I crave Thai food weekly. Because I can’t get to my favorite restaurant that often, this recipe tides me over until my next visit. It’s based on a traditional spicy curry with a few twists and turns. The sharpness of the cilantro plays well off the silky coconut milk and aromatic lemon grass. The sweet toasted coconut rounds off the mix of flavors in true Thai fashion. Finish with some chopped pineapple tossed with lime juice, brown sugar and chopped mint.
Cilantro shrimp with lemon grass rice and coconut
Combine water, rice and lemon grass in medium saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook, covered, 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Remove lemon grass from rice and discard. Keep rice warm.
Place coconut on baking sheet and toast at 375 degrees until golden brown, about 8 minutes, stirring once. Remove from oven and cool.
In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add ginger, garlic and curry paste and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add coconut milk and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and place in blender with cilantro. Puree until smooth, 2 minutes. Return sauce to skillet, bring to simmer and add shrimp and red pepper. Simmer until shrimp are just pink, 4 to 6 minutes. Add fish sauce, lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Serve with rice. Top with toasted coconut.