepper, and a whole orange bell pepper (and no yellow bell pepper). I also decreased the fish sauce to just shy of 1 tbsp, and I added a couple of teaspoons of chili paste to the sauce. It was perfect!
Loved this shrimp in Thai coconut sauce recipe. Wanted to make for friendswho are in town tomorrow; however, my local stores are out of wild caught shrimp. Think substituting chicken would work with theses ingredients?
Hi. Love the recipe, turned out great! Can you tell me what makes your sauce yellow? Ours turned out a pale beige but no where near the yellow you show. Also i can’t figure out what would make it that color. Thanks.
This recipe is THE BEST! It’s literally as good (if not better) than some of the best Thai curries I’ve had in restaurants, so definitely a winner that I’ll be making again in the future! Thank you so much for sharing. As for the fish sauce which I’ve seen others post about, I found the amount to be just right, not too salty, so must just be different depending on brand/quality.
Thank you Michelle! So glad you like the recipe so much. Yes, the quality of fish sauce definitely plays a part. I always buy Red Boat Fish Sauce because I’ve found it to be the most mellow. Aging fish sauce can get pretty strong too.
This dish is a winner. Skipped the fish sauce and substituted chicken broth. Baked chopped zucchini, sweet potato and carrot in a little oil, salt and pepper with fresh garlic which I topped on brown rice before the shrimp in Thai coconut sauce plus garnish. Used Argentine shrimp. Yumm!
My husband made this last night for dinner. It was DELICIOUS. We usually try new recipes on ourselves before we serve to dinner guests. This will DEFINITELY be on the menu for our next dinner party. Thanks so much, we LOVE your site.
Sounds like a yummy dish. Don’t have any shrimp, but planning to use cod or pollock. Will heed the advice of others and half the peanut butter and third the fish sauce. Will come back and let you know the results.
This was… D-I-V-I-N-E. I’m really surprised how much flavor this had with so few ingredients.
I read and headed the other comments about using the right brand of fish sauce and checking the saltiness- for anyone curious whose in the US- buy the bottle called “Thai Kitchen Premium Fish Sauce, “. Do NOT buy the cheaper brands that dont say
“Premium Fish Sauce”, they are way saltier.
As for the recipe, I’m a huge fan of indian curries so I added half a pod of cardamon and a dash of ground cassia to make it more authentic. I also used crunchy peanut butter and the peanuts really added some nice texture to the dish. My grocery store doesnt sell scallions for whatever reason but had leeks, theyre great chopped up on top as a substitute.
Overall the sauce is amazing though! It will taste really weird until its reduced then suddenly its fantastic. Weird fire magic at work I guess. The only major part I’d change is boiling the shrimp instead of pan frying- its a pain in the ass to get them done correctly having to flip them one at a time.
This was good. I garnished with what was suggested, plus toasted coconut and chopped peanuts for additional texture. I am not a fan of fish sauce, but recognize the flavor profile that it offered, so I used 1T and thought it was the right amount of salt/flavor for me. Would definitely make again.
I made this tonight. It was delicious. I used the whole can of coconut milk and also added some red curry paste and chili sauce. Next time I may put in another can of coconut milk as we like a lot of sauce.
I also sautéed mushrooms and zucchini and added them to the vegetables.
Thanks great recipe
I made this for dinner tonight. It was delicious. I used Hoisin sauce instead of fish sauce, this way I didn’t have to worry about the salt. Very easy to make. I served it over
Ramen noodles (did not use the flavoring). Give this recipe a try.
Delicious. Not salty at all but recommend using less pb if you don’t want to taste the flavor of pb. I’m not a pb fan but this recipe is great even with it tho I will use half for my own taste next time. I added extra heat to the recipe as we like spicy and I used a whole can of coconut milk and adjusted everything for use with 2lbs of shrimp minis the PB which i kept the same. I give it 5 on a scale of 1-5 and recommend you try it right now!
I’m wondering too about the yellow color where nothing in the recipe as written would make it that color. I’m assuming it might be turmeric which adds a yellow color without much taste. This question has been asked so many times it’d be nice if it was answered.
OMG! I made this tonight with just a couple of modifications because I am doing Keto, and it was seriously the most delicious thing I think I have ever made! I used yellow and green squash instead of red pepper, used a whole can of coconut milk, and added an extra tablespoon of peanut butter. It is so good that I immediately sent this recipe to 3 other friends. Well done!!!!!
Would are it more in line with proper Thai cooking spicey so need chillie paste and a few birds eye chillies as well.
I love proper Thai food and the heat they take it having lived there for a few years.
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