Let’s Cook! Shrimp Stew with Coconut and Lime

September 12, 2010

Recently when we (we being you and me…) finally finished our tour of the 2009 Food & Wine Festival kiosks, it reminded me of how much I had enjoyed the Brazilian Shrimp Stew. Fortunately the recipe was included in the festival cookbook, so without further ado, let’s cook!

Shrimp Stew with Coconut and Lime (or Moqueca de Camarao)

Serves 4 – 6


36 Large Shrimp, peeled and deveined (yes, “36 large” doesn’t mean much in the real world of seafood, so use one pound of whatever size you prefer that day – I used 20-25 count/pound size)

6 Tbl Chopped Cilantro, divided

2 Tbl Fresh Lime Juice

6 Finely chopped Garlic Cloves

1 Tsp Salt (Kosher, of course)

2 Chopped Medium Yellow Onions

1 13.5 oz (or so) can of Coconut Milk (regular or lite, find in the ethnic aisle of your grocery with the Thai food goodies)

1/4 cup Olive Oil

4 Chopped Plum Tomatoes

2 Tbl Butter

All the chopped goodies...


  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, the garlic, lime juice and salt to make the marinade.

    The maranade

    Place the shrimp in a shallow dish (or zip-lock bag) and add the marinade.

    Shrimpies in the marinade

    Stir all up and let sit while completing the rest of the steps… stir every now and then when the mood strikes…

  2. Puree half of the onions and the coconut milk in a blender.
  3. Heat the oil in a deep skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the remaining onions and cook until translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes.

    First the onions...

  4. Add the tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of cilantro and stir until the tomatoes are softened, another 5 minutes or thereabouts.

    add the tomatoes and cilantro...

    and cook 'em down...

  5. Stir in the coconut milk/onion mixture from the blender and bring to a boil.

    Adding the blended flavor...

    Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Add the butter and stir.

  6. Add the shrimp and marinade.

    Adding the tasty invertebrates...

    Bring to a boil, stir well and cover. Turn off the heat and let sit about 5 minutes.

    Looking pretty done to me...

    Stir and check the shrimp to see if done – they should be just cooked through (if you overcook them the poor things will shrink up and be rubbery) – cut one if half if unsure, it should be just opaque all the way through – if not quite done let sit a few more minutes and the residual heat will do the job (trust me…). Check seasoning, you might want to add a bit of salt or a squeeze of lime juice. Stir in the remaining cilantro and serve over rice.

    A small serving... along with a bit of steamed broccoli (gotta have something healthy now & then...)

This turns out a nicely rich dish. If you want a smooth sauce you can use an immersion blender or put into a processor before adding the shrimp.

Even though the recipe is great as is… well, you should know me by now… I added a bit of a kick… I took a small Habanero pepper and minced it fine, added about a third during step 4, and sprinkled a tiny bit of the remaining raw pepper over the dish when served…

Actually a pretty easy dish, as long as you get all you chopping done first (as you should… remember your mise en place…) if comes together pretty quickly… and it’s pretty darn tasty too! The sauce is really good, and should work well with any fairly mild-flavored protein – scallops or lobster would be fantastic… mussels and/or clams heated until they open could be good… even chicken breast would be good (of course the cooking would have to be adjusted, unless chicken tartare strikes your fancy…).

Back to the kitchen…

2 Responses to “Let’s Cook! Shrimp Stew with Coconut and Lime”

  1. Yenisa Says:

    Looks so delish! I’m going to try this one for sure!


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