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LivingFood and DrinkHot Sweet Shrimp

Hot Sweet Shrimp

by Susan Hanna

This recipe from Bonnie Stern’s Don’t Worry, Just Cook could be served as an appetizer or main dish. Shrimp are seared and topped with butter, honey chilies, garlic, a sweet citrus sauce, scallions and cilantro. This spicy dish cooks quickly, so be sure to have all the ingredients measured and at hand before you begin cooking. Serve over rice, or, if you are using peeled shrimp, serve in lettuce cups.

Serves 4-6.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used thawed frozen shrimp with only salt added as a preservative. Look for butter that contains only milk or cream, with no colour added. Use pure honey and freshly squeezed lime juice. Check the tamarind for colour and preservatives or substitute 2 tbsp (30 ml) of lime juice mixed with 2 tbsp (30 ml) of brown sugar. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.


  • 1 ½ lb (680 g) extra-large (12 to 16 count) shrimp, shells on and deveined
  • 1 whole star anise or ½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) coriander seeds, crushed, or ¼ tsp (1.25 ml) ground
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) butter
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp (15 ml + 15 ml) honey
  • 1 long red chili, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed if desired, diced small
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) tamarind paste thinned with 2 tbsp (30 ml) water or substitute 2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh lime juice mixed with 2 tbsp (30 ml) brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) light brown sugar
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for serving


  1. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towel and set aside in the refrigerator. Place the whole star anise and coriander seeds in a hot, dry skillet and toast over medium-high heat for 30 to 45 seconds. Let cool, then grind the spices in a mortar and pestle or in an electric spice grinder. Skip this step if you are using ground spices.
  2. Combine the ground star anise, ground coriander and salt in a small ramekin. Have the butter, honey, chilies, garlic, olive oil, tamarind, lime juice, brown sugar, green onions and cilantro is separate ramekins close to the stove.
  3. Set a cast iron or heavy-bottomed skilled over medium heat to get very hot.
  4. Increase the heat to medium-high and when the pan is extremely hot, add the shrimp to the dry pan in a single layer. Let the bottom side of the shrimp brown for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the butter, drizzle with 1 tbsp (15 ml) honey, scatter the chilies overtop and sprinkle with half the salt-spice mixture. Using a large metal spatula, flip the shrimp over. Brown on the second side. Add the garlic, remaining spice mixture, 1 tbsp (15 ml) honey, olive oil, tamarind, lime juice and brown sugar and toss together. Add the scallions and cilantro and cook gently until the shrimp are opaque.
  5. Serve with cilantro sprigs scattered on top.

From Don’t Worry, Just Cook




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