Shrimp are so versatile – and are delicious in everything from salads and stews to stir fries. Here are 15 of the best shrimp recipes you can easily make in your home kitchen!
While my passion is Japanese cuisine, I follow a fairly Mediterranean ingredient based diet. That means lots of veggies, fruits, whole grains, beans – and a bit of seafood.
Shrimp is one of my favorite marine ingredients because it is so easy to prepare and works in everything from stir fries to noodle dishes (and beyond). It has an inherent sweetness and tenderness and takes on whichever flavor profile you’re working with on any given day.
Most of these easy shrimp recipes are full of assertive Asian flavors – and I’m excited to share them with you!
What’s the Best Shrimp to Use?
When cooking with shrimp, I make it a point to only use sustainable wild caught shrimp certified by either the Marine Stewardship Council – or the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.
Wild caught shrimp is best because it’s free of hormones and antibiotics used in farmed shrimp. And using sustainable shrimp means that your dinner isn’t the product of overfishing.
How to Defrost, Shell and Devein Shrimp
Whether you’re using fresh or frozen shrimp, it’s fairly easy to prepare.
- To defrost frozen shrimp, simply place them in a bowl or colander and run a slow stream of cold water over them for around 5 minutes. They’re ready to go when soft and bendable.
- To peel and devein shrimp:
- Gently twist and pull the head to remove. Then separate the shell from the meat on the underside of the shrimp, where the legs are. The shell and legs should come off pretty easily. Save this stuff to make stock or bouillabaisse (there’s so much flavor in shrimp heads!).
- Once peeled, devein the shrimp with a paring knife by slicing the outer edge of the shrimp’s back until you see a black or gray vein. Remove it by picking it out with a knife or toothpick.
And for a deep dive on how to cook shrimp, check out this post where I break down cooking methods – from steaming to boiling to sautéing, etc.
Now, let’s have a look at 15 of the best shrimp recipes you can make at home!
Ginger Shrimp Balls
From a size standpoint, these little shrimpy parcels have a lot in common with the har gao you might get at your favorite Chinese dim sum spot. However, I jettisoned the dumpling wrappers and used panko breadcrumbs to hold the dumpling shape. There’s just enough ginger to introduce a slow burn to the mix – and the dipping sauce is a riff on a Japanese gyoza tare. If you like to breathe fire, add a chopped Thai chili or two to the dipping sauce. These ginger shrimp balls make the best appetizer!
Light, airy and crispy, shrimp tempura was one of my favorite meals as a little girl visiting family in Japan. It’s rare when a fried shrimp recipe manages to not be greasy at all. While there are a few things you’ll want to do to make sure the batter and oil temperature are perfect, I go into detail so your shrimp tempura will be restaurant quality. Bonus, you can use the same tempura batter recipe for traditional veggies like sweet potato, lotus root and shiso leaves as well. Make your favorite tentsuyu and dip away!
Thai Cucumber and Shrimp Salad
This Thai salad screams summertime on a plate. Light and refreshing, this shrimp recipe is bathed in a salty, spicy and slightly sour sauce. Cucumber and lettuce deliver a crisp crunch that contrasts the tender shrimp. Use Thai bird’s eye chilis for proper heat. Fresh jalapeno is a good alternative for a slightly milder chili. But, whatever you do, don’t skimp on the fish sauce!
Haemul Sundubu Jjigae is a Korean seafood stew that’s briny, smoky and spicy. I use shrimp, squid and clams in mine – but the best part is that you can use whatever seafood you like best. Tofu and squash soak up the hearty broth and add a bit of heft to this otherwise light dish. Gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) impart smoky heat. And you can increase or hold back on the gochugaru depending on your personal spice tolarance. A spoonful of this Korean stew imparts the essence of the sea – and warming, soulful comfort food goodness.
Shrimp Lo Mein
Whenever we order Chinese takeout, there’s usually an order of shrimp lo mein in the bag. I’m a sucker for egg noodles, veggies and shrimp, perfumed with smoky wok hei. After making it at home the first time (and realizing how easy it is to whip up from scratch), lo mein has become one of my go-to shrimp recipes when I feel like takeout, but realize I should probably cook instead. This Cantonese noodle dish is always a crowd pleaser – so you better make extra!
Stir Fried Glass Noodles with Shrimp
Bean thread noodles, shrimp and eggs are all heavy hitters in this simple noodle stir fry. There’s a nutty essence from the addition of sesame oil – and ginger, garlic and soy sauce all work their particular magic to create a stir fry that is greater than the sum of its parts. But the secret to getting this shrimp recipe right is a 3 ingredient marinade that imparts the shrimp with savory and tangy notes (all while tenderizing your shrimp). Ready in 15 minutes from start to finish!
Shrimp Fried Rice
If you ask Ben, he’ll tell you that fried rice is the perfect food. He’s the ultimate fan of any mash up that includes an egg, rice, veggies and protein – all seared together in a screaming hot wok. Now, I’m a fan of using Japanese rice when making fried rice. But Jasmine rice is also an excellent choice. No matter which grain you use though, leftover rice is definitely the way to go. (At least) day old rice has dried out a bit and is ready to take on a little flavorful moisture without coming out gloppy. For the ultimate experience, use chopped shrimp in the fried rice – and sear a couple of whole shrimp to serve on top. YUM!
