Turmeric Rice with Shrimp


Turmeric rice with shrimp and kale is a simple, one pot dinner made with coconut milk and sesame oil. 

Coconut turmeric rice with shrimp and thinly sliced kale.

I’m an avid reader of the New York Times and their cooking section is one of my favourite reads. I find so many incredible ideas for recipes and dishes to cook on their website and app. Most of the time, I’ll cook them on my own for dinner (their sheet pan shawarma chicken recipe is incredible) but other times, I’ll use them as inspiration for my own recipes.

Add a “Living Lou” twist, if you will.  

The key when it comes to cooking is finding inspiration all over; food you eat in restaurants, photos you see on Instagram or Pinterest, recipes in cookbooks or publications like the New York Times. 

Closeup of coconut turmeric rice with shrimp and thinly sliced kale.

One day, I was browsing the NYT Cooking app and found this recipe for one-pot turmeric coconut rice with greens. It looked incredible and I knew that I could use a similar method from my one pot shrimp with couscous and create a bit of a hybrid of these two recipes.  

I loved the idea of cooking a flavourful, coconut rice with turmeric and greens all in one pan. 

My Living Lou twist? Well, there were quite a few. I veered away from the vegetarian angle of the recipe and added shrimp. I also added coriander, and sesame oil, swapped out the coconut oil for olive oil and omitted the sesame seeds and coconut flakes.

The first time I tested in recipe, all I added to the shrimp was salt and pepper, but I figured it would do well from a little extra flavour and a quick marinade. The second test was much better than the first test. 

I decided to marinate the shrimp in spices that are already being used in the dish; chili flakes, turmeric, coriander and lime juice. This way you’re not using different flavours for the shrimp and the rice; this is one way to simplify cooking. 

Shrimp marinating in lime juice, chili flakes coriander, turmeric and garlic.

For the kale, which gets added right at the end, I decided to toss it in salt and sesame oil which adds another layer of depth and savoury, umami to the recipe. 

I also added lots of ginger and garlic, as well as ground coriander and chili flakes to really up the flavour in the rice. 

What I ended up with was quite a different dish from the original, but I think you can still see the original inspiration. 

What can I make with turmeric? 

Turmeric is one of my favourite spices, it’s actually a root (like ginger) and you can buy it dried and ground or fresh. Typically in recipes, you’ll use ground turmeric. It has a distinctive bright yellow colour and its flavour is slightly bitter. A few of my favourite turmeric-flavoured recipes are Moroccan chicken soup and coconut brown rice.  

Yields 4 servings

3 oz shrimp and 1/2 cup rice and kale

Turmeric Rice with Shrimp

Turmeric rice with shrimp and kale is a simple, one pot dinner made with coconut milk and sesame oil. 

10 minPrep Time

18 minCook Time

28 minTotal Time

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    Shrimp Marinade:
  • 340g / 12 oz raw frozen shrimp, deveined, shelled and thawed
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • For rice:
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 396ml-can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 cup thinly sliced kale
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil


  1. Prepare shrimp. In a medium glass bowl, whisk lime juice with canola oil, ground coriander, chili flakes and turmeric. Add shromp, and set aside.
  2. While shrimp is marinating, heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger, cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add turmeric, coriander, chili flakes and 1/4 tsp of salt. Cook another minute until very fragrant.
  3. Add rice and toast, stirring to evenly distribute spice into rice. Add coconut milk, water, lime juice and fish sauce. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low, simmer rice for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, massage kale with sesame oil and remaining 1/4 tsp of salt. When rice has cooked for 10 minutes, arrange kale on top, followed by shrimp. Cover and cook another 5 minutes.


Main Course
gluten free
dairy free
egg free
wheat free
treenut free
mustard free

Let me know if you give this turmeric rice with shrimp and kale a try in the  comments below. 

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