Laksa Shrimp and Grits

I was first inspired to make this dish when I had a red curry shrimp and grits at Meyers and Chang a while back. I wanted to do a similar dish but I instead was pulled towards the Malaysian soup called laksa as a base flavor for my version. I cooked the grits in coconut milk and added mint, cilantro, and lime to it. The grits themselves came out so good I would make a meal out of just those! The shrimp were super spicy and pungent just like laksa so I think I pulled off the mash-up!
Step one is make the paste. You can also buy the paste instead of making it! Whisk the cornmeal into the coconut milk to get the grits started. The paste gets cooked down for a bit and then add coconut cream. The coconut cream is actually from the top of the coconut milk can. Cook the shrimp in the laksa mixture. You can use regular shrimp if you don't want to do the head-on ones. Grits down first. Then top it with the shrimp and plenty of the sauce. Top with herbs and bean sprouts. so good! You get all the flavors you normally would with a good spicy laksa, but served in a totally new way. The coconut milk and fish sauce combo worked shockingly well in the grits.

Laksa Shrimp and Grits

  • Laksa Paste
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped turmeric
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chopped lemongrass (4 stalks, tender center only)
  • 10 Cashews
  • 2 Shallots chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 1 tablespoon Fish Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • Grits
  • 2 cans Coconut Milk
  • 3/4 cup coarse cornmeal
  • Salt
  • Fish Sauce
  • Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Cilantro
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Mint
  • Shrimp
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock (plus more for the grits)
  • 1 pound large shrimp (head on optional)
  • Mint Leaves
  • cilantro leaves
  • Bean Sprouts

Instructions

  1. Put all the paste ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Put one of the cans of coconut milk in the fridge for a bit and then open it and scoop the coconut cream from the top of the can. Set aside.
  3. Heat the coconut milk from both cans in a pot and once simmering whisk in the cornmeal. Continue to whisk and add a little salt, fish sauce, and vinegar to your personal taste. Turn to low and simmer, whisking often, for about 30 to 45 minutes until tender, adding a little stock if it gets too dry.
  4. Stir in the herbs and the lime juice and set aside.
  5. In a large frying pan, cook the paste with a little oil on medium heat. Cook about 10 minutes until it darkens in color and you notice the oil separating from the paste.
  6. Add in the coconut cream and cook 3 minutes. Add in the chicken stock and cook another 5 minutes.
  7. Add in the shrimp and cook until done, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat.
  8. Put the grits down on the plate first, then top with a few shrimps and some of the sauce. Top with more herbs and the bean sprouts.