Growing up, I religiously watched the Food Network. I loved watching chefs whip up new dishes and teach me different recipes. Nowadays, it’s the complete opposite because I almost never watch cooking shows. If I want to watch a show about food, it has to be extremely entertaining. My latest indulgence has been the Netflix show, “The Chef” with Roy Favreau and Roy Choi. It’s great to see two genuine people get together to eat, cook and just be themselves. In one episode, the members visit The Optimist in Atlanta, where Chef Ford Fry prepares a shrimp appetizer dish. My mouth was salivating as I watched him fire up shrimp with chile jam. In an attempt to recreate the dish, here is my interpretation with coconut lime chile shrimp served on sourdough. It may not be the same appetizer but let me tell you, it is delicious.

coconut chile lime shrimp on toast

coconut chile lime shrimp on toast

coconut chile lime shrimp on toast


Serves 2


Coconut Lime Chile Shrimp on Sourdough

1 hrTotal Time

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    Chile sauce
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 oz dried Anaheim chile
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 chipotle pepper, canned in adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • ¼ red onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Remaining ingredients
  • crusty sourdough bread
  • 1 tbsp butter, softened
  • 6 ounces large shrimp, head on, skin on (about 6 large shrimp)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 2 tbsp chile sauce
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped


  1. Prepare the chile sauce. Heat 1 tsp oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the Anaheim chile and lightly toast on both sides, making sure not to char the skin. Remove from heat, place the chilies in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let the chilies sit for 30 minutes, rotating them occasionally. Drain the water, reserving ½ cup of the water. Remove and discard the stems and seeds. Blend the Anaheim chilies with the chipotle, adobo sauce, and reserved water until smooth.
  2. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a saucepot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the chile sauce, sugar, and red wine vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Smear the softened butter on the crusty bread and toast on a skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown on both sides. Remove from heat and plate the bread in a bowl.
  4. Season the shrimp with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Heat a cast-iron pan over high heat and add the shrimp. Cook until no longer pink on one side. Flip the shrimp, gently pressing down on the heads to release the juices. Add the sliced garlic, squeeze of lime juice, chile sauce, and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook until the shrimp are pink. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice, cilantro, and parsley. Pour the shrimp and sauce on the crusty bread and serve immediately.


**Helpful tips and common mistakes

There are several key elements of this coconut lime chile shrimp that make it a star. The first is the Anaheim chile sauce. To make the sauce, lightly toast the dried Anaheim chile and rehydrate the chilies in hot water for at least 30 minutes. Flip the chilies over a couple of times during the 30 minutes to make sure both sides are being rehydrated. Once soft, drain the chilies, reserving 1/2 cup of the water. Take off the stem and remove the seeds and blend up those chilies with the reserved water and canned chipotle with the adobo sauce. If you are feeling extra spicy, add more chipotle.

toasting ancho chile

Finish the sauce by simmering it with sauteed garlic, onion, sugar, and red wine vinegar. Give it a taste and season it with salt and pepper.

ancho chile sauce

The second key element that makes the coconut lime chile shrimp so great is the shrimp! Make sure to purchase head-on, skin on jumbo shrimp. Don’t get freaked out by the shrimp head – that’s where a lot of the flavor is!

In the show, Chef Ford cooks the shrimp in a pizza oven. I’m not fancy enough to have a pizza oven, so I’m going to use the stove-top instead. Saute the shrimp on a hot cast-iron pan, seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper. When the shrimp are no longer pink, gently press down on the shrimp heads to release the juices. Add sliced garlic, lime juice, the prepared chile sauce, and coconut milk. Bring everything to a simmer and finish the shrimp with fresh lemon juice, fresh parsley, and fresh cilantro.

fresh shrimp

While the shrimp are cooking, toast some crusty bread. I love sourdough but you can use any crusty bread; just make sure to cut the slices thick so that it doesn’t get soggy.

toasting sourdough

Pour the coconut lime chile shrimp over the bread along with all of the beautiful juices and dig in. This is a get-your-hands-dirty type of dish but, on the plus side, you get to suck all that sauce off your fingers at the end, so it’s a win-win. Just as Roy Choi pointed out, this dish is more about the bread soaked up in all that saucy goodness more than the shrimp. I completely agree, but that doesn’t mean the shrimp isn’t darn good too! A beautiful dish all around.

coconut chile lime shrimp on toast



Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.


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