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LivingFood and DrinkSpicy Caramelized Shrimp with Lemongrass

Spicy Caramelized Shrimp with Lemongrass

by Susan Hanna

This delicious recipe from NYT Cooking is quick and easy. Combine brown sugar and fish sauce to make a caramel sauce. Cook shallots, lemongrass, garlic, ginger and chile paste briefly, add the caramel sauce and warm it through. Add the shrimp and cook until they are done and coated with sauce, about three minutes. Serve over rice.

Serves 4.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Cock brand fish sauce, Tuttocalabria chile sauce and PC Organics frozen shrimp. All are additive-free. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.


  • 2/3 packed cup (165 ml) light brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons (75 ml) fish sauce
  • 2 pounds (900 g) peeled and deveined medium or large shrimp, patted dry with paper towels
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) black pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) canola oil
  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced into rings
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) finely minced lemongrass (from 2 stalks)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 (2-inch-/5-cm-long) piece fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 1½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) roasted chile paste or chile-bean sauce
  • Steamed white rice, for serving


  1. Prepare the caramel sauce: To a heavy medium saucepan, add the light brown sugar and fish sauce and gently heat over medium-low, whisking occasionally, until sugar is fully dissolved and mixture is syrupy, about 5 minutes. (You should have about ½ cup/125 ml.) Set aside caramel.
  2. In a medium bowl, sprinkle the shrimp with the pepper and set aside.
  3. In a 2-quart (2 L) clay pot or large non-stick skillet, heat the oil over medium. Add the shallots and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the lemongrass, garlic, ginger and chile paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Pour in the caramel sauce and stir until combined and warmed, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, just until the shrimp are pink and plump, cooked through and coated with a glossy caramel sauce, about 3 minutes. Serve with steamed white rice.

From NYT Cooking




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