Shrimp and Potato Ankake Donburi
This is one of the most simple shrimp recipes of all time – but doesn’t taste like it. Donburi are Japanese rice bowls – and this one in particular has an umami richness with a little sweetness dancing around the edges. The dashi, soy sauce, sake and mirin based sauce is thickened with potato starch to give it a luxurious texture. Perfect for imparting the bed of rice with flavor. And the springy shrimp pair so nicely with tender zucchini. This is comfort food level 10.
Shrimp Bún Chả
Sure, traditional Vietnamese bún chả is made with bbq pork. But using grilled shrimp has some tasty advantages too! You see, shrimp pairs seamlessly with springy rice noodles, loads of herbs and a fiery, salty and sweet nuoc cham dipping sauce. Pay special attention to the marinade in this shrimp recipe – which results in shrimp that begin to caramelize as soon as they hit the grill pan!
Cabbage Stir Fry with Shrimp and Dried Chiles
If you’ve got 20 minutes to spare, you’ve totally got time to whip up a smoky, savory and (slightly) spicy stir fry. Crunchy cabbage contrasts the tender shrimp – and a chopped chili or two will add a pleasant smokiness to the mix. Garlic lovers rejoice! There’s a good amount of minced garlic in this shrimp and cabbage stir fry. The whole dried chilis do more to perfume the dish than add actual heat. Now, that said, if you like it super spicy, you can eat the dried chilis whole. But be warned… some of them are hottt!
Garlic Shrimp with Chili Crisp
Let’s be real… If you told me I had to pick one of my favorite shrimp recipes of all time, I’d probably choose this one. It’s just spicy enough to need a spoonful of rice to compliment a bite of tender shrimp and scallions. But there are a lot of flavors (and rarities) at play here. For example, mayonnaise (!) is my secret weapon to smooth out the smoky, fiery perfection of chili crisp in the sauce. A bit of sriracha and ginger ratchet up the heat a bit more, without venturing into volcanic territory. Seriously, you gotta make it to believe it!
Easy Shrimp Stir Fry
This mix of baby bok choy, onions, water chestnuts and shrimp is simple perfection. But just because it’s easy to make at home doesn’t mean it won’t pack a punch. Quite the contrary! There’s a LOT of savory goodness in this rustic veggie and shrimp stir fry. This recipe in particular calls for a shrimp marinade that tenderizes the shrimp even further through a process called velveting. And with only 10 minutes of prep time – and 8 minutes of cooking time, you won’t have to sacrifice the lion’s share of an evening to eat a flavor packed stir fry.
Honey Walnut Shrimp
I’m a sucker for good American-Chinese food. Since I grew up with a family that went to the Chinese buffet on a weekly basis (religiously), honey walnut shrimp became one of my personal favorite shrimp recipes at a fairly young age. The sweet and creamy sauce has an edge of tanginess to it – and walnuts compliment the sauce with their nutty, crunchy perfection. Serve on a bed of shredded cabbage and with a side of steamed rice for a Chinese buffet caliber meal at home!
Shrimp with Chili Sauce (Ebi Chili)
This is my take on a Japanese version of a Chinese classic. And with a name that includes the words ‘chili sauce’ in the title, you might assume that it’s eye-wateringly spicy. But that’s just not so. You see, Japanese recipes tend to tone down the spice levels significantly. And while there’s a little tobanjan chili paste in the recipe, one of the main flavor elements is actually tomato ketchup. But suspend judgement till you try it. Ebi chili is savory, sweet and tangy perfection!
Thai Ginger Shrimp Stir Fry
Salty, peppery and perfectly studded with smoldering strips of ginger, this Thai inspired shrimp recipe gets a boost of botanical goodness from liberal use of basil and scallions. Fish sauce and soy sauce lend their aggressive savoriness to the mix, while white pepper introduces an almost floral note. Do you have 16 minutes to cook tonight? If so, this ginger shrimp recipe is for you!
Have you tried any of these shrimp recipes? Let me know your favorites in the comments section!Print
Shrimp Fried Rice
This easy shrimp fried rice recipe only takes 15 minutes to make. And with its delicately sweet, savory and briny flavors, it beats takeout any day!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 minutes
- Total Time: 13 minutes
- Yield: 4
- Category: Rice
- Method: Stir frying
- Cuisine: Chinese
- 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup carrot, finely chopped
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 10 large shrimp, chopped bite size
- 3 cups cooked Japanese rice at room temperature, or Jasmine rice
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered chicken stock
- 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon white ground pepper
- 1 large egg, whisked
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons scallions, finely chopped
- In a large pan or wok over high heat, add oil and garlic and cook for 1 minute, until garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add bell peppers, carrots, and shallots and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add rice, break it and combine with shrimp and vegetables.
- Add powdered chicken stock, soy sauce and white pepper and mix until the rice is uniformly golden / light brown.
- Push rice to one side and add egg. Continuously stir and break with your spatula until it’s almost fully cooked. Mix it in with the fried rice.
- Turn the heat off, add sesame oil and top with scallions.
- Season with salt and pepper if needed, and serve immediately
Keep the leftover fried rice in an airtight storage container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 301
- Sugar: 1.6g
- Sodium: 310.9mg
- Fat: 9.6g
- Saturated Fat: 1.6g
- Unsaturated Fat: 3.7g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 44g
- Fiber: 0.7g
- Protein: 8.7g
- Cholesterol: 67.4mg