Helping families eat healthier for less

Helping families eat healthier for less

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Don't Go Stir Crazy Coconut Shrimp Risotto

I’ve just used a new product that I want to share with others. The product is called Vita Coco coconut water.

Vita Coco pure coconut water


This coconut water can be enjoyed “as is,” used in cocktails/mocktails or smoothies, or used in recipes. I have chosen the latter and used it in a delicious shrimp risotto dish. One 8-ounce container of Vita Coco coconut water has only 45 calories, adding flavor without a lot of calories. It also contains electrolytes and nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

Don't Go Stir Crazy Coconut Shrimp Risotto

Risotto is a wonderful dish, but it can be very demanding, requiring constant adding of broth and stirring for 25 minutes until the rice has absorbed the liquid. The May/June issue of Cook’s Illustrated (my favorite cooking magazine) featured a “almost hands-free risotto.” It got my attention. Instead of the constant stirring, the author, Andrea Geary, found that adding several cups of liquid at the start of cooking agitates the rice grains much like stirring. This releases the creamy starch from the rice grains. Then she covers the heavy Dutch oven and turns down the heat so the rice grains cook evenly. Then, you stir for only 3 minutes and let it rest for 5 minutes. Voila! Perfect risotto without all the stirring.

I started with a basic risotto and then added the pure coconut water, shrimp, seasonings, and peas.

Here is the complete recipe.

Don’t Go Stir Crazy Coconut Shrimp Risotto

4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 16.9-oz bottle Vita Coco pure Coconut Water
8 oz. uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, defrosted if frozen
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped fine (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 medium clove garlic, peeled and minced
1-1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 green onions, trimmed and sliced, using both white and green parts
Ground black pepper to taste
Garnish: 4 teaspoons toasted flaked coconut (optional)

Bring broth and coconut water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Drop in shrimp and cook until pink in color, about 3 minutes. Remove shrimp from broth and set aside. Cover and reduce heat of broth to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer. Heat olive oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and stir about 30 seconds. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until grains are translucent around edges, about 3 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, until fully absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 4 cups of hot broth mixture into rice; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until almost all liquid has been absorbed and rice is just al dente, 16 to 19 minutes, stirring twice during cooking. Add 3/4 cup hot broth mixture and stir gently and constantly until risotto becomes creamy, about 3 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese and peas. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes. Gently stir in reserved shrimp, butter, lemon juice, and green onion; season with pepper to taste. If desired, add up to 1/2 cup remaining broth mixture to loosen texture of risotto. Serve immediately. Garnish each serving with 1 teaspoon of toasted coconut, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Click here to download and print a copy of Don’t Go Stir Crazy Coconut Shrimp Risotto.

Disclosure: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Vita Coco and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Be sure to check out these other ways to use Vita Coco pure coconut water. get the InLinkz code


  1. I must try this - shrimp & risotto are two of my very favorite foods and I'm loving the versatility of cooking grains with coconut water!

    1. I agree with you, Deanna. I love shrimp and rice and the coconut water adds a nice touch.