Food Recipe

Garlicky Filipino Shrimp & Grits With Lemony Collards

Photo credit: Alexis Diao
This will involve shrimp paste. You will like it.
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Alexis Diao, our Filipino-American-Southern Mash-Up, believes that the kitchen is the ideal place to prioritize and celebrate both her Filipino and Southern heritage and share them both with her daughter. We couldn’t agree more. Read about her journey to deliciousness, and embark on your own with her Mash-Up version of shrimp & grits, loosely based on the famous Crook’s Corner’s Shrimp and Grits recipe and Filipino food truck pioneer Marvin GapultosGinataang Hipon.

Photo credit: Alexis Diao

Garlicky Filipino Shrimp & Grits With Lemony Collards

The perfect marriage between Filipino heritage and Southern roots.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 4


Ingredients for Coconut Milk Grits

  • 4 cups of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of grits or hominy
  • Water or broth for thinning as needed
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • hefty pinch of cayenne
  • garlic salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Garlic-Ginger Shrimp

  • 2 lbs. shrimp deveined
  • 4 large garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 medium-sized sweet onion chopped
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 6 oz bacon ends cubed
  • 1-2 dried Thai chili
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste available online or at an Asian grocery
  • white wine for braising
  • garlic chips to garnish available online or at a Filipino grocery

Ingredients for Lemony Collards

  • 1 bunch of collard greens
  • 1 medium lemon or 1/2 large lemon for juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


First, make the Coconut Milk Grits

  • Bring the coconut milk and pinch of salt to a boil.
  • Stir in grits, cover, and let simmer. Stir occasionally, and thin with water or broth as needed.
  • When the grits have reached a smooth consistency, stir in remaining ingredients.

Then, make the Garlic-Ginger Shrimp

  • Cube bacon ends and fry in hot skillet.
  • Set aside bacon, leaving oil in the pan.
  • On medium heat, sauté onions and garlic together.
  • When soft, add shrimp paste, ginger and peppers.
  • Turn heat to medium-high and add shrimp, using white wine to ensure no sticking.
  • Top with bacon ends and garlic chips.
  • Put garlic-ginger shrimp in the oven on low heat to keep warm while you make the collards.

Finish with the Lemony Collards

  • Heat skillet on medium-high heat.
  • When hot enough to sizzle water, add oil and collards. Cover and let sit for about 10 minutes.
  • When color brightens, add salt and pepper, cover, cook until stems soften. Juice lemon onto cooked collards and stir.

To serve, plate the grits and top with collards, shrimp and garlic chips. Enjoy!

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    Posted by Alexis Diao
    Alexis is a first-generation Filipino-American, born and raised in the Deep South. She currently produces and edits audio goodness for NPR and Slate. She is an urban gardener, beekeeper, and proud mama to a biracial Mash-Up. She can be found @meowdiao or in D.C.

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