Thai Lemon Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce

Luscious Thai Lemon-Coconut Shrimp!
D.Schmidt for
  • 17 mins
  • Prep: 12 mins,
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: SERVES 2-3
This Thai Lemon Shrimp Recipe (Goong Maa Now) features the flavors of lemon and sweet chili. Once the shrimp are shelled, it's a really easy recipe to make, and quick too (ready in 20 minutes). Medium to large or jumbo shrimp are marinated for just 5-10 minutes in a simple sweet chili marinade, then briefly simmered on the stove together with coconut milk and lemon. If you like shrimp, put this dish on your menu this week (serve with coconut rice for an extra special Thai treat!). ENJOY!

What You'll Need

  • 15-18 raw large or jumbo shrimp/prawns (about 3/4 to 1 lb.)
  • 1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce (available at Asian food stores and some regular grocery stores)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (available at Asian food stores), or substiute 1 tsp. grated lime zest
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. or more cayenne pepper (according to how spicy you want it)
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce (available in tall bottles at Asian food stores)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tsp. palm or brown sugar (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped, plus a little more to garnish
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • a little oil for frying

How to Make It

  1. Remove shells from the prawns but leave the tails on. To Butterfly the Prawns: Hold a prawn in your palm (spine against your hand). Using a sharp knife, make a cut from the middle of the prawn down to the end (the fatter end of the shrimp). Don't cut too deeply - only part-way through the thickness of the prawn.
  2. Place prawns in a mixing bowl. Add the sweet chili sauce, lemon juice, kaffir lime leaves, cayenne pepper, fish sauce, garlic, and 1 tsp. sugar. Stir well to combine.
  1. Allow to marinate for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Place 1 Tbsp. oil in a frying pan or wok and set over medium to medium-high heat. Swirl the oil around the surface of the pan, then add the prawns together with all of the marinade. Also add the coconut milk (up to 1/3 cup depending on how much sauce you want) and chopped coriander. Stir well.
  3. Keep stirring slowly as the dish comes to a simmer. Once the sauce begins to lightly bubble, the prawns will cook fast - in 2-3 minutes. When the sauce is of a consistently reddish color and all the prawns have opened up and are plump and opaque, the dish is ready. Try not to overcook.
  4. Remove from heat and do a taste-test for salt, sugar, and spice. This dish should be spicy, tangy, and a little sweet. Add more fish sauce if not salty enough, or 1 more tsp. sugar if you prefer it sweeter. Also add more cayenne if you prefer it spicier. If it's too sweet or too salty for your taste, add another Tbsp. of lemon juice.
  5. To serve, slide the shrimp and sauce into a serving bowl and top with fresh coriander and garnish with lemon slices. This dish goes especially beautifully with my Easy Thai Coconut Rice and ENJOY!