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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Sarmiento

Coconut-Chili-Lemongrass Shrimps on Romaine boats

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

One of my favorite Asian style of foods has always been Thai cuisine.

(Photo: Rob King)

Thai style of cooking places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components and a spicy edge.

Renowned Thai chef McDang characterises Thai food as demonstrating "intricacy, attention to detail, texture, color, taste and the use of ingredients with medicinal benefits, as well as good flavor.”

Traditional Thai cuisine usually falls into four categories: tom (boiled dishes), yam (spicy salads), tam (pounded foods), and gaeng (curries). Deep-fries, stir-fries, and steamed type of dishes derive from Chinese cooking.

Recently, I began to harvest a small herbs and spices garden at home and I have been wanting to create something with my newly grown produce, particularly a common Thai ingredient…lemongrass.

(Photo: Marvin Meyer)

Lemongrass is commonly cultivated as culinary and medicinal herbs because of their scent, resembling that of lemons. It also can be used for tea infusions as well as for disinfectants and natural repellents.

What better way to enjoy summer than with a high flavored seafood dish paired with a chilled (and unique) wine!

Let‘s get cooking!

Menu: Pan-seared jumbo shrimps with coconut-chili-lemongrass sauce on romaine lettuce boats.

Wine pairing: 2020 Santa Julia - “La Oveja“ - Torrontés Natural (Maipú, Argentina)

Serves 2



  • 10-12 jumbo shrimp, deveined, peeled but with tail on.

  • Sea salt & pepper

  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced

  • 1 small shallot, finely minced

  • 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil


  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) of coconut milk

  • 1 teaspoon of chili paste

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced

  • 1 medium shallot, finely minced

  • 3 large stalks of fresh lemongrass, cut in 4 inch long sized pieces

  • Zest and juice of one large lime

  • 1/4 cup of thin sliced carrots

  • 1/4 cup of thinly sliced sweet red peppers (cut in 2 inch long sized pieces)

  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil


  • 2 large pieces of fresh romaine lettuce (to serve as boats)

  • 1 small lime cut in small wedges

  • 6-8 slices of fresh carrots

  • 4-6 small leaves of fresh basil

  • Lemon grass leave pieces (taken from the cooked sauce)



  • In a medium sized pot, heat oil up on medium heat.

  • Add garlic and shallots and cook for 2 minutes, stirring to ensure it does not burn.

  • Add chili paste and stir, ensuring garlic and shallots are covered with the paste.

  • Add lime zest and sweet pepper, stir and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add coconut milk and carrots. Stir well.

  • Reduce heat to low and add soy sauce, lime juice and lemon grass pieces. Stir well and simmer for 5 minutes.

  • Add basil leaves, stir and keep warm.


  • Season shrimps with sea salt and pepper.

  • On a large pan or skillet, heat oil on medium high heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook for 1 minute, stirring quickly.

  • Add shrimps and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Serve it up!

Plating up this dish was quite fun and makes for a fantastic presentation piece.

On each individual plate, place a large piece of romaine lettuce (boat) on the center of the plate. Carefully arrange 5-6 shrimps inside the romaine lettuce.

At the end of the lettuce, slightly forward of it, arrange a few pieces of sliced carrot, lemon wedges and small basil leaves.

Spoon coconut sauce on top of all the shrimps and some on the side of the romaine lettuce boat and add some of the lemon grass leaves and sweet pepper pieces from the sauce (opposite side of the carrot/lime garnish).

Bon appetit! Enjoy!

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

About the wine...

A heart-felt thank you to Winesellers Limited for providing me with my first Torrontés experience. A most unique varietal that was enjoyed from start to finish, showcasing complex yet delightful aromas with every sip.

Santa Julia Torrontés Natural is the first Organic and Natural wine from Bodega Santa Julia and reflects their mission to develop wines in an organic and sustainable way, coexisting with the environment instead of attacking it. It represents the maximum expression of the variety and its surroundings.

2020 Santa Julia - “La Oveja“ - Torrontés Natural (Maipú, Argentina)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

Tasting notes: Yellow of medium intensity and grennish reflections. Stands out for its muscat aromas. It presents aromas of white fruits suchas peaches, roses petals, jasmine and geraniums. At the finish, citrus aromas of lemon peel can be appreciated. Resfreshing and bold acidity, with medium intensity and a long citrusy finish.

Grapes: 100% Torrontés (100% organic)

Food pairing: Ideally served chilled at 40 degrees F, it is delicious on its own, but pairs well with the foods of the spice route (Indian, Asian).


Decorative wine drip collar by:

(Special discount promo code: CFW15)

(Photo: Alin Meceanu)

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