Saucy Garlic Butter Shrimp with Coconut Milk and Rice Noodles.
Sharing an easy…let’s make this weeknight feel special…dinner, Saucy Garlic Butter Shrimp with Coconut Milk and Rice Noodles. Spicy, garlicky, and gingery shrimp, pan seared and tossed with a touch of butter and coconut milk. This dish is creamy, saucy, a touch salty, and just a little spicy. It’s served over rice noodles and comes together in no time at all (about 30 minutes). Perfect for busy weeknights when you’re looking for something a little more special, but still quick, healthy-ish, and DELICIOUS.
Recipes like this saucy shrimp are my favorite. This shrimp has a mix of flavors, fusion food as some might say. It’s quick, it’s saucy, relatively healthy (there’s some sneaky greens in all that sauce), and just an all around delicious meal.
Traditionally garlic shrimp is more of an Italian dish, and is served simply with butter and lemons. But I wanted to put a twist on the classic and switch things up a bit.
So I threw in some Thai flavors by adding creamy coconut milk, a squeeze of fresh lime, and rice noodles. Yes, it’s different, and I will probably get criticized for this not being “authentic” over on Instagram (if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all, right?). But hey, my purpose here is to provide you guys with easy and delicious recipes, this shrimp is both, so all is good.
The shrimp is first tossed with a little olive oil, garlic, ginger, and spicy jalapeño. These are the main flavors, so if you don’t love garlic, this recipe might not be for you. And if you want to tame the spice level, just use one jalapeño.
Let the shrimp sit a few minutes and cook the rice noodles. I really love using vermicelli rice noodles, but any noodle works, so use your favorite.
Next, cook up some bacon. It adds a really deep flavor and a hint of saltiness that is delicious. Go with me on this. Now, pan sear the shrimp. The key is to remove the shrimp from the garlic marinade. If you cook the shrimp in the marinade, the shrimp with steam, and the garlic will burn. So first remove the shrimp, cook, add the butter, and then add all of that garlicky marinade. As the butter melts, the garlic caramelizes around the shrimp creating truly the most mouth-watering smell (and delicious sauce).
This is that moment you know the recipe is going to be good…so good.
At this point, I like to remove half of the shrimp and save it for topping. Honestly, you don’t have to do this step. You can instead leave the shrimp in the skillet and combine it with the coconut milk. I just like to remove some of the shrimp so that it stays crisp…and if being truly honest, for photo purposes.
Once the coconut milk has been added, the shrimp looses it’s crispness a bit. It’s also a little more visually appealing to have a few shrimp sitting atop the rice noodles. And we all know that I’m all about a visually good-looking dish…
You guys always ask if I do anything special to the food for photos, and the answer really is no. But I like to add garnishes or pull out tricks like this one…
If you have something extra saucy, or you’re making a soup and want to keep the dish both colorful and full of texture. To create a beautiful looking dish, remove a little bit of one of the main elements of the recipe. In today’s case the shrimp. But think along the lines of keeping out some of the chickpeas in a curry, or the noodles in a soup, things like that. Then reserve them for topping the dish just before serving. Again, this is not necessary for flavor purposes. But if you want to create that “Instagram worthy” food photo, this is one of my go-to tricks to really make food pop off the page, as seen in the cacio e pepe, lemon garlic chicken soup, and herb salad.
Okay, styling talk over. Moving along now.
Once I’ve removed half the shrimp from the skillet, I add the coconut milk. I know the coconut milk might seem like an odd ingredient to add, but as I mentioned, I wanted to put my own twist on a classic, and the coconut milk creates a creamy, flavorful sauce.
It’s beyond good. Especially with the rice noodles. It’s kind of like Italian meets Thai. A weird, but delicious mash-up that’s just a touch cozy, a touch on the healthy side, and all things good. And quick, which is always a very nice bonus!
If you make this saucy garlic shrimp, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Saucy Garlic Butter Shrimp with Coconut Milk and Rice Noodles
Perfect for busy weeknights when you're looking for something a little more special, but still quick, healthy-ish, and DELICIOUS.
- 8 ounces rice noodles
- 3 strips thick cut slices bacon, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/4 cup extra olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 4-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
- 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro OR basil, roughly chopped (use you personal favorite)
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 can (14 ounce) coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 cups baby spinach or kale, roughly chopped
- juice and zest from 1/2 a lime
- sliced jalapeño pepper and green onions, for serving
1. In a medium size bowl, toss together the shrimp, olive oil, honey, garlic, ginger, and jalapeños. Toss well to combine.
2. Cook rice noodles according to packaged directions.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp and the fat has rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pot and drain on a paper towel lined plate.
4. Working with the same skillet, use a slotted spoon to scoop the shrimp out of the marinade, reserving the marinade, and into the hot skillet, season with salt and pepper. Cook the shrimp until pink, about 2-3 minutes per side. Add the reserved marinade, the butter and a large pinch of pepper. Continue to cook the shrimp in the butter until the garlic begins to caramelize and turn light golden brown, about another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove half the shrimp and reserve for topping.
5. To the skillet, add the coconut milk, 1/3-1/2 cup water, spinach, and the fish sauce. Stir to combine, bring the mixture to a boil, cook 3-5 minutes, until warmed through. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice and zest, and the cilantro, or basil.
6. To serve, divide the noodles among bowls. Spoon the sauce and reserved shrimp and bacon over the noodles. Top with peppers and green onions. Enjoy!
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