Coconut milk flavored with peanut butter makes a classic Thai-inspired, creamy sauce for bell peppers and sautéed shrimp for an easy dinner any night of the week.
I feel that I’ve led you astray. That I didn’t deliver. That I was just a being a big tease.
Actually, there were a plethora of you who said that’s exactly what I was, when you e-mailed me in droves asking where the recipe was for the photo of this dish in my Friday Faves without sharing the recipe.
You’re right. I owe you this recipe. And I’m delivering it in two different versions, one that was the original from a cereal cooking challenge I was part of and the other version minus the cereal for those of you looking for a simpler version.
This recipe was my divine inspiration when I was put on the spot for a cooking challenge at General Mills HQ. We were tasked to create recipes using a General Mills cereal, ANY cereal. And that’s a lot of cereals!
I channeled my main man in the kitchen (my husband) and used Reese’s Puffs to create a Thai flavored version by grinding the Reese’s Puffs and coating the shrimp in them then cooking for a peanut-y crust.
To recreate the recipe, I went to the store to buy the cereal and came home with…Cocoa Puffs, not Reese’s Puffs. So, instead of making yet another trip to the store, I’m giving you the stripped down version as well, minus the Reese’s Puffs coating.
About the Recipe
If you’d like to try the version with the cereal crusted shrimp, simply grind 1 cup of Reese’s Puffs in a food processor. After allowing the shrimp to marinade for about 15 minutes, roll the shrimp in the crushed cereal and sauté in the skillet. You will need to wipe the pan out after each batch and may need a little extra oil as well.
It’s a pretty tasty crunch if I do say so myself. (Pat on back…)
The creamy sauce is then amped up by combining coconut milk with salty fish sauce and lime juice. Don’t be afraid of fish sauce. It sounds odd but lends a distinctly Thai flavor to the dish. My husband read somewhere Red Boat is a highly rated fish sauce, and is 100% natural, so it’s the one we buy now.
PLEASE TAKE NOTE! There have been some comments that the dish is too salty. I believe this is from using a lesser quality fish sauce, which will lend a saltier taste. Please use a high quality fish sauce like the one I recommend, or add just 4 tablespoons of sauce and then taste it, and add more to your liking.
You can use fresh or dried ginger in this dish. I’ve used both. If using fresh, use 1 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger and cook it with the peppers and onions and omit the dried ginger from the coconut milk mixture.
I always use Key West Pink Shrimp in my shrimp dishes. In my opinion they’re sweeter and more flavorful than striped or tiger shrimp that are typically farmed. I find the wild caught Key West Shrimps in the freezer section at my local Kroger (under the Private Selection brand).
I like to leave the tails on this dish for presentations sake, but if you want to, feel free to remove the tails from the get go.
Like many dishes, for me it’s all about the garnish. Cilantro leaves, fresh basil, sliced red jalapeño, chopped green onion and a squeeze of lime simply enhances this dish in my opinion. And if you’re using the Reese’s Puffs, a few tablespoons of crushed puffs adds a peanut buttery crunch.
I serve this dish over brown rice for another layer of nutty flavor. If you’re a white rice kinda eater, go for it. Cellophane or rice noodles would be really good underneath too, or spiralize a few zucchini noodles to keep the veg-love flowing.
If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp, shell and tail on
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 2 gloves garlic, minced or pressed
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
- ½ onion, peeled and sliced
- ½ red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- ½ orange bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- ½ yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 4-6 tablespoons high quality fish sauce (start with 4 tablespoons and add more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (about ½ large lime, juiced)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons basil leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 1 green onion, chopped
- Red jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
- Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails on. Place the shrimp in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the oil, garlic, kosher salt and red chili flakes. Toss to coat and let marinade for 10 minutes.
- Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and peppers and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the peppers and onion to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and cook half of the shrimp for 2 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes or until opaque. Transfer the shrimp to a plate. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and cook the remaining shrimp then add to the other shrimp.
- In another bowl or 4 cup measuring cup mix the coconut milk, fish sauce, peanut butter, lime juice, brown sugar and ground ginger and stir well. Transfer the cooked onion and peppers to the skillet and pour the coconut milk mixture of the peppers. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp to the skillet with the basil and cilantro and toss to coat. Serve over rice or noodles. Garnish with more cilantro and basil, chopped green onion and sliced red jalapeño of desired.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out the recipe. I hope it inspires you to get in the kitchen and cook something good.
As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.
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