This recipe is my way of making up for my childhood years where I didn’t like coconut. Actually, I don’t think ANY kid likes coconut, do they? I now understand it’s charm and adore it, and take advantage of children’s distaste for it. Every year at Halloween, I buy a big bag of Almond Joys “for the trick-or-treaters,” as well as other candy. We pass out candy by holding out the bowl and letting the kids pick which piece they want. Shockingly – at the end of the night, we’re left with a big bowl of Almond Joys. Then I’m forced to eat them. It’s a curse, I tell ya.
This coconut risotto satisfies my coconut craving all year around – it is full of coconut flavor from both shredded coconut and coconut milk. The rich color comes from vegetable stock. Omit the shrimp, or substitute tofu and you have a vegetarian bowl of goodness.
Get ready – this risotto is really spicy. Unable to decide between sriracha (which I love) and sambal oelek (which I double love), I just went ahead and put them both in there. Cut back on the sambal for a less spicy dish. With it’s mix of sweet, spicy, nutty, herby, limey and shrimpy, eating this made me think of Pad Thai. Call it Pad Thai Risotto if you’d like, and enjoy! Just be sure to have a glass of ice water on hand for the mouth burn that is about to ensue (hurts so good).
Yield: 4 servings
Spicy Coconut Risotto with Lime Shrimp
For the Spicy Coconut Risotto:
4 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 teaspoons fresh ground ginger root
1/2 cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons sambal oelek
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup roughly chopped cashews or macadamia nuts
Sriracha, to taste
For the Lime Shrimp:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound raw 16/20 count peeled and deveined shrimp, patted dry
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
In a small covered saucepot, heat vegetable stock over medium heat. When simmering, turn off heat and keep covered.
In large high-sided skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add rice, shredded coconut and ginger. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until rice begins to become translucent at edges of grains, stirring constantly.
Add 1/2 cup hot stock; stir constantly until mostly absorbed. Add additional stock in 1/2 cup increments, stirring after each addition and cooking until stock is mostly absorbed before adding more. Cook 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring frequently and adding stock as needed. Stir in coconut milk, sambal oelek, salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, prepare Lime Shrimp: Heat butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until opaque throughout, turning occasionally. Add lime juice; toss to combine.
Divide risotto between warm pasta bowls. Top with shrimp and garnish with cilantro, cashews and sriracha.
Hi, I’m Lori! I’m a Detroit-area culinary school graduate, food photographer, recipe developer and english muffin fanatic. This blog is where I post simple, yet special, original recipes for the "home chef" in all of us.