Recipe by Andrea Nguyen
Start to Finish: 35 minutes
1 1/3 cups coconut water
4 1/2 tsp. fish sauce, plus more as needed
4 1/2 tsp. sugar, plus more as needed
1 1/2 tsp. molasses
2 tbsp. virgin coconut oil
1 large shallot, halved and sliced
3 large cloves garlic, sliced
1 1/4 lb. extra-large or jumbo shrimp—peeled and deveined (tails removed), then patted dry
Freshly ground black pepper
1 scallion, green part only, thinly sliced
3 baby bok choy, quartered
Steamed jasmine rice, for serving
1. In a medium bowl, stir the coconut water, 4 1/2 tsp. fish sauce, 4 1/2 tsp. sugar, and the molasses. Season with up to 1 1/2 tsp. sugar or fish sauce or both.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium until barely shimmering. Add the shallot and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic is light brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand until the oil stops sizzling. Stir in the coconut water.
3. Place the skillet over high heat. Bring the coconut water to a boil and cook, without stirring, until slightly thickened, slightly darker in color, and reduced to between 1/3 and 1/2 cup, 10 to 14 minutes. Add the shrimp. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are opaque in the centers and the sauce is slightly syrupy, 3 to 5 minutes. (If the shrimp cook too fast, remove them from the pan. Let the sauce cook down a little more, then return the shrimp to the pan.) Remove from heat. Season with lots of pepper. Stir in the scallion. Let sit for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a plate.
4. Heat the sauce in the pan over high. When it bubbles, add the bok choy and toss until coated. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the bok choy is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes; add a splash of water if the bok choy gets too dry.
5. Divide the shrimp, bok choy, and rice among plates.
Recipe adapted from Vietnamese Food Any Day, by Andrea Nguyen. © 2019 by Andrea Nguyen. Reprinted with permission from Ten Speed Press.