Shrimp in Yellow Sauce

It’s been a day of cleaning closets, repairing stairs and generally trying to get things in order.  When I looked up it was 5:00 and I hadn’t thought one minute about dinner.  Clearly the plan was going to have to be something fast and easy.  I decided on some kind of shrimp dish with an Asian flair of some kind.  I took a quick look through and an equally quick trip to Kroger.  Shrimp in Yellow Sauce – it’s as easy to make as it sounds and twice as good.

I think only one substitution tonight.  I served it over rice noodles instead of brown rice.  I just love rice noodles and they take about a quarter the time of brown rice.  The recipe says that you combine the first several ingredients in a food processor to make a paste.  Two things about that.  First, this is a very small quantity of stuff so don’t get out your large food processor.  If you have a mini chopper use that.  It’s plenty big enough.  If you don’t have a little bitty food processor just chop everything as finely as you can (or grate it) and whisk it together in a small bowl.  Second, mine didn’t come out as a paste.  It’s much runnier than that.  It will reduce some when you simmer it before you add the coconut milk, but not a ton.  If you want to take the time you can always reduce it by half before you add the coconut milk, but I don’t think that’s necessary. Do use large shrimp. That will allow you a couple of extra minutes of cooking them in the sauce without ending up with rubbery shrimp.

This sauce is smooth as silk with a little salt, a little heat and a little citrus.  Throw in the sharpness of the ginger and the earthiness of the turmeric and you have a fantastic sauce that needs no extra salt or pepper.  It’s just right the way it is.  If you want more heat just use more of the chile paste.  The lite coconut milk is perfect in this.  Don’t bother adding the extra calories of the regular coconut milk.  I think that would make the sauce too thick.  The coconut milk gives the sauce a wonderful richness, but since it’s lite the sauce is light too.

One caution about serving this with rice noodles – there’s nothing elegant about eating it!  You might want a fork for eating the noodles, but you’ll also want a spoon for the sauce.  And if no one is looking you can always slurp up what’s left in the bottom of the bowl!

Good? Very good.  I could have eaten the whole pot.
Easy? Couldn’t be easier. This is a 15 minute dinner.
Good for company? As long as you’re okay having sauce on your chin in front of them!
Special shopping? Nope. Everything in your standard grocery store.

Shrimp in Yellow Sauce


Spice paste:
1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 to 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (chile paste with garlic)
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3 garlic cloves
2 shallots, chopped
1 teaspoon minced ginger

Remaining ingredients:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup light coconut milk
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Chopped cilantro (optional)


To prepare spice paste, combine first 9 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add spice paste to pan; sauté 1 minute or until fragrant. Add coconut milk and shrimp; simmer 4 minutes or until shrimp are done. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
Serve with rice or rice noodles.


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