Coconut Rice with Shrimp and Scallion Sauce
This is one of my favorite go-to dishes because it’s both delicious and easily made in thirty minutes! Yes… 30 minutes. For all this FLAVOR!! What I love about this coconut rice bowl with shrimp and scallion sauce is that it’s a bomb of complex and fun flavors and aromas. If you’re like me and enjoy different flavors coming together like sweet, salty and slightly acidic, you’ll definitely go crazy for this dish! It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s bright.
You can make the coconut rice on its own, or you can make this epic bowl with the seared shrimp and scallion sauce. Either way, you’ll see two separate recipes below.
Something I want to note before we get started is that this dish is inspired by Asian cuisine. I’ve ordered coconut rice at many different Asian establishments in New York City (and hopefully here in Philly soon!) and I can say without a doubt that coconut rice is always going to be in my top 3 favorite grain dishes. If you’re not familiar with this coconutty deliciousness, it’s found in cultures throughout the world, but mostly in the tropics around the equator. In Indonesia, you can find it prepared with coconut milk, ginger, and lemongrass. It’s also found in Central America in Honduras where they prepare it with coconut milk, garlic, onion, and beans. Yum.
The scallion sauce I made here is inspired by Vietnamese scallion oil. The original sauce is called mỡ hành (pronounce muh hand), and it goes with practically anything. The Vietnamese use it to add flavor to steamed rice, noodles, soups, salads, and different types of meats. It’s really addictive, so you may want to make a double serving!
The magic about this coconut rice with shrimp and scallion sauce is that it works just as well for lunch in the office as it does for a candle-lit dinner. You can make the rice and sauce in advance, so it’s perfect for meal prep. The rice can be made up to four days before, as long as you cover it in a sealed container in the refrigerator. The scallion sauce can be made up to a week ahead, just make sure it’s covered and refrigerated as well. You should make the shrimp fresh though as it just tastes better straight out of the pan.
What if I don’t have a pressure cooker?
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can make this dish in a rice cooker or on the stovetop. Just follow the same instructions and let the rice simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, instead of waiting for the pressure cooker. You can make anything on the stove that you would make in a pressure cooker, it’s just going to take a little bit longer
I don’t really like sweet and salty dishes, is there a work-around?
Yes, if you don’t like the sweet and salty mix you can skip the agave nectar in the coconut rice. Or you can skip the coconut rice and add another side like an Asian-inspired salad, seared broccoli, or noodles.
Are there other ways to prepare coconut rice?
Yes, there are plenty of ways to prepare coconut rice! Coconut rice is a really versatile dish. In Thailand, it is even eaten as a dessert with slices of ripe mango and coconut cream. It works well with ginger, turmeric, lemongrass, and other spices. It can also be made with garlic, onions, cilantro, raisins, and kumquats.
|1tsp coconut oil|
|2cups jasmine rice|
|1can full-fat coconut milk (can sub lite)|
|1 2/3cups water|
|3tbsp agave nectar (or adjust to taste)|
|Shrimp and Scallion Sauce|
|10 scallions, finely chopped|
|1 1/2tbsp sesame oil|
|1tbsp rice vinegar|
|1tbsp tamari or soy sauce|
|2 Scallions, finely chopped, for garnish|
|Cilantro, for garnish, to taste|
|Pressure cooker, rice cooker or traditional pot with lid for stovetop preparation|
For the rice:
Heat a pot or pot of a pressure cooker on medium heat and melt 1 tsp of coconut oil. Turn off the heat.
Add the coconut milk, water, salt, and agave nectar to the pan/pot and mix until combined. Add the rice into the pot and make sure it's evenly distributed under the liquid mixture.
Seal the lid on your pressure cooker and pressure cook on low pressure for 12 minutes or just use the rice setting on an Instant Pot.
Release the pressure and give the rice a stir to have any excess liquid absorbed. Remove the pot from the heat and transfer the rice to a plate to cool a bit before serving. NOTE: I prefer letting it sit 10 minutes before eating it because it tends to be more flavorful when it's not piping hot.
For the shrimp and scallion sauce:
In a small bowl, combine the scallions, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Mix until sauce is formed. If you like heat, feel free to add some chili flakes or sriracha!
If you don’t have a pressure cooker: you can make this coconut rice in a rice cooker or just on the stovetop. Follow the same instructions and let the rice simmer with the lid on until all the liquid is absorbed, instead of using a pressure cooker.