Prawns in Coconut Milk

  • Serves

    serves 4

This luscious dish gets its richness from unshelled, head-on shrimp, its silky texture from coconut milk, and its pleasant kick from Thai chiles. Serve it with plenty of steamed white rice to soak up the tasty sauce.


  • 14 cup canola oil
  • 10 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 small white onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce, plus more to taste
  • 1 tbsp. palm, coconut, or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 20 head-on, shell-on large shrimp (about 2 lbs.)
  • 1 12 cups canned coconut milk
  • 6 whole green Thai chiles
  • Steamed long-grain rice


Step 1

Heat oil in a 14" flat-bottomed wok or a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add onions and cook until soft and lightly browned, 5–6 minutes.

Step 2

Stir in fish sauce, vinegar, and sugar and season with black pepper. Trim shrimp antennae with scissors, then add shrimp to wok along with coconut milk and chiles; stir briefly to combine, cover wok tightly, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook at a simmer until shrimp are almost cooked through, about 6 minutes.

Step 3

Remove cover from wok; continue to cook, basting the shrimp with the coconut milk, until shrimp are cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat; taste sauce and season with more fish sauce to taste. Transfer to a large, shallow bowl and serve with rice.

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