This curry-coconut shrimp and rice dish is winter salad at its best. It relies on ingredients from your larder, it's filling enough to call dinner, and it's sturdy enough for making ahead and toting to work the next day.
A few details that make it shine: a simple, flavor-packed shrimp marinade of curry powder, coconut milk, and lime juice; cooking the rice like pasta so it’s fluffy and salad-ready; an addictive salad topper of frizzled curried coconut flakes; pomegranate seeds for their sweet-tart punch; and lots and lots of lime juice and cilantro (more than you think you need!) to keep things lively and fresh.
full-fat coconut milk (well-stirred)
plus 1 teaspoon curry powder
3 to 4 tablespoons
lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving (from about 3 limes)
medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Whisk together coconut milk, 1 tablespoon curry powder, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in a large bowl. Add shrimp, and marinate for 1/2 hour to 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Stir the rice into the pot, return to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until tender but not mushy, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and place it on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with 2 tablespoons of lime juice and salt, to taste, then spread it evenly on the baking sheet to cool and prevent clumping.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat. Saute 1 teaspoon of curry powder and grated ginger, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Then add the coconut flakes and peanuts, stirring well, and continue to fry until the coconut turns light golden, another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, and transfer coconut mixture to a plate to cool.
Rinse out skillet you used to toast the coconut, and remove shrimp from marinade (discarding marinade). Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and a pinch or two of kosher salt; saute, stirring frequently, until shrimp have just turned pink and opaque, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
In a large serving bowl, combine the rice and cilantro. Fold in the shrimp, pomegranate seeds, and some of the coconut mixture, then sprinkle the rest of the coconut mixture over the top. Serve with lime wedges on the side. Serve warm or at room temperature.